Cheese Souffle Recipe - Vegetarian main course
Cheese souffle is a tasty protein-rich dish, which can be served as a main course or as a starter, and is also suitable for vegetarians. Souffles are sometimes considered difficult to make, but this recipe is relatively simple and, as long as you follow the rules, is fairly failsafe!
- Four eggs
- 10 fluid oz (0.3 litre) milk
- 2 oz (60 g) butter
- 1.5 oz (100 g) flour
- 3 oz tasty hard cheese, eg mature cheddar, emmental or gruyere
- The first step is to make a thick bechamel sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan, remove from heat and stir in the flour. Add the milk a little at a time mixing thoroughly with each bit, to ensure there are no lumps of flour. Add salt and pepper, and return to the heat. Keep stirring until the mixture starts to thicken, then remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. Put this sauce to one side while you prepare the eggs.
- Cracking the eggs carefully so as not to break the yolk, separate the whites from the yolks. You can use an egg separating tool, or crack the egg and use the shell to contain the yolk while you pour off the white. Add the yolks to the cheese sauce mixture in the pan, and pour the whites into a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk the egg whites until they are fluffy and stiff, this can be done with a handheld egg whisk, but an electric whisk will make much lighter work of it. Perfectly beaten egg whites should stand in peaks when lifted with a spoon, and should not fall out of the bowl when you turn it upside down - it might not be advisable to put this to the test, though!
- Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the cheese sauce mixture with a large spoon, until it is evenly mixed. Pour the mixture into a buttered souffle dish, and bake at 180 degrees C for 35-40 minutes in the middle of the oven. If you don't have a dedicated souffle dish any deep sided oven-proof dish will do.
- Notes: The souffle will rise above the top of the dish while cooking, so make sure there is space above it in the oven. Also try not to open the oven while it is cooking to see how it's doing. Souffles do not like draughts or sudden changes of temperature, which will cause them to sink dramatically. It should be set firm and be lightly browned on top when cooked. You can test that it is cooked through by inserting a sharp knife or skewer, to see if it is clean when you pull it out, much like you would with a cake. However, you should be prepared to see it deflate if you do this. If the center is at all runny, put it back in the oven for a further 5-10 minutes.
The picture above shows cheese souffle served with fresh vegetables - minted baby new potatoes and buttered carrots, which is a delicious combination. It is equally good served with roast potatoes and green vegetables or with some fresh tomato and green leaf salad.
If serving as a starter it can be cooked in smaller individual dishes, reducing the cooking time to around 25 minutes.
This recipe was adapted from an earlier hub of mine - please click on the link below for more egg recipes, and for a larger version of this souffle!
More egg recipes
- Five recipe ideas for egg based dishes - ways to use...
Five easy recipes for cooking with eggs, all suitable for vegetarians, and a great way to get some good quality protein into your diet. Spanish omelette, cheese souffle, vegetable quiche, lemon meringue pie and egg custard.