This beautiful cheese soufflé will take your taste-buds all the way to France!
I was really wanting to surprise my mother on Mother’s Day with a fancy breakfast in bed, hence I searched for the perfect breakfast menu and discovered that egg is the one staple ingredient used in all breakfasts, so I had to somehow include it in my menu as well.
While searching for the perfect breakfast, I came across a recipe of cheese soufflé. The best part about this recipe was that there was no need to go and buy additional ingredients, since they were already stacked in my pantry. Moreover, my love for the French culture motivated me to try this recipe as well. And to my surprise, my mom’s favourite dish from the entire menu I had planned out was the cheese soufflé. Thus I decided this recipe was worth sharing.
Breakfast, as we all know, is the most important meal of the day. For egg lovers this can be a real treat. Forget about the traditional egg and toast combination, because egg and cheese soufflé is it’s bigger and better successor. This beautiful soufflé will take you to France, parce que c’est tres delicieux (because it is very delicious).
You know how saying ‘cheese’ in pictures makes you smile? Well, I believe cheese has that same affect in reality as well. So, if your life is as chaotic as mine, this soufflé au fromage can cheer you up for sure.
The required ingredients are pretty basic, so you really won’t have to go around searching for them; you will need, eggs, milk, cheese, butter, and white flour.
Butter – ¼ cup (plus additional for greasing)
Flour – 3 tbsp
Whole milk – 1 cup
Grated Cheese– 114 grams (plus additional for sprinkling in the bottom)
Egg whites – 5
Egg yolks – 4
Salt – to taste
Cream of tartar – ¼ tsp
I personally like to use cheese slices, since I like the strong flavour. You can use any cheese as per your preference, as long as it’s mozzarella, cheddar, processed, or parmesan cheese. If you are using slices, make sure you cut them into tiny pieces.
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
2. Pour milk into a pan and place it on the stove. Heat it till the milk comes to a boil.
3. Add butter to a pan and heat it till melts.
4. Add the flour, mix it well and heat it until it moves away from the sides of the pan. Remove the pan from heat.
5. Add the boiled milk to the pan. Whisk it nicely till no lumps are left. This mixture is going to be very thick.
6. Use two separate bowls for the eggs. Put the egg whites in one and egg yolks in the other. Make sure that the eggs are fresh and kept in room temperature.
7. Beat the egg whites till stiff peaks form. A quarter teaspoon of cream of tartar should be added if available, this helps the eggs retain their volume. If you don’t have it, add a bit of vinegar or lemon juice because all you need is acidity to act as a stabilising agent. A tip to check if it’s finely beaten; tilt the container of egg whites – if they don’t move you’ve got it right.
8. Add egg whites to the milk mixture. Fold softly and add cheese.
9. Be careful when you are on this step. Add the egg yolk mixture slowly into the egg white mixture. Point to note: Do NOT add the egg whites to the egg yolks mixture. Fold it softly but do not mix it too much, beaten egg whites are very delicate and even the slightest mistake can ruin them.
10. Your wonderful batter is ready. Put this batter in ramekins or any other container of your choice.
11. Don’t fill more than half of the ramekin, because the soufflé still has to rise.
12. Pop it in the preheated oven. Make sure you protect the batter from air, thus do not keep opening the oven to check on the soufflé. While it bakes, you can take a break or perhaps do other chores.
13. Check your oven after 20 to 30 minutes.
14. Serve the dish immediately, while it’s warm and fresh.
You can make the mixture and freeze it, if you don’t want to go through this process every weekend. But then you’d have to be willing to bid farewell to the brown crispy top. To play around with your soufflé, you can always add additional ingredients like mushrooms or spinach, to enhance the flavour or add colour.
All photos by Mahrukh Nadeem
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.