sea salt and black pepper
4 egg yolks
6 egg whites
fresh thyme, for serving
60g butter, plus extra for the baking dish
50g plain flour
300ml milk, heated
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
50g grated cheddar, coarsely grated
125g gruyere or parmesan, grated
- Butter a 19-centimeter/one-liter straight-sided soufflé dish and preheat the oven to 190°C.
- In a small saucepan, set over medium heat, melt 60 grams of butter. Add the flour and stir continuously for two minutes. Add the heated milk gradually, stirring frequently, and simmer for three minutes.
- Beat until smooth before adding the mustard, grated cheddar, all but one tablespoon of the remaining parmesan (or gruyere), sea salt, and pepper.
- After cooling for five minutes, beat in each egg yolk separately. The egg whites should be beaten until stiff peaks form in a big bowl. Gently fold in the remaining meringue after incorporating one-third of it into the mixture.
- Nearly fill the soufflé dish, then top with the final tablespoon of grated parmesan. Place on the center oven rack and bake for 30 minutes or until puffy and golden. To help it rise, run your thumb around the rim to make a tiny groove.
- Sprinkle with thyme and serve right away.
You'll soon be reaching new heights if you butter your soufflé plates well to encourage the tiniest bubbles of hot air contained in the beaten egg whites to soar up the sides and over the top.
For a sweet twist on basic souffles, try chocolate and almond souffles as well.