These elegant Parmesan soufflés are really easy to make. Honest. Flour, butter, and milk are cooked into a béchamel sauce. Eggs yolks are whisked in and then egg whites are folded in along with the cheese. Seventeen minutes until you have a towering creation.
Lofty and lovely as can be. That’s what we think of these Parmesan souffles. They’re also a lot easier than you’d think to assemble and elegant as can be. We’re not certain when we like them most—breakfast, dinner, or anytime in between.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Special Equipment: 8 individual soufflé dishes, preferably about 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter and 2 1/2 inches (6 cm) tall
- Quick Glance
- 40 M
- 1 H
- Serves 8
- For the dishes
- 3 to 5 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 to 2 1/2 oz), softened
- 2 ounces Parmesan, freshly grated
- For the soufflés
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 oz)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon full-fat milk
- 2 pinches cayenne pepper
- 10 medium free-range eggs (divided), plus an extra 2 yolks
- 6 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Prepare the dishes
- 1. Generously butter 8 individual soufflé dishes, preferably about 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter and 2 1/2 inches (6 cm) tall. Add the grated Parmesan to one of the buttered dishes and then rotate the dish to coat the inside. Tilt the first soufflé dish over a second soufflé dish to let the excess drop into the second. Repeat this with the remaining dishes until they’re all coated.
- Prepare the soufflés
- 2. Melt the butter in a small pan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring with a small balloon whisk, for 2 minutes to make a roux. Gradually stir in the cold milk and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Simmer for 1 minute and then pour the béchamel into a bowl. Add a little salt and pepper as well as the cayenne and then whisk in the 12 egg yolks. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place.
- 3. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- 4. In a very clean bowl, whisk the 10 egg whites with a pinch of salt until semi-firm peaks form, about 8 minutes (or, if using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, about 3 minutes. Without delay, whisk 1/3 of the egg whites into the warm béchamel. Now, using a spatula or large spoon in one hand, very gently fold in the rest of the egg whites while gradually showering in the grated Parmesan with your other hand. Stop mixing as soon as the mixture is combined, less than 1 minute.
- 5. Using a spoon, generously fill each soufflé dish to 1/2 inch (12 mm) above the rim. Gently smooth the tops of the soufflés using the side of a knife and then run the tip of the knife around the inside of each rim to allow the souffle to get a good rise.
- 6. Line the base of a roasting pan with parchment paper and place the soufflé dishes in the pan. Pull the rack partway out of the oven and pour enough near-boiling water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the soufflé dishes. Bake for 14 to 17 minutes, depending on the size of the ramekins, rotating the pan halfway through to ensure even cooking.
- 7. Gently remove the pan from the oven and lift the soufflé dishes out onto warmed plates. Serve immediately.
Cheddar Soufflés Variation
- For Cheddar soufflés, replace the Parmesan in the soufflé mixture with 7 ounces (200 g) Cheddar and use 3 ounces (85 g) for lining the dishes. For Gruyère or Comté soufflés, use 8 1/2 ounces (240 g) cheese for the mixture, and 3 ounces (85 g) for the dishes.