Friday, May 7, 2010

Spinach & Gruyère Soufflé

I must admit, I was a bit nervous to prepare a soufflé as I've heard they can be quite temperamental.  I've even heard horror stories about having to tip-toe around your kitchen or you will cause it to fall flat.  Texture is king is this dish and as it's name, which is French for "to blow up", indicates, it should be pefectly puffed. 

In short, a soufflé is base of egg yolks with a sauce and beaten egg whites.  The base provides the flavor while the egg whites give it volume.  There are both savory and dessert soufflés, and probably not too surprising, I chose to make a savory one; besides, I had spinach that I needed to use up.

The presentation of this dish is just beautiful.  Mine did not come out perfectly symmetrical by any means (thanks to my uneven cooking Australian oven) but I actually loved the quirky looking outcome.  It was fluffy with a light crust on the outside, and of course had to have that rewarding creamy center.  Make sure to season well and it will explode with flavor. 

Spinach & Gruyère Soufflé


1 large bunch of spinach, stemmed and finely chopped
1 tbsp parmesan, grated
3 1/2 oz butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk, warm
1/4 tsp nutmeg
4 oz Gruyère cheese, grated
5 eggs, separated
salt and pepper


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C).  Grease your soufflé dish or individual ramekins completely using upward strokes and sprinkle all sides with parmesan (supposedly these 2 tricks will help the soufflé rise).

2. To make your base (kind of a very thick bechamel sauce), melt the butter in a pan.  Stir in flour and cook for 2-3 minutes until you have a paste.  Gradually add warm milk while stirring to prevent lumps, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. 

3. Stir through the spinach and cheese, allow to cool, then add the egg yolks.

4. Beat the egg whites until you have stiff peaks.  Fold the whites into the spinach mixture while you season.

5. Pour into prepared dishes.  Baking time varies greatly depending on what size dish(es) you are using.  For a large dish, cook for about 30 minutes, raise heat to 425 degrees F (220 C), and cook for 15 more minutes.  For individual ramekins, cook for 10 minutes, turn heat up and cook for about 5-10 more minutes.  You want the soufflé golden and just set.  In the traditional French method, I prefer mine still moist and creamy in the center although some like it cooked all the way through. 

A couple of tips:   

1.  Make sure to be careful when separating your eggs not to break the yolk on the shell.  If there is even a trace of yolk in your egg whites, they will probably not whip up.

2. Room temperature egg whiles will foam more quickly and to a greater volume.

3. When you fold in the egg whites, be gentle.


  1. This souffle looks delicious...thanks for sharing!

  2. Yum! this looks so good. But I'm a little intimidated!

  3. Go for it! Probably the worst thing that can happen is flat souffle but I'm sure it will still taste great!

  4. Well done! Looks fantastic - I think you mastered it...visually anyways!

  5. This looks very nice! I think it looks perfect, adds character to it! Me on the other hand, have never attempted making souffle, because like everyone else who hasn't, I'm too scared to! haha. I've had my fair share of kitchen disasters with the most simplest of dishes, just imagine what I could do to a souffle!

  6. So elegant and I bet it tastes great.

  7. I love gruyere cheese! Good tip about the room temperature eggs, thanks!



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