Streamlined Cheese Soufflé

Preparation info

  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Lighter, Quicker, Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

Souffles can fit in a healthy lifestyle, and aren’t nearly the difficult culinary bugaboo they’ve been made out to be. The classic recipe for cheese soufflé is made with a butter-and-flour roux, whole milk, and three or four whole eggs. We’ve replaced one of the eggs with an egg white and used lowfat milk thickened with a cornstarch slurry, which makes it possible to omit the butter entirely. The soufflé is baked at a low temperature in a water bath.


  • 1 cup lowfat (1%) milk
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 4 ounces gruyère or Swiss cheese, finely shredded (about 1 cup)
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 large egg white
  • teaspoon cream of tartar


    • Place the rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Brush the bottom of a -quart soufflé dish with vegetable oil. Fold a long 6-inch wide piece of wax paper for a 3-inch collar to go above the rim of the soufflé dish. Brush 1 side of the folded paper lightly with vegetable oil. Tie or tape the collar around the soufflé dish, overlapping the edges slightly, with the folded edge on top. Heat a kettle of water to a boil for the water bath.
    • Scald ¾ cup of the milk in a small saucepan. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining ¼ cup cold milk, cornstarch, dry mustard, and salt in a small bowl until smooth. Whisk into the hot milk until blended. Cook the mixture over low heat, whisking, until it has thickened and come to a boil.
    • Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl. Gradually whisk in the thickened milk until blended. Stir in the cheese and cayenne. Set aside.
    • With clean beaters, beat the 3 egg whites in a large clean bowl until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until stiff but not dry peaks form. Pour the cheese mixture over the whites. Gently fold together just until blended. Spoon into the soufflé dish. Smooth the top gently with a spatula. If you’d like the soufflé to form a high hat as it bakes, run your thumb around the rim of the batter, about ½ inch in from the edge.
    • Place the soufflé dish in a shallow baking pan and place on the oven rack. Add enough boiling water to the baking pan to come halfway up the sides of the soufflé dish. Bake until the top is well browned, 50 to 60 minutes. Serve at once, spooning some of browned top and creamy interior for each portion.