Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Swiss Cheese Soufflé

If you think that soufflés are too complicated to make, please don’t close this page yet. Read further! I mean it.
I am a big fan of soufflés and it is indeed part of our French cuisine. We used to serve it as an appetizer (and I know that some families still do). However, in my family, we eat it as an entrée with a green salad on the side. Soufflés come for all tastes: the salty lovers and the sugar lovers. The most common ones in France are the Swiss cheese soufflés and the chocolate soufflés. So far, I have only made salty soufflés. Not that I don’t like sweet soufflés but I have had such a memorable experience of eating a Peach soufflé at Café Jacqueline in San Francisco that I’m just afraid of baking sweet ones. That said, my friend D. makes a great chocolate soufflé and I am still hoping to get his recipe to make some one day (chocolate and peaches don’t compete in the same category!)
Café Jacqueline in San Francisco is run by French owner Jacqueline M., and she and her helpers are mostly only baking soufflés. Going through the tiny kitchen, you could see thousands of eggs in a HUGE bowl. Except in an egg farm in the French Alps, I don’t think that I have ever seen so many eggs at once! Before I close this trip back to memory lane, I would obviously encourage those of you who live in San Francisco or in the area to go and eat one of these soufflés before Jacqueline retires!...
Back to my soufflés….I have started serving them to my children after I introduced eggs in their diet (after their first birthday). It’s a success every time I make some: they like it, they ask for more and if I could reheat it (you can’t) and put it in my daughter’s lunch box the next day, she would be thrilled!
I have worked with many recipes but I can’t get to making a soufflé for four people with 6 eggs, cheese, milk, and butter. That’s too many calories at once (and too much cholesterol for me who come from a family with a lot of bad cholesterol).
My recipe only calls for 3 eggs and it has been working for us so far. The key thing with any soufflé is that you have to serve it the minute you get it out of the oven. As we say in France “don’t plan on serving a soufflé if you have guests over… because you never know if they are going to be on time or not”.... (or, in my case, if takes you 10 minutes to get a correct picture!) That’s the only difficulty. Trust me. So, please, give it a try! Bon Appétit!

-         2 oz (50 gr) butter + some to butter the dish
-         1/2 CUP (50 gr) all-purpose flour
-         1 cup (250 ml) of milk
-         Salt, black pepper to taste
-         Ground Nutmeg (optional)
-         3 eggs
-         1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F
  • In a pot over medium-heat, melt the butter. Once bubbling, add the flour and stir.
  • Add the milk and stir until the sauce thickens. Add salt, pepper (and nutmeg) to taste.
  • Out of the stove, add the 3 yolks to the sauce and stir.
  • Add the Swiss cheese and stir until the cheese is melted.
  • With a beater, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt, until they are firm.
  • Slowly stir them in the soufflé batter.
  • Butter the soufflé dish and pour the batter in.
  • Take a knife and circle it around the batter inside the dish. That will help the soufflé rise.
  • Bake in the oven for 40 minutes without opening the door!
My personal Comments
  • Cooking time will depend on your oven.
  • If you cook individual soufflés, they'll cook faster.


  1. I like soufflés... when other people make them ;-) !

  2. Oh, how we love cheese! I can't wait to try this. Thank you for the fun Saturday project.

  3. Ooh, I did always think souffles were too complicated, but now I'm inspired to try one. I just need a dish to bake it in!