This is the traditional way to make a basic cheese souffle'. It really isn't that difficult and you can make the base and refrigerate it until ready to cook. This is just a template. Change flavorings as you wish. Make it sweet with sugar and chocolate or make a mushroom souffle. You can also add bits of ingredients into the souffle', like pieces of ham or shrimp or fruit. Souffles can also be spooned over other food to make a topping and bake as normal. You also don't even need the souffle' dish. Any dish or pan will do, but it might not rise as high.
Often a sauce is made to accompany the souffle'. Like a cheese sauce or creme angalise or chocolate sauce.
2 tablespoons butter at room temperature plus extra for coating ramekins
2 tablespoons all purpose flour plus 2 teaspoons
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cup shredded swiss sharp or gruyere cheese
3 egg yolks plus 3 egg whites
Preheat oven to 350°.
Coat each ramekin (4-6 depending on their size) with butter. Add 1/2 teaspoon flour to each, then tilt to coat, shaking out the excess. Set on a foil-covered baking sheet and set aside.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan, add the 2 tablespoons flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg; stir with a whisk. When it is sizzling, add the cold milk and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Boil about 20 seconds, then remove from the heat. Add the cheese; stir until it melts.
Separate the eggs and beat the yolks until light in color. Add 2 tablespoons of the milk mixture to the yolks, whisking constantly to temper. Then whisk the yolk mixture into the milk mixture.
In a separate bowl, whip the egg white using a whisk or electric mixer until stiff but not dry peaks form - this should take about 1 minute. Fold 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the milk and yolk mixture. Then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
Spoon the mixture into prepared ramekins until they are 3/4 full. Bake without opening the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until puffed and golden. Serve immediately.