Twice baked cheese soufflé rich with a mixture of Comte and Gruyere cheese. A delicious starter or light lunch main course, serve with salad on the side.
Twice baked cheese soufflé, individual servings of light and fluffy soufflé with a delicious mix of both Comte and Gruyere cheese. I love cheese, it’s right up there in my top 5 favourite things to eat! Cheese soufflé, is a favourite dish of mine and one I rarely make it past on any menu. I love a cheese soufflé served straight from the oven. However, I am just as happy with a twice baked cheese soufflé. In cooking terms they are a simpler cook, a little more forgiving as you have more time to serve them up as they need to collapse before the second bake.
Twice baked cheese soufflé make a great starter or light lunch main course. I like to serve these with a side salad and at our recent Supperclubs that salad comprised of some roasted beetroot, pickled Granny Smith apple, watercress and spiced walnuts for an added crunch. Serving a twice baked cheese soufflé meant we didn’t have to panic about getting 12 soufflés onto a table in one go, without them all deflating.
What combination of cheese can I use?
These twice baked cheese soufflés use equal quantities of Comte and Gruyere as they are flavoursome and good to cook with. You don’t need to use the combination of cheeses as we have, you can simply use one variety of cheese if you would prefer. What you want is a cheese that will melt easily into the sauce. So, something like a strong Vintage Cheddar would also work as would Emmental, Gouda or Fontina cheeses. However, avoid wetter cheeses like mozzarella or ricotta as they contain too much liquid.
Cheese and onion is a great flavour combination so we have added some chopped chives to these soufflés. However, if you don’t like the taste of chives, then add a little finely chopped parsley instead. Or if you would rather add no herbs, leave them out of the dish entirely.
Recipe steps for creating twice baked cheese soufflé:
Preparing the soufflé dishes and starting the base sauce:
Adding the cheese and egg to the sauce:
Preparing the soufflés for the first bake:
Preparing the soufflés for the second bake:
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes you can make these twice baked cheese soufflé up the end of the first bake, Step 9 in the recipe card. After this first bake, remove from the ramekins and place top down on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. You want the flat bottom of the soufflés facing upwards. Gently cover the baking tray with clingfilm, taking care not to press down on the soufflés. Place in the fridge for up to 24 hours before serving, no longer as they contain egg. When ready to finish simply remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature. Then top the soufflés with the grated cheese and double cream and put them in for their second bake in the oven.
These make a great dinner party starter and we have served these for 12 guests at our Supperclub. However, getting 12 soufflés ready at exactly the same time would prove tricky. Therefore we prepared the soufflés ahead of time up to the end of the first bake, finishing them when our guests were ready to eat.
Can I freeze these twice baked cheese soufflés?
Yes these soufflés can be frozen and heated up at a later date. Follow the recipe up to Step 9 in the recipe card, the first bake on the soufflés. Once they have been cooled and removed from their ramekins, place into a suitable box and cover with a lid and pop into the freezer. When ready to enjoy, defrost the soufflés thoroughly and continue with the second bake as per the recipe card. However, it is worth noting that whilst still very tasty, the soufflés will not be quite so light and airy after the freezing process. It is for that reason that I prefer to cook and enjoy them without freezing.
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If you enjoyed this recipe then try some of our other great light meals that hero the humble egg: our Courgette Fritters topped with a Poached Egg, our Spinach Omelette or our Omelette Arnold Bennett.
Twice baked cheese soufflé
Preparing the ramekins
- 20 g butter
- 300 ml whole milk
- 1 small onion - peeled and cut in half
- 1 bay leaf
- 40 g butter
- 40 g plain flour
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 50 g Comte cheese - grated
- 50 g Gruyere cheese - grated
- 3 large eggs - yolk and white separated
- 1 tbsp chopped chives
- grating fresh nutmeg
- salt and pepper
- 25 g Comte cheese
- 25 g Gruyere cheese
- 6 tbsp double cream
Preparing the ramekins
- Generously butter the inside of 6 ramekin dishes, ensuring you take the butter right up the sides of each dish. Place a small round disc of grease-proof paper on the base on each ramekin. Place the dishes on a baking tray and set aside.
- Pour the milk into a medium sized saucepan and add the onion and bay leaf which will flavour the milk. Place over a low/medium heat and bring the milk to a gently simmer, take care not to boil the milk. Cook for minutes to allow the flavours to infuse the milk. Move from the heat and using a sieve strain the milk into a measuring jug and set aside.
- To make the bechamel base sauce, melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan over a medium heat. Add the flour and stir well to combine to a roux. Gently cook the flour for 5 minutes to get rid of the raw taste of the flour, stirring continuously.
- Gradually add 250ml of the warm milk into the roux and discard any excess milk. Once you have added the milk bring it to the boil and keep stirring to avoid it sticking.
- Add the mustard and the cheese to the sauce, which should be thick and very smooth. Once the cheese has melted add the chives, a grating of nutmeg and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Place the sauce mixture into a large bowl and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Then beat in the egg yolks and mix until thoroughly combined. If you add the egg yolks when the sauce is too hot they will only cook in the sauce!
- In a separate bowl whisk up the egg whites until you have stiff peaks. Add a large spoon of the egg whites into the cheese sauce and mix well to combine. Then add the remaining egg whites to the bowl and gently fold the egg whites through the cheese sauce. Take care not to beat the eggs, you want to keep the light airiness of the egg white, this will give you lighter soufflés.
- Gently spoon the mixture evenly between the 6 ramekins. Place in a pre-heated oven at 200C for 18-20 minutes. Do not open the oven during cooking as this will only cause the soufflés to deflate. After 18-20 minutes the soufflés will have risen and should be golden on top.
- Remove from the oven and place the ramekins onto a cooling rack. Leave the soufflés to cool completely.
- Once cool, run a sharp knife around the sides of the ramekin. Gently turn the soufflés out onto your hand. Place the soufflés top side down on a clean baking sheet that has been lined with more grease-proof paper. The flat bottoms of the soufflés should no be facing upwards so remove the discs of paper from the bottom of each soufflé.
- Mix together the Comte and Gruyere cheese for the topping and spread equally over each of the 6 soufflés. Pour a tablespoon of double cream over each soufflé.
- Place the soufflés back into the oven for a further 10-12 minutes at 200C. Remove once the cheese has melted and has started to bubble. Serve immediately.
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