Forget everything that you have heard about souffles being difficult to make. This recipe will change that misconception forever. Sure, some souffles can be a little tricky, especially dessert versions, like chocolate souffle that is meant to be a little runny in the centre. But this one is a different beast entirely.

I'm not sure where the idea originated that these delightful light meals were tricky to prepare, but as long as you use fresh, quality ingredients and follow the method carefully there is really nothing to it. And that is just for regular souffles. This one is even simpler as it is twice cooked. What that means is you can prepare your souffles a day or so in advance and simply reheat them for a few minutes when you are ready to serve. They can also be cooked in any type of ramekin or cup as they are removed from the mould before serving.

I tend to use goat's cheese when making this souffle, but any highly flavoured cooking cheese could easily take its place. Try cheddar, gruyere, raclette, tilsit, parmesan or pecorino.

As long as you remember that souffle is simply a white sauce that has had beaten egg whites folded through it, you can't help but succeed. Don't be intimidated, anyone can make souffle.



Separate the eggs, keeping the yolks and whites separate (you would be surprised, I have seen a young chef mix them back together). Melt the butter in a heavy based saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. This is known in kitchen speak as a roux. Cooking it for a few minutes serves to drive off the raw flour taste.

Using a whisk, beat in the milk whilst pouring in a steady stream. Don't add all the milk at once as this will form lumps. Whisk constantly until all the milk has been added. Still over medium heat, stir the sauce for 5 more minutes. Add the cheese, stir until it melts and remove from the heat. Add the egg yolks and using the whisk again, immediately beat them into the sauce, mixing very well. Season with the salt and pepper and set aside.

Beat the egg whites until they have gone white and foamy and the leave soft little peaks when you lift the whisk out. This is known, funnily enough, as the soft peak stage. Using a kitchen spatula, mix 1/3 of the egg whites into the cheese sauce and stir well to combine. Now add the remaining egg whites and stir thoroughly, but a little more gently this time. The egg whites give the souffle its rise and you don't want to pop all the air you have beaten into the albumen structure. Adding the whites in two stages like this is a good general tip. When you mix a little egg white in first, it lightens the more dense mixture a little, allowing the rest of the whites to be added more gently and with little damage to the foam structure.

Preheat your oven to 180 °C (360 °F). Grease 6 150 ml (1/4 pint) ramekins or any heatproof vessel, such as cups, with a little butter. Ladle the mixture into the cups. Choose a high sided baking tray and place a tea towel in the bottom. Place the souffles on top and pour hot water around to come halfway up the side of the ramekins. This is known as a water bath or bain marie. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until they are puffed and golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Run a knife around the ramekins and gently ease out the souffles.

At this stage, they can be covered well and refrigerated for a day or two. When ready to serve, simply place them on a lightly greased tray and pop them into a pre heated 180 °C oven for 5 or 6 minutes. They will puff up again and be ready to serve.

At the restaurant, we serve these little delights with some roasted red capsicum and grilled artichoke, but the would be just as happy with a simple green salad. Serve with a herbaceous dry white wine. Sauvignon blanc would be perfect.

Perfect goat’s cheese soufflé for dummies

Enough for 4 x 150ml moulds or 8 tiny ones. The souffles are not served in their moulds, so it is possible to use teacups or eggcups or aluminium moulds of whatever capacity you prefer.


40g butter

2 tbsp plain flour

175 - 200g warm milk

40g fresh, soft goat's cheese

1 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley or other herbs

3  eggs, seperated



1 cup cream



Preheat oven to 180C / 350F.

Melt the butter. Dip a pastry brush in the melted butter and brush the inside of the chosen moulds. Reheat the rest of butter and tip in the flour. Cook this mixture over a moderate heat, while stirring, for 2 minutes. Gradually add the milk, stirring all the while. Bring the souffle mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat to lowest setting and simmer for 2-3 minutes.  In the mean time, whip the egg whites with a small pinch of salt.

Add the softened goat's cheese, parmesan and herbs to the milk mixture. Allow to cool for a few minutes, otherwise the egg yolks will curdle.  While waiting for the mixture to cool, gently whisk the egg yolks, then fold them into the souffle mixture thoroughly, now gently fold in the stiff egg whites and taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Divide the souffle mixture between the moulds and bake in a bain-marie (i.e. in a water bath in a baking dish coming up to approximately 1/3 of the height of the moulds) in the pre-heated oven for about 12-15 minutes if very small moulds are used, or 20-25 minutes if larger.

The souffles should be firm to the touch and well-puffed. Remove from oven and from water bath. The souffles will deflate, so don't worry.· Ease the souffles from the moulds and invert on to a greased hors-d'oevres dish, well spaced.

Pour the cream over to moisten the souffles thoroughly and when you are ready to serve them return to the oven for about the same time they took to cook originally (it may take a few minutes less - check during cooking). When ready, they will look swollen and golden, and not at all crusty.·

Serve with their own cream, or with a parsley and garlic sauce. I have also served them with a confit of tomatoes. Blue cheese can be substituted for goat's cheese, or a well-reduced puree of (wild) mushrooms.  If musrooms are used (in which case serve with a dribbling of sauce chasseur with some melba toast), be very certain the puree is well reduced, otherwise the batter will be too watery, and additional flour and egg yolk may be required.

Three secrets to a perfect soufflé:

1.                   Egg whites must be beaten with a small pinch of salt, and must be stiff enough to form a soft peak, which will gently fall over, and must never be too dry.

2.                   Always fold in the egg whites, DO NOT STIR into the batter.

3.                   The soufflé batter must be like whipped cream, but still capable of gently dripping off a spoon.

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