HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


I want to make a cheese souffle!

I've never made a souffle. Bought a souffle dish a few years ago but still never made a souffle. We live most of the year at 6500' elevation and I wasn't about to lose my souffle virginity with altitude being a factor (not the kind of Mile High Club I'd be interested in!) So now I'm at about 1000' elevation and I'm ready. I've found a lot of souffle recipes here but most don't seem to be from 'hounds themselves. Does anyone have one that they really like? I have ZERO interest in dessert souffles and also want to do one large one, not individual ones. Any special tips would be appreciated also. I've waited a very long time to do this and only since immersing myself (way too much) in CH do I think I might be ready. Hey, I can make pasta dough now which I couldn't until recently. Any help will be SO appreciated. Thanks all.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Here's mine (made many times with success!):

    3 egg yolks
    4 egg whites
    2T softened butter
    2T grated parm
    1/2 cup gruyere (I've used other cheeses too)

    3T unsalted butter
    3T flour
    1C milk warmed
    1/2t salt
    1/2t ground white pepper (black would work too)
    dash nutmeg
    dash cayenne

    Oven at 350

    - Butter a 4c souffle dish and sprinkle the parm to cover the sides.
    - Make bechamel (melt butter and after foaming ends, add flour and whisk until cooked (~2min). Slowly add milk while whisking and simmer until thickened. Season with S&P, nutmeg, and cayenne.)
    - Add eggs one at a time to the bechamel, stirring after each.
    - Stir in grated cheese
    - Beat egg whites until stiff and glosssy
    - Gently fold in egg whites into the bechamel base in 4 batches
    - Fill dish
    - Make collar with parchment paper or foil (be sure to butter and sprinkle with parm)
    - Cook about 30 min - until a skewer comes out clean
    - Remove collar and serve (I like a cheese sauce to complement)

    - Fold in the eggs by drawing down the spatula from 12 to 6 (clock) and fold over. Turn bowl 1/4 turn and repeat. Do this 4 times. Key is to fully incorporate the eggs without breaking the foam.
    - Keep oven closed for at least 25 minutes

    2 Replies
    1. re: alwayscooking

      Stupid question? Will the butter allow the collar to adhere to the dish? Can any part of this be prepared in advance? Or should I begin it and just keep going til it's in the oven? See, this all seems really scary to me :) With a cheese sauce,do you let each guest serve the souffle and add sauce? Do you serve immediately upon removing from oven? Shall I expect it to collapse a bit? Sorry to be such a pest. Thanks tons.

      1. re: c oliver

        Never a pest!

        Attach the collar to the dish by tying a string around it at the top of the dish (most souffle dishes have a small edge toward the top to facilitate this). The collar gets attached to the outside of the dish.

        I've only served it as a first course and went from make to serve. If it were to be held, I'd prepare the entire dish ahead and cook it when it should be served.

        I've had great luck with this recipe not collapsing. If it does, it usually leans to one side but still tastes great. As an aside, the whites are whipped in a copper bowl. I'm not sure if this helps with the overall resistance of the whites to collapse.

        When served, take two spoons and insert them both at the top of the souffle and pull apart. Either serve each person from the center with sauce at the side or pour in the sauce and then serve.

        If you can't find the answers in the other thread below, I'm happy to help. Good luck and good eating!

    2. i've had this recipe bookmarked forever, but haven't gotten around to making it yet. meets your criteria - savory, large size - and sounds *amazing.*


      2 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        This was one that I had read and it DOES sound great. Why don't YOU fix it and report back?!? :)

        1. re: c oliver

          because i have to get a souffle dish first! :)


      2. Since you've got the souffle pan and want to use it, this may not appeal, but I make a great skillet souffle. You start it on the stove top in a non-stick pan and then finish in the oven. I've made it with goat cheese and blue many, many times and it is always wonderful. I'd be happy to post the recipe if it appeals, but will understand if the lure of your souffle pan is too high.

        2 Replies
        1. re: LulusMom

          Hey, the more the merrier. If it's not a lot of trouble,I'd love it.

          1. re: c oliver

            Trying to post this for the second time ...

            Here is the recipe for the skillet souffle. I play with it - sometimes use blue cheese, sometimes goat (probably other kinds would be fine too). I also often use thyme instead of the basil.

            8 large eggs, separated
            1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
            1/4 tsp. salt
            4 ounces fresh goat or blue cheese (about 1/2 cup)
            2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or thyme)
            2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
            fresh ground pepper
            2 tablespoons butter

            Preheat oven to 375.
            In a large bowl beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until stiff by not dry (depends on humidity how long this will take, but I'd say about 15 minutes is my usual). In a different bowl beat the egg yolks for about 2 minutes - until thick. Stir in the cheese, herbs and pepper. Fold in the egg whites in two batches stirring until just combined.

            Melt butter in a 10-ince ovenproof skillet. Add the egg mixture and cook for about 3 minutes. Transfer skillet to the oven and bake for 18 minutes. Souffle should be puffed and golden.

        2. Some tips from an older thread on another savory souffle. I am happy to mail the spreadsheet to you if you like.


          Basic foundational truth: souffles are a breeze when you master mise en place. They can be prepared ahead, for a pittance, and the only trick is to make sure it can be served when it's done cooking.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Karl S

            I was hoping you'd weigh in! Yes, I'd like the spreadsheet (catholiver@aol.com). Couldn't figure the spreadsheet aspect til I read the other post. Thanks, Karl.

            1. re: Karl S

              Karl - Anyway you could send me your conversion chart? I have a souffle recipe for 2 - but want to make it for 6-8 people. This would be an incredible help. Thanks so much.

              1. re: JTLES

                pls provide an address (if you wish, you can add spaces and spell out AT to discourage the spambots....)

            2. I like the Joy of Cooking souffle recipes. They must be served immediately! And parts of it can be made in advance. I know you don't want to make a dessert souffle, but the two I have tried can be made completely and refrigerated up to a couple of hours before baking.

              1. I recently made one for the first time, and it was surprisingly simple! I used Julia's recipe and have NO complaints whatsoever -- and I might add that a teenager who has never liked eggs before is now asking for this at least once a week, lol. :)


                1. I usually make Jacques Pepin's recipe. It's very, very easy to do but because it doesn't require egg white whipping, it's more dense that typical souffles. I thinks it's great.


                  Another recipe I use is the Cheddar Souffle in Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. If you don't have the book I could post the recipe tomorrow. I think it's delicious, too.

                  I think next time I'll try Julia's recipe that Chocolatechipkt posted. Anxious to hear what you do. It will be SO good!

                  1. Hey C, I've had luck with this one.

                    1 T. butter
                    2 T. grated Parmesan
                    7 inch souffle dish
                    cling wrap

                    3 T. clarified butter
                    3 T. A. P. Flour
                    ½ C. heavy cream
                    ¼ C. chicken stock
                    ¼ C. white wine
                    4 egg yolks
                    1 1/2 C. grated swiss cheese

                    7 egg whites

                    Preheat the oven to 350° F.

                    Butter the bottom and sides of the souffle dish, add the grated Parmesan, cover with cling wrap and shake, tap the bottom and sides as needed while rolling the dish to insure all the butter is covered with cheese, place in the refrigerator.

                    Combine cream, stock and wine.
                    Melt clarified butter over low heat, stir in flour and cook for 3 – 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

                    Slowly stir liquid into the roux. Increase heat to medium, when sauce begins to bubble around the sides of the pan remove it from the heat.

                    Remove souffle dish from the refrigerator.

                    Beat egg yolks until light in color, temper the yolks by whisking 3 T. of sauce into them (1 at a time), before mixing into sauce. Blend the cheese into the sauce, season to taste with kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper and paprika, set aside.

                    Beat egg whites in an unlined copper bowl until they form soft peaks. Lacking a copper bowl, add 1/8 t. cream of tartar to the egg whites before beating.

                    Mix ¼ of the egg whites into the sauce to lighten it, add the sauce to the egg whites and fold 4 or 5 time to combine, no more or you'll break the egg foam.

                    Pour mixture into prepared souffle dish, do not tap or jar the dish, place in oven and cook for 25 minutes.

                    Remove from oven and serve at once.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Demented

                      From C to D: Thanks. Looking forward to souffle night :)

                    2. Well, it's been a couple of weeks but tomorrow's the big night --- unless I chicken out! I've only invited one person to join us, just in case; she's 85 yo and sooo sweet. Since I first posted this, the weather has gone from snow to 90 degrees so I've niced the idea of soup and will do a salad instead. I also saw a wow factor app of a large shrimp/prawn, tail on, wrapped in an eggroll wrapper and then dip fried and served with a Chinese chili sauce. Thinking I may start with that. So keep your fingers crossed and thanks for the recipes and help. Oh yeah, I have a half a small, black, Oregon truffle that I'm planning on shaving on it. Ooh la la :)

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: c oliver

                        Oooh, you might want to not make a souffle if the weather is 90. Heat and humidity can make it more difficult. Just a thought.

                      2. The only cheese souffle is the JC from the Mastering the Art of French Cooking. You can do it! and it is a delight to see at the table! here is the gist of what I do: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
                        Let us know how it goes.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: cassoulady

                          So you don't put a collar on the dish?

                        2. I do, the recipe there didnt mention it I dont think. I use parchment and staple it.
                          JC mentions using pins- which i never have.

                          I have done mini dessert souffles tho without a collar with no problems.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: cassoulady

                            I assume that the purpose of the collar is to prevent the souffle from puffing sideways after it reaches the top of the souffle dish. But why don't cooks just put less uncooked souffle mixture in the dish to begin with so that it won't mushroom out at the top? Or why don't the manufacturers of souffle dishes just make the sides taller, thereby obviating the problem? Am I misunderstanding?

                            1. re: gfr1111

                              The collar provides a framework for the souffle to crawl up when it's cooking. That's why the pan and collar are greased and then dusted with grated parm - the ladder for the mixture. Otherwise, the mixture would just flow over the sides if properly filled.

                              As for why there aren't just larger pots - perhaps because a well made souffle that has been uncollared looks elegant standing tall and straight arising from the dish. And when it has been opened at the table, the collapse upon itself is better displayed - an ahh moment.

                              1. re: alwayscooking

                                Ahh. I'm nervous but excited. Very virgin reaction.

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  It's all in the mystique - in fact it is very straightforward. The recipe I posted was from cooking school (I'm not sure how it differs from the others posted here ) and has served me well.

                                  Happy eating!

                          2. Hey C Oliver!

                            As you can see from my avatar, I love me a big souffle..... I use Alton Brown's recipe (which is virtually identical to Julia's from MtAoFC except with some cream of tartar).


                            Also, I've taken a souffle class, and the seafood one we made was out of this world. If you'd like, I can scrounge up the recipe and paraphrase it here.

                            Souffle is cheap and easy. And don't be afraid, and you'll be fine!

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: eLizard

                              Well, hey, e. Long time. Hadn't noticed your avatar before :) I'll start with the cheese and see how it goes. If I don't develop an ulcer or hives, then maybe the seafood. A souffle class? And I thought you were just a dough whisperer.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                I am a woman of many talents. Actually, I'm a woman who lovers her KitchenAid mixer.

                              2. re: eLizard

                                If c oliver doesn't want the seafood souffle recipe, I sure do! Please?

                                1. re: LulusMom

                                  I second the request! I'd love the recipe when you get a chance. :)

                                  1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                    ok! I'll post for it tonight when I get home from work. the chocolate one we did was pretty good, too.

                              3. Am rereading everything here and have (at least) one more question. I don't have a copper bowl for beating the egg whites and one suggestion was to add some cream of tartar. How much? TIA.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: c oliver

                                  1/8t cream of tarter in the egg whites

                                  1. re: alwayscooking

                                    Thanks. Planning on going on Valium later :)

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      If it's any consolation....a collapsed souffle is absolutely delicious. and a cooked souffle waits for no one. They deflate quickly.

                                      1. re: eLizard

                                        I'm totally prepared for any outcome and have warned our guest :) She's so excited I'm doing it. At 85 it doesn't take much.

                                2. For a first souffle I strongly recommend Julia Child's "Noncollapsible Cheese Souffle" from The French Chef Cookbook. It's a bit stiffer and a bit less tempermental than a usual souffle, so it's a good way to get the process down.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: jmckee

                                    Do you have a link for that? I can search also. T\hanks.

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      Oops, just realized I DO have that cookbook. Thanks.

                                  2. My mise en place is done. (I was doing that before I knew there was a name for it.) Doing a simple app, salad and store bought cookies. Oh, yeah, Karl S, thanks for the suggestion of sparkling wine with it. Makes sense but I wouldn't have thought of it.

                                    Temp is done in the 70s today and humidity is never much of a factor here. And we'll have martinis prior to so it will be good regardless :) Thanks for all the hand-holding, ladies and gentlemen. You wouldn't think an old broad like me would get her knickers in such a knot! I'll report back. BFN, C

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      Can't wait to hear the report! i'm sure it was wonderful.

                                    2. Ok, here's the seafood souffle we made in class......

                                      5T unsalted butter
                                      2T bread crumbs
                                      8oz fresh crab meat (the recipe notes say you can use Maryland, Dungeness, or king crab as well as shrimp and lobster)
                                      41/2T ap flour
                                      1/2C hot fish fumet (we used 2 chicken lobsters per souffle in class. we boiled the lobster and used the lobster water. better than bullion fish stock was also said to be good to use)
                                      1C light cream scalded (you can use milk, too. I think we did....)
                                      4 large egg yolks
                                      5 large egg whites
                                      1T sherry (optional) (believe it or not, we used a splash of white wine or vermouth)
                                      salt and pepper

                                      Rub a 6C souffle mold with a T of butter and coat its sides and bottom with bread crumbs. Melt another T of the butter in a skillet over low heat, then add the crabmeat and heat it through. (We skipped this step, as we had hot lobster straight from the pot.)

                                      Preheat oven to 325

                                      In a medium saucepan melt the remaining 4T of butter, then add the flour and cook, stirring over medium heat until golden (about 4 minutes). Off the heat, whisk in the fish stock, then the light cream, and cook until thickened over medium-high heat and the mixture comes to a complete boil. Off the heat, add the egg yolks one by one, whisking well after each addition. Add the sherry and crabmeat (or other seafood) and season with salt and pepper.

                                      Beat the egg whites until they can carry the weight of a raw egg in its shell without its sinking more that 1/4 inch into the whites (we beat until stiff peaks formed -- but I just love that instruction). Mix one quarter of the whites into the base, fold in the remainder, and turn the batter into the pre-heated souffle mold. Bake about 40 minutes or until a skewer in the middle comes out clean.

                                      You can also add a handful of cheese if that's your thing. It most definitely is not mine when seafood is involved. But there was a group that did. People seemed to love it.

                                      This souffle was the hit of the class. Better than the cheese and the chocolate.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: eLizard

                                        Thanks so much. It sounds incredible.

                                      2. Now would someone please tell me what I thought this was going to be hard!!! LOL. Sooooo easy. My mise en place was in place :) so between 420 and 455 I made the souffle and the appetizer. I discovered that the whisk attachment to my KA doesn't quite to the bottom of the bowl so I had a tiny amount of quite that was un-done. I decided not to fret (who me???) I was a little unsure of getting the whites totally into the yolk mixture without overdoing it, so maybe they weren't AS incorporated as would have been perfect. The only thing I REALLY did wrong was not realizing that my dish was a six cupper not a four so I had NO rise above the edge of the dish and that effected the wow factor and probably also what would have been exposed. But the flavor and texture were to die for. I want to make another one right away. There was even some left that I'm going to eat cold later. Karl S, I took your suggestion and put it in the oven as we were starting our appetizer course. That was perfect timing. Also the champagne. Not only was that the right flavor but I collect champagne glasses so anytime that's served, it ups the glam :)

                                        Just got a call from our friend --- 85 years old --- and now SHE wants to make a cheese souffle. Isn't that great? She may be giving Caroline1 a run for her money :)

                                        Everybody thanks for you help as usual.

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          Have to say it . . .

                                          told you it was easy

                                          Congrats and happy eating!

                                          1. re: alwayscooking

                                            BTW, although I used tips from a number of people, I used YOUR recipe. Anytime someone says they've used a particular one alot, that carries weight with me. Plus you have a lot of kitchen cred with me anyway :)

                                            1. re: c oliver


                                              Thank you!
                                              And I'll only post a recipe that I've used.

                                          2. re: c oliver

                                            Yay! I'm glad it was a success (and easy)!

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              yippee! so happy it was a success...and a breeze :)

                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                so glad it worked out for you!!!

                                              2. 1/3 cup sugar plus additional for sprinkling
                                                5 oz bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
                                                3 large egg yolks at room temperature
                                                6 large egg whites

                                                Accompaniment: lightly sweetened whipped cream
                                                Special equipment: a 5 1/2- to 6-cup glass or ceramic soufflé dish

                                                Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter soufflé dish and sprinkle with sugar, knocking out excess.

                                                Melt chocolate in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove bowl from heat and stir in yolks (mixture will stiffen).

                                                Beat whites with a pinch of salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until they just hold soft peaks. Add 1/3 cup sugar, a little at a time, continuing to beat at medium speed, then beat at high speed until whites just hold stiff peaks. Stir about 1 cup whites into chocolate mixture to lighten, then add mixture to remaining whites, folding gently but thoroughly.

                                                Spoon into soufflé dish and run the end of your thumb around inside edge of soufflé dish (this will help soufflé rise evenly). Bake in middle of oven until puffed and crusted on top but still jiggly in center, 24 to 26 minutes. Serve immediately.

                                                • Soufflé can be assembled up to 30 minutes before baking. Keep, covered with an inverted large bowl (do not let bowl touch soufflé), at room temperature.

                                                Makes 2 to 4 servings.

                                                1. I'm an old hand at souffle, but I am specifically interested in trying to recreate the specific technique of the cheese souffle that is served with a cayenne-infused cheese sauce on the side. The presentation is comprised of a fairly plain souffle, and upon plunging (thank you, Julia, for the verbs) the fork and spoon into the souffle, the sauce is poured into the center. I think it's the most delicious way to make/present/eat.

                                                  My instincts tell me I can just make a simple souffle and do a light cheese-cayenne infused bechamel. Thoughts? Truc? Caution? Experience?

                                                  1. Amateur question! I have never made a cheese souffle but would like to try it. However, I have also never eaten a cheese souffle, so I have no idea what one's supposed to taste like. What kind of texture is the goal here? (I've had dessert souffles but am guessing that's a totally different ballpark?) Is it fluffy like an overwhipped omelet? More like a light quiche?