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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Recipe: Cheese Soufflé

Recipe: Cheese Souffle

Something before dessert...

So everyone seemed to go crazy for last week's Chocolate Soufflé. And rightly so. It's delicious. 

But there was also an outcry from those intrigued by the savory versions... people desperate for a version dripping with melted cheese.

Again, rightly so. It's delicious!

So here it is, the Béchamel Based Cheese Soufflé. It's just as easy as the Chocolate Soufflé, and it's just as decadent. Actually, it's probably more decadent... but I'll let you be the judge.

... and be sure to read more about Soufflés in this earlier blog post

Baked Cheese Soufflé

And always giving credit where credit is due...

This recipe is part of the syllabus from the Professional Pastry Arts Program at The International Culinary CenterMany of the recipes from the Pastry Arts Program can be found in "The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts"

Cheese Soufflé:

Yield: Six 125g Soufflés

  • Milk: 200mL
  • Butter: 55g
  • Bread Flour: 30g
  • Egg Yolks: 3x / 60g
  • Cheese*, grated: 220g 
  • Egg Whites: 6x / 180g
  • Cream of Tartar: 1 Tsp
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Herbs and Spices (e.g. Cayenne, Nutmeg, Chive, etc)
  • Soft Butter and Breadcrumbs for ramekins

*Use any full-flavored cheese that melts well (e.g. Cheddar, Gruyere, Fontina, etc.), or use a combination of cheeses.

Unbaked Béchamel Based Cheese Soufflé


1. Prepare the ramekins: Thoroughly coat the molds with Beurre en Pommade (i.e. butter that has been softened to the consistency of mayonnaise). Coat the butter-brushed molds with breadcrumbs.

Chef's Note: The French term for the coating on the ramekins is "Chemisier", which literally translates to "Blouse".  

2. Prepare a light (or "White") Roux: Melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes on medium heat. The Roux should remain very light in color and have a very smooth, homogeneous texture.

3. Prepare a Béchamel: While whisking, pour the milk into the saucepan with the White Roux and bring it to a boil.

4. Remove the Béchamel from the heat and whisk in the Yolks, one at a time. Stir in the Cheese, Salt, Pepper, Herbs and Spices. Taste the Béchamel Base to ensure it is properly seasoned.

Chef's Note: The Béchamel Base contains uncooked Egg Yolks which can carry Salmonella.

5. Make a French Meringue: Whip the Eggs Whites and Cream of Tartar on medium-low speed until they form an opaque foam. Increase the speed to medium and whip the Meringue to medium peaks (for more information on making French Meringue, including numerous photographs, take a look at this previous blog post).

Chef's Note: This Meringue is very unstable as it does not contain any sugar. It will not form strong, glossy peaks. 

6. Combine the Béchamel Base with the French Meringue: Begin by 'sacrificing' (i.e. stirring) a small amount of the French Meringue into the Béchamel Base to lighten it. Then, fold the remaining Meringue into the Béchamel Base until it forms a homogeneous mix. 

Chef's Note: Do not overfold the mixture as this will deflate the Soufflé batter.

7. Fill the ramekins: Fill a piping bag with the Soufflé batter. Cut a large hole in the bag. Fill the ramekins all the way to the rim. Clean any excess batter from the rim of the ramekin using your finger. Top with extra grated cheese, if desired.

Chef's Note: A piping bag is used for convenience - it makes for clean portioning. The large hole in the bag prevents the Souffle batter from being deflated. It is also possible to simply pour the batter into the ramekins.

8. Bake the Soufflés at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes. A well-baked Soufflé will be set on the edges but it will remain soft on the inside. Do not repeatedly check the Soufflés as they are baking as this will release much of the heat from the oven, and the Soufflés will collapse. Serve immediately. 

Unbaked Béchamel Based Cheese Soufflés

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