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  • Writer's pictureLucie Ellis

23. Cheese Soufflé

Lush lush lushness. Bit obsessed actually.

For 2:

40g butter plus extra for greasing

35g plain flour

240ml milk

1 onion, chopped

2 bay leaves

1 clove

Little pinch of chilli flakes

40g Parmesan, finely grated

20g gruyere or emmental, grated

4 egg whites

3 egg yolks


Put the milk, onion, bay, clove and chilli in a pan, bring just to the boil then turn off the heat and leave to infuse while you get on with the rest.

Heat the oven to 180 and place a baking tray on the centre rack. Grease a 15cm soufflé dish thickly with butter then sprinkle some of the fine Parmesan around the dish so it sticks to the butter, and tip back any excess. Put the dish in the fridge to chill.

Melt the butter in a saucepan then stir in the flour and cook gently for about 4 minutes to make a roux. Strain the milk pressing on the onion mush to squeeze out as much flavour as you can then discard the pulp. Slowly add the flavoured milk to the roux stirring all the time to break down any lumps until all the milk is used and the sauce is smooth, then cook slowly for 8-10 minutes to thicken.

Remove from the heat, beat in the cheeses until they have melted, then the yolks, season generously to taste, and leave to cool down.

Whisk the whites to stiff peaks then fold gently through the cheese mix in 2 batches, being extra gentle with the second batch, until only just combined.

Quickly tip into the chilled prepared soufflé dish, then run your thumb around the rim of the dish to clear the mix away from the very edges, pop in the hot oven and DON’T OPEN THE DOOR for exactly 25 minutes (set a timer 🤪). If it still looks very wobbly leave another 3 minutes but a slight wobble is ok. Serve straight away.

We had this with more of@padstowkitchengarden amazing leaves, dressed with a garlicky vinaigrette: finely grate half a clove of garlic into a dish, sprinkle with salt, the juice of half a lemon, and a teaspoon of vinegar, and leave for 10 minutes. Then give it a whisk and slowly drizzle on about 50ml olive oil, whisking to emulsify. Toss the leaves with a little dressing and salt at the last possible minute. The garlicky sharpness is gorgeous with the rich cheesy soufflé.

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