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Michel Roux's cheese soufflé

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Cheese Souffle
Cheese Souffle
  • Makes: 4

  • Cooking time:

  • Skill level: Master chef

  • Costs: Cheap as chips

Michel Roux is a French-born restaurateur working in Britain and is one of the most highly acclaimed chefs in the world. Michel has appeared in two television series and written several successful cookery books including 'Eggs' published in 2005.

Ingredients

  • 50g softened butter, to grease dishes
  • 50g Gruyère, grated, to coat dishes
  • 20g butter
  • 20g plain flour
  • 250ml milk
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 6 medium egg yolks
  • 10 medium egg whites
  • 240g Gruyère or Comté, finely grated,
  • Plus 8 or 4 thin dishes

This technique is similar for all hot soufflés - savoury or sweet.

Method

  1. Generously grease the insides of 8 standard 8cm ramekins (or four 10cm soufflé dishes) with the softened butter. Put about 50g grated Gruyère into one dish, rotate it to coat the inside, then tip the excess into another ramekin. Repeat to coat them all.
  2. To make the béchamel, melt the 20g butter in a pan. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk, to make a roux. Still stirring, add the cold milk and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Let bubble for a minute or two, then pour the béchamel into a bowl. Season lightly with salt, pepper, and cayenne, then whisk in the egg yolks. Cover the bowl with cling film and let cool slightly.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Immediately mix one-third of the egg whites into the warm soufflé mixture with a whisk, then, using a large spoon, fold in the rest with one hand while showering in the grated Gruyère with the other. Stop as soon as the mixture is amalgamated.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the ramekins to come 5mm above the rim. Smooth the surface with a palette knife, then use a knife tip to ease the mixture away from the side of each ramekins to help it rise.
  5. Stand the ramekins in a deep ovenproof dish lined with a sheet of greaseproof paper and pour in enough almost-boiling water to come halfway up the sides. Bake the soufflés for 4 minutes (or 6 minutes for the 10cm dishes). Put the cooked soufflés on individual plates and serve at once - they won't wait!
Recipe and photography taken from Michel Roux's Eggs published by Quadrille.

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