Herb and Cheese Soufflé

Six-inch bottom soufflé mold
Parchment paper and a paper clip
2-quart saucepan
Wooden spoon, wire whisk, and silicone spatula


Preheat the oven to 400º. Butter the inside of your mold, and sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese onto the buttered interior.


Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon over medium-low heat, allowing the butter and flour to foam together for two minutes. Add the milk to the butter-flour mixture and whisk aggressively until blended.  Add the salt, white pepper, cayenne, and grated nutmeg and return to the heat. While whisking, bring to a boil for one minute to thicken. Remove from heat and let cool for five minutes. Whisk in egg yolks, one at a time. Add your herbs and stir. This is your soufflé base.


In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites with salt until stiff. Add about a quarter of the stiff egg whites to the base mixture and stir to combine and lighten. Add the grated Gruyère, keeping a bit back to sprinkle on top, and stir to combine. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites.


Transfer the batter to your prepared mold. Sprinkle to top with reserved cheese. If your mold is low, you can add height by adding a collar by tying a folded strip of parchment paper around the exterior of the mold and holding it in place with a paperclip. Place on the middle rack of the oven. Check to ensure that if there is a rack above, there is ample room for the soufflé to rise. Turn the oven heat down to 375º.

Bake until the soufflé has risen significantly and nicely browned. It should still jiggle when moved but not wet in the center, anywhere from 35 to 45 minutes.


What you’ll need for the mold:

  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese

What you’ll need for the soufflé:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • A pinch cayenne pepper
  • A pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 5 egg whites
  • ⅛ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 4 ounces grated Gruyère cheese

Cook's Notes

“Cookbooks are fairy tales for grown-ups,” a quote attributed to The Times (London) in the book I am currently reading. It is the biography of Julia Child, “An Appetite for Life,” written by Noël Riley Fitch. My reading has led to a little inspiration in our own kitchen. 

I have happy memories of learning to make cheese soufflé years ago from her book Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Julia describes her book as “a book for American home cooks that would present cuisine bourgeoise using the techniques of haute cuisine.” 

A cheese soufflé is a great example of this. With very simple ingredients, the technique brings it to life. I used to make soufflés much more often, and I am happy they are back in my cooking rotation. 

This makes a nice, cozy lunch (as Julia would say, a “perfect luncheon”): a herbed green salad and a cheese soufflé. I paired it with a bottle of our 2018 Napa Valley Chardonnay.

This is my recipe, adapted over many years from hers.

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