{Recipe: Individual Cheese Souffles}

When the souffles went into the oven, I had no idea what to expect.  How high would they rise?  How would they taste?  These are the questions that always hold me back from experimenting with such dishes.  When there’s potential for failure, I become reluctant to even give it a shot.

Part of my love for food, though, is the challenge.  If you’re not willing to challenge yourself, how can you expect to learn anything?

It dawned on me recently that I have never made or consumed a savory souffle.  From time to time, my mother would prepare them for dessert, a bowl of decadent bliss, with a big tuft on top, that would ooze with the first hit of the spoon.  Having a bite was like ingesting pure comfort, a blanket being wrapped around your soul.

These high expectations for how my souffles would turn out made the anticipation all the more difficult to bear.

The result was more than satisfying.  They came out just as I had envisioned; a rich and fluffy custard. The cheddar used, a block from the Grafton Village Cheese Company that had been aged for three years, had just the right amount of sharpness.  I was given this cheddar a few weeks ago by Grafton Village and was asked if I would want to create a recipe using it.  Seeing that I had been meaning to make cheese souffles, I gladly accepted (wouldn’t you take a couple pounds of free cheese?).

Despite my fears, each one formed just as I’d hoped.  And, as they are known to do, the souffles began to fall as quickly as they had risen.   It was a challenge to capture them in all their glory, but I was lucky enough to have some help from Eric, who rushed them out of the oven and posed with them so perfectly (He also has a good director. Not to toot my own horn or anything).

Let’s just say that if you’re looking to wow your guests at your next brunch gathering, this may be the ticket.

Before digging into this recipe, I wanted to direct you all to an article I wrote on food photography for The Foodie Bugle, a new online co-operatative magazine.  You can check out the article here.

Individual Cheese Souffles

(makes 4 servings)


7 eggs

1/4 cup sour cream

1/3 cup milk

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

2 cups sharp (or extra sharp, depending on how you like it) cheddar cheese, grated

Additional equipment: four buttered ramekins (I used 10 oz ramekins)



Pre-heat your oven to 350F.

Using an electric mixer, blend the eggs, sour cream, and milk for 45 seconds.  Add salt, cayenne pepper and garlic powder and continue to blend for another 15 seconds.

Add a 1/2 cup of cheese to the bottom of each buttered souffle dish and then pour the egg mixture over it.  If using a 10 oz ramekin, it should fill the ramekins about half way.

Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and move to the oven.  Bake for 50 minutes, or until they have turned golden brown on top and have doubled in size.

Serve immediately, but warn your guests not to burn themselves on the steaming bowl of cheesy goodness.

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Lauren at Keep It SweetApril 15, 2011 - 6:23 am

Looks like your souffles came out really nicely! I haven’t ever had a cheese souffle, just the dessert flavors.

Mardi@eatlivetravelwriteApril 15, 2011 - 6:35 am

I LOVE savoury soufflés – yours look wonderful. But yes, a challenge to photograph for sure! Who cares if they are not risen 100% in the pics anyway – I bet they taste delicious! Neil has also been known to rush around like that for pics!

LizApril 15, 2011 - 6:58 am

These sound and look marvelous!!! My cheese souffle has bread cubes as one of the ingredients, so I’d love to try your version~

MichelleApril 15, 2011 - 7:05 am

Beautiful Brian! Simply beautiful.

Angela@RecipesFromMyMomApril 15, 2011 - 7:30 am

Cheesy clouds of joy. Wish I was there for brunch to see them come out of the oven, all puffed with pride.

Fabulous article on Foodie Bugle! I’m Digg’n and Stumbling it.

Ken⏐hungry rabbitApril 15, 2011 - 7:31 am

Now I have a craving for these gorgeous cheesy blankets. Good thing I have cheddar at hand.

Chef Danielle @ Cooking ClarifiedApril 15, 2011 - 7:46 am

Cheese is my favorite food group & souffles are one of my favorite ways to enjoy them. I’ve never had them with sour cream in the mix.

RochelleApril 15, 2011 - 8:11 am

As you have never had a savory souffle before these, I’ve never had a sweet one. I’m inspired to get to work on a sweet version thanks to your delicious looking cheese ones here :)

MikeVFMKApril 15, 2011 - 8:12 am

I’ve been thinking of making cheese souffles for a while now and seeing how wonderful yours look might push them up the timetable. Fabulous and they look so savoury and delicious! I bet they ooze comfort with every spoonful!

foodwanderingsApril 15, 2011 - 8:17 am

I love these individual ramekins, I got the exact same ones. I completely understand how finicky souffles are, but they do look fabulous. Never made savory, though I like cheddar, but made chocolate souffles in the past. this will be perfect for brunch!!

KathyApril 15, 2011 - 8:20 am

So where’s my perfect souffle? They look divine, simply divine. Now I need to make souffle. What have you done to me, sir?

JenniferAApril 15, 2011 - 8:21 am

Oh, so pretty!! I love Grafton Village cheese too – nothing like a really sharp 3-year cheddar.

Nelly RodriguezApril 15, 2011 - 8:23 am

So delicious! Souffles also make my heart skip a beat but they are sooo worth it!

Sommer@ASpicyPerspectiveApril 15, 2011 - 9:09 am

They look fantastic. I hate a certain love/hate relationship with souffles. They always turn out perfectly when I’m serving them to family and cause me trouble when I’m serving them to guests. Troublemakers!

DanaApril 15, 2011 - 9:42 am

These look and sound so delicious. I can’t think of anything better than an oozey bowl of cheesy goodness!

AdryonApril 15, 2011 - 10:28 am

Eeeeek! I’ve never made a souffle before out of fear of deflation – but this makes me want to run into my kitchen and fire up the Kitchen Aid.

GeorgieApril 15, 2011 - 10:54 am

Woah… screech,! These are beautiful and yummy looking! You always seem to make the most complicated recipes look so easy and worth trying.

MelissaApril 15, 2011 - 11:15 am

These look and sound amazing! Must invest in ramekins so I can make my own!

Kimmy @ Lighter and LocalApril 15, 2011 - 11:29 am

Oh pillowy goodness of cheese, how I love you so. I love the little bit of cayenne pepper. I’m a firm believer that cayenne and often smoked paprika, make things just a little bit better. :-)

WenderlyApril 15, 2011 - 11:33 am

So beautiful! And I couldn’t agree more that we must challenge ourself in order to learn!

Lora @cakeduchessApril 15, 2011 - 1:23 pm

I want to taste this blanket of cheesy comfort…NOW! It looks like Eric is passing one right to me (thank you Eric!!:) Just lovely, cheesy, perfect!

Barbara | VinoLuciStyleApril 15, 2011 - 1:28 pm

I’m not sure why but I don’t think I’ve ever done a cheese souffle but the individual ramekins make it more tempting for me. Keep walking with that tray Eric…almost feels like I could grab one right off of it.

Rachel @ Baked by RachelApril 15, 2011 - 1:47 pm

I’ve never had one but want it now!

LirenApril 15, 2011 - 2:20 pm

Love the souffles, Brian, that lured me in, but I love your Rules for Food Bloggers even more. I feel the same way you do – I still am very hesitant about bringing my camera to restaurants because I do feel as though I prefer to solely focus on the meal. However, when I am invited to events for coverage purposes, I employ the same strategies you do be as discreet as possible. Loved reading your article :)

Brooks at CakewalkerApril 15, 2011 - 3:40 pm

Gorgeous souffles, Brian! I’m liking the Grafton Village Cheese Company too. The thought of a spoon breaking through the crust of 3-year aged cheddar, only to give way to an airy soft pillow of, yet again, 3-year cheddar sends me into the savory stratosphere. Bravo!

sippitysupApril 15, 2011 - 3:57 pm

Souffles are so satisfying to make. My mom too made souffles, but mine was just the opposite. She always made savory and it took til adulthood to discover sweet versions for me. GREG

Rosie @ SweetapolitaApril 15, 2011 - 4:16 pm

Oh my goodness, these are gorgeous! Maybe I can take a break from cake-baking and get souffle making this weekend. Thanks so much for sharing!

Maria @ ScandifoodieApril 15, 2011 - 4:31 pm

This looks so delicious, I can just imagine how tasty they must be! :-)

katApril 15, 2011 - 5:41 pm

You sound just like me the first time I made these! I was so nervous. Now I’m looking forward to make them again this week

Jen @ keepitsimplefoodsApril 15, 2011 - 6:31 pm

I’m terrified of making souffles! Yours look lovely.

Chez UsApril 15, 2011 - 6:49 pm

DUDE!! It is true we are great minds as I have been hungry for egg, cheesy dishes. Made a quiche earlier this week, that was simply amazing. Was thinking today, that I needed to make a souffle, as it has been too long. I hope up my email, and what do I see?? You beat me to it! I love making souffles. They are easy, and such a crowd pleaser, aren’t they!!

I cannot wait to read your post over at the Bugle. My friend, Tim Clinch, just turned me onto that site. They may cross promote a workshop, that I am promoting w/Tim; hands-on photography workshops. I had not heard of the Bugle until then. Looks like an interesting, and well written site!

Lindsey @ Gingerbread BagelsApril 15, 2011 - 7:12 pm

I swear your food always looks incredible and I so want to taste one of these right now! I’ve never had a cheese souffle. I want this! :) Gorgeous photos once again, I’m always so impressed.

JeanApril 15, 2011 - 7:49 pm

Your cheese souffles are so much more elegant than what I guessed you’d make when you invited everyone to guess on your Facebook page. I’m glad I was wrong (some kind of mac-n-cheese)–these souffles are gorgeous!

Mikaela CowlesApril 15, 2011 - 11:03 pm

I have never made a souffle, but I’ve eaten my fair share. UUUMMMM – Cheese. UMMMMMMM – Souffle. Little personal ones, which seem to be saying I love you from their pictures. Wonderful.

SaraApril 16, 2011 - 12:44 am

I love souffles. Both sweet and savory. But somehow i feel intimidated and I never attempted them myself. You just inspired me. Thanks, Brian.

Sylvie @ Gourmande in the KitchenApril 16, 2011 - 6:02 am

You’re right souffles are indeed a challenge to photography, but you’ve done so beautifully. Wonderful article at the Foodie Bugle, I really enjoyed reading it, you give a lot of great tips.

bunkycooksApril 16, 2011 - 8:29 am

I love sweet and savory souffles and have not made either in some time. You have reminded me how wonderful they are, so thank you. :)

BeccaApril 16, 2011 - 9:09 am

Brian, your talent for cooking, photography, and your ability to have me drooling onto my keyboard within seconds of opening your posts are AMAZING! LOVE this recipe… keep up the great work!

tinytearoomApril 16, 2011 - 9:45 am

I’ve watched a french ex-pat make these on an Australian Foodie TV Show called Food Safari. It looked glorious and handsome. You’ve reminded me of them and have inspired me to get the cheese out.

JudyApril 16, 2011 - 12:40 pm

I don’t know if I’ll ever try the souffles, but I very much enjoyed your article. And as always, your photos are fabulous.

Parsley SageApril 16, 2011 - 5:27 pm

Oh man. Sour cream…garlic…cayenne pepper…cheddar cheese! I think I’m in love.

melissa@IWasBornToCookApril 16, 2011 - 5:42 pm

Just bookmarked this…looks great!

Rachel @ Rachel's Recipe ReviewsApril 16, 2011 - 7:00 pm

This looks great, and your photos are breathtaking! Wow!

Figs and ArtichokesApril 16, 2011 - 8:55 pm

My brother-in-law was once married to a woman who went to Le Cordon Bleu while they were living in Paris. They came out to visit us once and I remember her waltzing into my mother-in-laws kitchen and throwing together a spinach and goat cheese soufflé. Literally, just threw it together like she was tossing a salad and it turned out beautifully. I didn’t like her much anyway, but I really hated her that night. After they left I made a spinach soufflé just for myself as an experiment and was truly surprised by how simple they really are to make. I make them every once in a while, but have never made the small ones. I am excited to try. Thank you so much for sharing the article on restaurant photography etiquette. I don’t eat out much, and have only done a few restaurant posts, but for the most part I leave my camera at home when I do. Nice to have it spelled out by an expert.

SMITH BITESApril 16, 2011 - 10:50 pm

i couldn’t believe how easy souffles were to make and then kicked myself for avoiding them all those years! i think they are some of the most wonderful food ever!

wizzythestickApril 16, 2011 - 11:11 pm

Not something I’ve ever attempted but that’s the joy of food blogging my inner chef is inspired.

IlkeApril 17, 2011 - 12:28 am

I love cheese souffles and don’t miss an opportunity to order them! We will definitely try this one at home just to see how much I can mess up!

Cooking GalleryApril 17, 2011 - 5:14 am

This looks amazingly delicious…! I love cheese food ;) !

JoanneApril 17, 2011 - 6:48 am

(a) if you had turned down the free cheese I might have had to be very mad at you when I see you tomorrow. So good call. (And AHHH tomorrow!!! SO excited.)

(b) My soul feels like it could use a warm blanket to be wrapped up into. And if I weren’t leaving in an hour, these would be going into the oven. ASAP.

(c) Photos are gorgeous. So reading that article.

Karen BechmanApril 17, 2011 - 8:04 am

I love anything I can make in individual servings and these look great. Thanks for sharing!

Brian @ A Thought For FoodApril 17, 2011 - 8:55 am

Thank you for giving me a good laugh! But look what you learned from her! That there’s nothing to be afraid of.

I am now very interested in trying your spinach souffle. Sounds wonderful!

And thank you for your lovely comments regarding the article.

Alysa (InspiredRD)April 17, 2011 - 12:10 pm

So often, I am the same way. If there is a potential for failure, I don’t even want to try. Glad you overcame your natural tendencies and experimented with this dish. Looks like such a success!

MonetApril 18, 2011 - 12:05 am

Oh these look just delightful, Brian! I wish I could have one right now…I’ve been craving savory food lately…not as much sweets. Thank you for sharing another beautifully rendered post. You know how to get my week off to a great start. I hope your week bursts forth with flavor and love. Hugs from Austin!

YuriApril 18, 2011 - 10:13 am

I love these, Brian! I am not very comfortable with the thought of making souffles, might have to try them soon :) practice makes perfect.

CookiePieApril 18, 2011 - 12:05 pm

Gorgeous photos! And the recipe sounds amazing. I was just thinking about what to make for an upcoming casual early-Sunday-evening dinner party, and you gave me the inspiration. Individual cheese souffles with a salad and some great bread — so lovely. Thanks for sharing!

Delicious links! « Chef PanditaApril 18, 2011 - 12:29 pm

[...] recipes or his photography. I loved his Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms and these lovely Individual Cheese Soufflés. Please tell him how beautiful his photos [...]

MaureenApril 18, 2011 - 9:58 pm

I haven’t made a cheese souffle for ages and these look so good. Your blog inspires me to stay true to fresh, quality ingredients.

JoyApril 19, 2011 - 12:39 am

Brian I love the tone that your photos have set for this post — I feel right at home with these beautiful cheese souffles. I always found souffles intimidating until working at french restaurant and learning that it’s all about the feel :) Your souffles are beautiful, thank you for sharing such a wonderfully simplistic yet beautiful dish. You rock ^_^

Baker StreetApril 19, 2011 - 7:39 am

I made these yesterday and they were a big big hit! It took me exactly 5 minutes to prep. They turned out really well. :)

C-tvillingmammaApril 19, 2011 - 11:34 am

Love,LOVE the chees-pics! :)

Maris (In Good Taste)April 19, 2011 - 2:18 pm

I love the idea of the indiviual souffles.

Brian @ A Thought For FoodApril 19, 2011 - 2:34 pm

Coming from you, Joy, that is such an honor. Thank you.

Damaris @Kitchen CornersApril 19, 2011 - 5:53 pm

Your cheese souffle looks amazing, and yes I would gladly accept free cheese. This recipe remind me of a recipe on The Pioneer Woman where she made savory cheese muffins. If you haven’t make it yet give it a try http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/08/dairy-contest-finalist-recipe-cheese-muffins/ I think you’ll like it.

Have a lovely rest of your week

Andrew FrishmanApril 20, 2011 - 1:37 am

Mmnnn. . . I loves me some souffles, especially when they are cheesy.

En vez de decir “Cheese Omlette” la franceses dicen “Omelette du fromage.”. . . Es como ellos tienen su propia palabra para cada cosa en el mundo.

What I’m Reading This WeekApril 20, 2011 - 6:15 pm

[...] A Thought for Food Recipe: Individual Cheese Souffles Because these souffles are gorgeous and probably something I would never dream of attempting, so I’ll live vicariously through this post! [...]

serena @bigapplenoshApril 20, 2011 - 10:00 pm

YUM! These look amazing! :)

Vicki @ Wilde in the KitchenApril 21, 2011 - 1:05 pm

MMm, cheesey souffle! Looks amazing, great photographs as well!

ElApril 21, 2011 - 6:43 pm

These look absolutely sensational. I wish I had one right now.

Figs and ArtichokesApril 21, 2011 - 8:55 pm

You are right…every experience teaches us something! I was just being a little bit of a “B”…okay, maybe a big “B”.
I will dust off the recipe and make it again and to see if it translates well to the smaller size because your’s look so fun, but the basic recipe shouldn’t change. Plate piled high right now, don’t know when I’ll have a moment to “toss it together”, so expect it when least expected. Ha Ha
Thank you for such an inspirational Blog. I always try to check in when I have a moment.

Audrey Ellen @ My Scene and HerdApril 22, 2011 - 1:00 pm

Baked cheese, mmmm.

Julia @ DimpleArtsApril 26, 2011 - 1:54 am

These look amazing! I also avoid making anything that may not turn out. Souffle is definitely one of those dishes I avoid. But this looks amazing and easy enough to make. I should get myself some ramekins.

[...] Individual Cheese Souffles by A Thought for Food [...]

ElianaMay 3, 2011 - 8:23 pm

Hmmmm – they could not look more perfect Brian. I can only imagine how delicious they tasted.

ChristyMay 19, 2011 - 4:41 pm

Oh my, these are lovely!!:) It’s never easy to make a souffle, much less to perfect it!:) Yours look fantastic and it makes me wanna try one too!! Great job with the souffles;)

KellyMarch 28, 2012 - 11:57 am

So I pulled your awesome recipe to make for my daughter’s birthday breakfast today, and so was SOOOO happy with them! I left out the sour cream as unbeknownst to me when I shopped for ingredients I was out,and the garlic purely on accident, but they turned out amazing! I wish I could post a pic as I, too,snapped one as soon as I grabbed them out of the oven, and they.were. BEAUTIFUL! I am afraid no longer! (I also hand whisked quickly for about 90 seconds instead of pulling out the mixer and that fluffed them just fine!) Thanks for the inspiration!! :)

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