Friday, March 2, 2018

Easy Cheese Soufflés – Sorry, Béchamel

It's not often that you cut a step or two from a classic recipe, and it actually comes out better, but that's what happened with this cheese soufflé experiment. I was actually working on something I was going to call “cheesecake soufflé,” and since I was adding cream cheese to the base, I decided to skip the classic white sauce, and simply smear everything together.

Not only did this make the operation much faster, and easier, the cheese flavor seemed to be “cleaner,” and more pronounced. Ultimately, I decided not to call this a “cheesecake soufflé, since hot cheesecake just seems wrong, but also because the technique works just as well for a savory version.

You’ll want to skip the sugar, vanilla, and maybe the lemon zest, but everything else should work the same. The cream cheese works really nicely as a neutral base to incorporate the rest of the ingredients, and literally any type of grating cheese will work for the second type. I love a nice sharp, aged cheddar, but Gruyere, Gouda, and Comté would all be wonderful in this.

As I mentioned in the video, despite being a very easy recipe, you will probably have to practice a few times to lock in the perfect cooking time. Variables like the oven type, ramekin size, and batter temperature will all effect the time. Plus, you have to decide how “French” you want yours. Regardless, I really do hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 2 Soufflés:
2 large egg yolks
2 ounces cream cheese (about a rounded 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 ounce shredded cheddar cheese (about 1/3 cup unpacked)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites, beaten with a pinch of salt to soft peaks
butter and sugar for 2 (5.5 ounce) ramekins

- Mine baked at 400 F. for 12 minutes, but your times will vary!


Unknown said...

What size are the ramekins?

Unknown said...

Hi Chef John -

To prepare a more savory version of this recipe, I assume that one would leave out the sugar and the vanilla extract. Is that correct? Any other additions or modifications you would suggest for the non-dessert equivalent? After all, you are the Dr. Dre of the world's most awesome soufflé...



Unknown said...

How do you make the savory version?
I’m guessing you don’t put sugar around the inside of the ramekin to help release the soufflé, what do use instead?
Instead of adding vanilla extract and more sugar in the soufflé what else would I Use??

Unknown said...

How do you make savory version?
I understand you probably would not use sugar to coat the inside of the ramekin, But would you replace that with something else?
What should I substitute for vanilla extract and sugar in the soufflé to make it more savory and not sweet?

Savior Wayman P. Currie said...

Chef John,
What do you think about a Jarlsberg Swiss cheese in such a souffles?

Unknown said...

Love all your work.
I know you have a chocolate soufle version that is more traditional. Have you experimented doing a quick version of the chocolate souffle using this method?

Thanks for the great recipes.

Unknown said...

Hi great work as always.

I know you have posted a chocolate souffle version in the past that is more traditional. Have you tried to make that souffle using this "quick" method?

Thanks for the great vids.

Unknown said...

Hi great work as always

I know you have a more traditional chocolate souffle version on the site. Have you done the chocolate souffle using this "quick" version (skipping the roux etc..)

Thanks for the great vids.

Winston said...

Chef John,
I just wanted to say a quick thank you for creating this blog. I've watched the Food Network for years but the way you record your videos is a thousand times more educational than wasting hours watching the celebrity chef shows. I can honestly say after a year of following you and using your techniques, more so than recipes but also recipes, that I am an accomplished home cook. All of my friends and family love it when I cook and we've actually started a weekly Sunday night dinner with my in-laws that I am contributing directly to your teachings (it's a actually a good thing - I have nice in-laws) and it's brought us closer together as a family. So again, thank you for creating the most useful platform for teaching the lay people like myself how to prepare dishes I never thought I'd be able to.

Much love,
The Hooker family

Unknown said...

Made two batches of these today and now have a Souffle experiment day planned with friends for next Sunday. They were heavenly and it was crazily easy to make a dish I have always been so intimidated by!

In our oven we found 12 minutes left some sauce and 14 minutes left them fluffy and could not reach consensus as to which was better. I didn't have a lemon for zest but about three drops of lemon extract substituted alright.

We have enjoyed so many Chef John meals made by my husband, it felt pretty awesome to be the one behind the whisk.

P.S. I love the thought process behind this. Cheesecake anything is a good idea!

Unknown said...

Hello, Captain of Cayenne! I thoroughly enjoy your immensely helpful videos and sometimes catch myself clicking the "thumbs up" before it even starts!:-) Two questions though, Chef John; in the video you give precise instructions for each step but I don't see them here. Where can I find them so I can list them in my recipe file (its difficult for me to watch video in my kitchen)?

Also in the descriptive paragraphs here you say to leave out the sugar, vanilla, etc yet they are included in the ingredients for the cheese souffle recipe above(?). Admittedly I can be dense sometimes (unlike your beautiful souffles)--please advise--or could you modify the ingredients shown above and maybe add the steps?

springrain62 said...

Foodwish: Japanese cotton cheesecake

Doctorsubtilis said...

Great recipe, as always!

I have tried a variant with ricotta cheese in place of cream cheese, and Manchego in place of Cheddar. I thought: "after all, I am my own liege of my choice of cheese". They came very good.

Thanks again :-)

Jeff Wilson said...

Tried the recipe last night for me and my better half. We both thought it was delicious!
Just want to confirm that the baking time is critical. One of the ramekins was slightly cooler and just a tad less done than the other, so it was a lot "creamier" than it's browner buddy.
Both were exceptional though!

Thanks, Chef John, for another winner!

Unknown said...

chef John-your link from your pizza dough (wolf's) is broken and displays nothing along with a few other ones..thanks

Unknown said...

link is broken from wolfs' pizza dough

Unknown said...

HR PuffinStuff! Classic!!!!!

Unknown said...

H.R. PuffinStuff....nice one Chef John!!

And I will be making these tonight

Chef John said...

Folks asking about the savory version just need to read the post! ;)

Chef John said...

Thank you crystal and the Hooker Family!!

Richard Parnell said...

Chef John,

You don't mention ramekin size in the brief above, also you don't mention what to replace the sugar with for lining the ramekins. I assume breadcrumbs would work well there, are there other alternatives?

Fantastic recipe, and thank you for sharing it with us.


Unknown said...

love your videos, and recipes! I tried this one just a half hour ago, and I think it was the most delicious thing I ever made. every time I watch one of your videos I find myself in the kitchen. keep doing what you do man, I love it