Le Gruyère AOP: a soufflé’s best friend

Le Gruyère AOP: a soufflé’s best friend

by Great British Chefs 13 January 2021

A cheese soufflé is a wonderful way to kick off a meal, boasting an incredible flavour and an even better texture. Plus, it makes you look like a master chef in your own kitchen! Learn more about why Le Gruyère AOP is the perfect cheese to include in a soufflé and follow four different recipes from top chefs for the classic dish.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

There are few culinary moments more satisfying than nervously opening the oven door to find that your soufflés have risen beautifully. Soufflé is one of those classic dishes shrouded in myth and wonder – we’ve all heard the horror stories of them turning into soup or flat pucks of burnt egg, meaning many assume they’re a dish best left to the professionals. In fact, they’re pretty simple to create, requiring just a handful of ingredients. The key is following the recipe to the letter, and treating the mixture carefully before it goes into the oven.

Sweet soufflés are all well and good, but they’re a bit of a faff to prepare unless everyone around the table is willing to wait a bit whilst you whip up the mixture after the main course – soufflés can’t really be made in advance. Savoury soufflés, on the other hand, are perfect starters, as they can kick a dinner off in serious style without you having to excuse yourself into the kitchen mid-meal. And of all the ingredients you can throw into a soufflé, cheese – in particular Le Gruyère AOP – is the best.

With its wonderfully nutty, sweet and complex flavour, plus an incredible ability to melt and emulsify into the soufflé mixture, Le Gruyère AOP is the ultimate soufflé cheese. When it’s whipped up with eggs and dairy the flavour combination results in something deliciously rich but light as a feather. As the whipped, aerated mixture heats up in the oven, the trapped air expands and forces it to rise, helped along with the evaporated moisture. That’s why the key to a successful soufflé is making sure you don’t knock any air out of it, handling the mixture gently.

For guaranteed savoury soufflé success, try your hand at one of the four recipes below, which all feature the incredible flavour of Le Gruyère AOP.

Le Gruyère AOP and spinach soufflé

For a classic iteration of the cheese soufflé, this one from Mark Dodson is just the ticket. With buttery wilted spinach hidden in the centre, the soufflé doesn’t rise quite as high and proud as some you might see on Instagram – but the texture is still wonderfully light and the flavour is insanely good. Plus, it’s topped with a melted disc of Gruyère cheese to finish – the perfect little hat for the delicious soufflé beneath.

Gruyère and bacon soufflé

Soufflés aren’t always delicate mousse-like things contained in ramekins – they can also be ‘twice-cooked’, baked as normal but then finished under the grill to crisp up and brown. This dish adds bacon to the mix, with an incredibly rich sauce and additional flavourings of mustard, thyme, nutmeg and chives. The bacon rings used to garnish look incredibly cheffy, but they’re actually very easy to make – all you need is a metal ring to wrap rashers around, which will crisp up and hold their shape after being baked.

Twice-baked Le Gruyère AOP soufflés

Soufflés can also be baked twice – once to cook the mixture and allow it to rise, then a second time to intensify the flavours and create a slightly denser, richer texture. The beauty with twice-baked soufflés is that you actually want them to sink after their initial rise in the oven – so they’re much easier to create than their tall, fluffy counterparts. These particular soufflés are absolutely packed with Le Gruyère AOP, then baked for a second time in double cream for an incredibly indulgent finish.

Soufflé Suissesse

It’s a testament to just how good a chef Michel Roux Jr is when you take a look at his signature dish – a soufflé that contains just six readily available ingredients. Of course, what looks relatively easy on paper is quite difficult to master in the real world, but provided you follow the recipe exactly it’s entirely possible to have a little two-Michelin-starred magic at home. Again, this soufflé is double-cooked, but only for a mere 8 minutes in total, resulting in a cloud of airy deliciousness bathing in a bath of Gruyère flavoured cream.