Cheese Souffle for Two

Souffle isn’t as hard as people think. And, once you have the basic recipe down you can make any kind of souffle you want. Sweet or savory. With sauces. Or even baked over other dishes like sauteed seafood.

3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons flour
½ cup milk
½ cup grated Gruyere or Cheddar
pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
pinch nutmeg
2 egg yolks
2 egg whites
pinch salt

Heat oven to 375° F. Grease one 16-ounce or two 8-ounce ramekins with 1 tablespoon of butter. Coat with the Parmesan, then tap out the excess. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt the remaining butter. Stir in the flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce boils, 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese until melted. Blend in the cayenne and nutmeg. Whisk in the yolks one at a time.
Set aside. (The recipe can be made to this point up to 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)

In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Stir 1/4 of the egg whites into the cheese sauce to loosen it.
Gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Spoon into the ramekins. Bake until puffed and browned, 40 minutes for a 16-ounce soufflé, 20 minutes for two smaller ones. Serve immediately.