CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to France Magazines today CLICK HERE

Recipe: cheese soufflé

PUBLISHED: 09:20 13 July 2015 | UPDATED: 16:41 01 September 2015

Cheese souffle © Snap and Stir

Cheese souffle © Snap and Stir

Archant

Whip up this twice-baked cheese soufflé for a perfect summertime lunch

Recipe by Louise Pickford

Unlike its once-baked cousin, the best thing about soufflé au fromage cuit deux fois (twice-baked) is that you don’t need to worry about it sinking. This makes the light, cloud-like dish a breeze for dinner parties, as the first cooking can be done a day ahead, and the soufflés can then be finished off just before serving, as they bounce right back up on the second cooking.

The word ‘soufflé’ comes from the French verb ‘souffler’, which means ‘to blow’ or ‘to puff up’, and although this particular soufflé is left to cool, it is made in exactly the same way as if was to be served straight from the oven. It begins with a roux sauce where butter and flour, and then milk are cooked together until thickened. The egg yolks, blue cheese and Parmesan are then stirred in, and finally, whisked egg whites are added in order to lighten the mixture.

You can use any type of cheese to flavour the soufflé, and this varies seasonally as well as regionally in France. I have opted for a combination of blue cheese and grated Parmesan, as I find this gives the finished soufflé a lovely rich but not overtly blue cheese flavour. I also prefer to use a less robust blue cheese such as Saint Agur. However, if you are a true blue cheese aficionado, then by all means substitute with Roquefort; I’ll leave it up to you.

Often, a twice-baked soufflé is served covered with cream and extra cheese, especially in the winter months when we hanker for comfort food. I prefer it as it is here, a lighter, more summery dish served with a salad of mixed leaves, toasted walnuts and a slightly sweetened mustard and cider vinegar dressing. This balances the richness of the soufflé perfectly. It is ideal as a starter course, or it could just as easily be served as a light lunch with some delicious crusty bread.

Despite the ease of this recipe and there being nothing to worry about in the sunken soufflé department, I’d still recommend a couple of tips when cooking this and other soufflés. Make sure you grease the insides of the ramekins well (and in this case, dust evenly with Parmesan too). Once the mixture is in the ramekins, run a knife around the edge before the soufflés go in the oven, as this will ensure they rise evenly. Finally, don’t be tempted to open the oven before the designated time, for a lighter end result.

RECIPE serves 6

INGREDIENTS

• 60g butter, plus extra for greasing

• 75g plain flour

• ½ tsp Dijon mustard

• salt and pepper

• 500ml milk

• 4 large eggs, separated

• 125g Saint Agur or Bleu d’Auvergne blue cheese, crumbled

• 60g freshly grated Parmesan cheese

• 50g mixed salad leaves

• 50g walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

Dressing

• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

• 2 tsp cider vinegar

• 1 tsp Dijon mustard

• 1 tsp sugar

• salt and pepper

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Lightly grease six 200ml ramekins; dust inside with 2 tbsp of the grated Parmesan and transfer to a deep baking tin.

2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, then add the flour, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir well until the mixture comes together – this will almost be immediate – and beat over a low heat for one minute.

3. Gradually pour in the milk, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to the boil. Simmer very gently for two minutes, stirring until thickened. Cool for five minutes, then beat in the egg yolks one at a time. Stir in the blue cheese and half the remaining Parmesan, and transfer to a large bowl.

4. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold a spoonful into the cheese mixture to loosen slightly, and then fold in the remaining whites until evenly combined. Spoon into the prepared ramekins in the baking tin, and run a knife around the edges.

5. Pour boiling water into the baking tin to come half way up the sides of the ramekins. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes until risen and golden brown. Remove the soufflés from the baking tin and leave to cool.

6. Run a small palette knife around the edges of the ramekins and invert the soufflés into a greased baking dish. Scatter over the remaining Parmesan and bake for 15 minutes until golden. Meanwhile, whisk the dressing ingredients together. Arrange the soufflés, salad leaves and walnuts on serving plates and drizzle over the dressing. Serve at once.

More recipes: cherry clafoutis, French lamb stew, oeufs en cocotte à la crème

Article by Living France Living France

More from Language and Culture

Thursday, November 15, 2018

France has historically been on the leading edge of eco-friendly projects and regulations. While many argue that much more needs to be done to meet environmental goals in France and globally, here are 11 ways that French government, companies and people are striving to be green.

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

What’s in a name? A lot, it turns out. Find out the fascinating stories behind the names of these places in France featuring dragons, gods and Sardinian kings.

Read more
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Michel and Alain Roux have unveiled the menu at their new French-inspired riverside brasserie, Roux at Skindles

Read more
Friday, September 21, 2018

As a floating restaurant opens in Paris, we take a look at some of the city’s alternative dining experiences, involving famous rail carriages, secret doorways and eating in total darkness.

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Kate Mosse was a guest speaker at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in October 2018 and spoke about finding inspiration for her latest book – and beginning of a new series of novels set in France – The Burning Chambers.

Read more
Culture and attractions
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Agnès Poirier’s latest book explores the history of Paris 1940–1950 and the influential people that lived through the time. The French writer spoke about her book this year at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.

Read more
Friday, November 30, 2018

Gather the family and see how many of these animals you can name in French

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Want to take your French language skills further? These tips will have you chatting and joking away with the locals in no time!

Read more
Learning French
Thursday, December 6, 2018

When it’s cold outside, indulge your love of French food and drink at one of these stylish pop-ups and events closer to home

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Pigs, processions and high prices - why truffle season is a serious business in France

Read more
Subscribe for

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

France Forum

Questions about France? Visit our free France forum to get help and advice from thousands of other Francophiles and expats. Topics include: property, tax, law, travelling, pets, education, healthcare and much more.

Join the forum

Most Read

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now