Making a soufflé is far easier than you would think, and it transforms simple breakfast ingredients—eggs and cheese—into an ethereal treat. Serve the soufflé right after baking to show off its dramatic height, but don’t worry if it starts to fall a bit—it will still taste delicious. Shredded sharp cheddar or crumbled fresh goat cheese is a fine substitute for the Gruyère.
Cheese Soufflé with Fresh Chives
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
3 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) whole milk, warmed
1 cup (4 oz./125 g) shredded Gruyère or Comté cheese
2 Tbs. chopped fresh chives
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
4 large eggs, separated, plus 1 large egg white, at room temperature
Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter a 2-quart (2-l) soufflé dish, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and tilt to coat the sides evenly; leave any loose cheese in the dish.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the 2 Tbs. butter. Whisk in the flour. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let bubble for 1 minute without browning. Gradually whisk in the milk, increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, whisking frequently, until very thick, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the Gruyère cheese and chives. Stir in the salt and pepper. The mixture will be sticky.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks until blended. Gradually whisk the warm cheese mixture into the yolks. In another bowl, using a handheld mixer on high speed, beat the 5 egg whites until soft peaks form. Stir about one-fourth of the beaten egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten it, then gently fold in the remaining whites just until combined. Pour into the prepared dish. Insert a butter knife into the soufflé mixture and trace a circle about 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep and 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the sides of the dish. (This helps create a “crown” in the soufflé.)
Bake until the soufflé is puffed and golden brown and it quivers gently when jostled (the insides will be lightly set and might be a bit soft), about 25 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Find more great recipes for sunrise specialties in our book
Williams-Sonoma Breakfast Comforts, by Rick Rodgers.