Recipe: Vicki Ravlich-Horan | Photography: Ashlee DeCaires

A soufflé seems daunting but it really is just about getting the basics and perhaps your timing right. If you plan to serve it at a dinner party, prepare your ramekins and cheese sauce ahead of time, adding the whipped egg whites just before you pop them in the oven. Once cooked, serve immediately.

The recipe below makes six 1-cup capacity dishes, perfect for an entrée, or four 1½-cup dishes, making a great lunch-size dish.

100g butter, plus a little extra for greasing dishes
½ cup flour
1 cup milk
1 cup grated cheese (a sharp cheddar is perfect)
2–3 tbsp grated Parmesan
pinch of cayenne pepper
4 (size 7) eggs, separated

Preheat the oven to 190°C.

Generously grease the dishes with butter, ensuring you get every angle. Place in the fridge to chill.
Melt the 100g butter in a small pot. Add the flour and cook, stirring continuously for one minute.

Gradually add the milk while continuing to whisk over a low heat until the sauce thickens. Take off the heat and mix in the cheeses and cayenne pepper. Add the egg yolks one at a time, stirring well between each.

In a clean, dry bowl beat the egg whites until they form firm peaks. Fold a quarter of the beaten egg whites into the cheese sauce mixture. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites being careful not to lose too much volume.

Spoon the mixture between the greased dishes, place on a baking tray and bake for 20–25 minutes. Don’t be tempted to open the door to check the progress until the last five minute, simply watch them grow through the window.

Once cooked, place on plate with a rocket salad and a dollop of your favourite relish.

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