How to Make a Cheese Soufflé

Three Methods:Stage 1: Making the Sauce BaseStage 2: Mixing the SouffléStage 3: Baking & Serving the Soufflé

The soufflé is a classical dish of great flavor; however, they have attracted a reputation of being very difficult and fussy. This isn't so, in fact, once you've made one, you might wonder what all the fuss was about! Adding cheese to your favorite souffle recipe is a fantastic way to give extra flavor and interest to an already classic dish. The only rule of thumb is to serve and eat them fresh from the oven, the longer they sit, the less light and fluffy they are and if they go cold, may resemble more an omelette than a soufflé.


  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2 Tbs plain flour
  • 1 + 1/4 cups milk (312 mls)
  • 60g coarsely grated cheddar
  • 20g grated parmesan.
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • Melted butter, to grease
  • Dried breadcrumbs, about half a cup

Method 1
Stage 1: Making the Sauce Base

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    Melt the butter in saucepan and add the flour to make a roux. This is just like making an ordinary white sauce.
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    Add the milk in batches and stir or whisk well until smooth and thickened. Keep stirring to prevent burning. It is important to cook the flour taste out of the soufflé sauce, just like an ordinary white sauce as this ensure a lovely smooth soufflé at the table.
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    Take the sauce off the heat and add the cheese and beat well until melted. Once it has cooled to approximately blood temperature, add the egg yolks. The temperature is just warm enough that the sauce is still soft and smooth, but not hot enough to cook the egg yolks. Stir well to ensure the yolks are smoothly blended in.
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    Allow to cool. You may refrigerate this sauce overnight as well, which makes the process much easier when preparing soufflés for a special event. On the next day, allow it to come to room temperature and (as the sauce would have set), stir the sauce until smooth again.

Method 2
Stage 2: Mixing the Soufflé

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    Preheat your oven to 200C / 395F. Remove all top racks and have the rack at the lower part of the oven. Look at your soufflé dish and estimate its height twice over - the soufflé may rise this much so will need this much room in the oven. It is preferable to cook the soufflé without the oven fan on as the fan can make the soufflé rise unevenly, overcook one side or even push the semi-cooked light batter over the side of the dish. If you have an oven thermometer, use that to ensure your oven is heating to the right temperature. If you serve the soufflé and it is undercooked and very runny in the middle, simply scoop out the cooked portions and serve those. Just like cakes, soufflés unfortunately don't rise again if you put them back in the oven to cook a little more.
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    Liberally butter the inside and top rim of a soufflé dish. You want the top rim to be coated to prevent the souffle sticking and rising lopsided.
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    Coat the soufflé dish with breadcrumbs. Add the breadcrumbs to the dish and swirl to cover the base. Then tilt the dish and continue turning it to cover. Tip the dish slightly downwards to get the surplus out towards the sides.
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    Have your soufflé dish and base sauce ready at room temperature. Beat the sauce again to ensure it is as smooth or "soft" as possible as that will make incorporating the egg whites much easier and make a more successful soufflé.
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    Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl with a clean whisk until stiff peaks form. You can use electric beaters on a low setting and the whites should form stiff peaks when you lift the whisk or beater out. If it flops quickly or forms a ribbon trail, keep beating a little longer.
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    Using a large spoon, stir 1/4 to 1/3rd (precision is not essential) of the white into the sauce. Using the spoon or the whisk stir gently to incorporate the whites, be gentle, but the first batch of whites is slightly "sacrificial" so they won't need to retain their light fluffiness.
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    Scoop deep into the sauce bowl to ensure it all gets mixed. When well incorporated, fold in the remainder of the whites and fold through. Be more gentle on this batch.

Method 3
Stage 3: Baking & Serving the Soufflé

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    Transfer the batter into the soufflé dish. If desired,lightly run your finger around the outside edge of the batter without disturbing the crumbs. It's not essential, but can make a nice "top hat" style finish.
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    Place into the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes until well risen and golden. Only open the oven door when you are ready to serve to prevent them sinking. If you prepared them in individual ramekins, it is 8-10 minutes as a rule. Ideally the soufflé will have a tender, semi-molten centre and with practice you can refine your skills to recognise when the soufflé has reached this stage. If it is too runny, it is a sign your oven is not efficient at retaining heat, or it may have an inaccurate thermostat.
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    Before you serve them, gather the diners as these really will not wait. If the kitchen is not on the same floor as the dining room, it may be best to gather guests in the kitchen. Serve immediately with a crisp salad, bread or as is. A good trick is to serve the soufflé dish on a heated serving plate, or at minimum a cork or silicon mat to prevent them cooling (and sinking) quickly. Scoop each portion out onto the plate using a sharp knife and a spoon, or allow guests to eat directly from their own ramekin.


  • Stir well - be gentle, but don't be afraid of it not working.
  • Remember to make adequate room in the oven.

Things You'll Need

  • Saucepan & Whisk
  • Measuring Utensils,
  • A 1.2 to 1.5 liter (0.3 to 0.4 US gal) ramekin dish or, 4 x 350ml individual ramekins.
  • Cheese Grater
  • Metal Spoon
  • Large bowl for mixing

Article Info

Categories: Eggs and Dairy