Nut Crusted, Twice Baked, Cheddar and Chive Soufflé

by Jacqueline on April 30, 2013

Foolproof Soufflé

Nut Crusted, Twice Baked, Cheddar and Chive Soufflé

A few years ago, I had a bash at soufflé making. If memory serves me well, it was a goat’s cheese with spinach recipe outlined on a reputable supermarket’s recipe card. There is something dreamy about sinking your teeth into a big cheesy puff, isn’t there? I used a large ramekin dish to bake the soufflé and despite following the recipe to the letter, I achieved a lovely rise and a crusty top, but an uncooked sludge in the centre! What a disappointment and what a waste! Not sure what the problem was, oven temperature? Size of ramekin dish? Well ever since then, whenever I make soufflés, it tends to be the smaller and twice baked variety. Foolproof recipe? Well, to the extent you pretty much know what you are getting at the end of baking..I would say so.

I’ve previously referred to my love of cheese before.  I think for savoury soufflés, there has to have an element of cheese in the recipe. It works so well. I like the combination of tangy cheddar and chive as the strong mature notes of the cheese stands up to the onion-like flavouring of the chive. I had thought about using gruyère but was worried that the strong chive may overpower the sweet nuttiness of this cheese.

To add a futher texture dimension to the dish, I added a hazelnut and breadcrumb crust and have adapted this Epicurious recipe. Refer to this post for an easy way of removing hazelnut shells.

This dish works well as a starter or a lunch dish, served with salad and slices of baguette. It’s also ideal for preparing at dinner parties as you can part bake the souffles the day before.

Nutty crust on top of a soft cheesy puff

Works well with some salad leaves and a vinaigrette dressing

Nut Crusted, Twice Baked, Cheddar and Chive Soufflé

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Serving Size: Serves 8 for Starter

A good recipe to give you confidence in making soufflés. Perfect for starters, lunches and ideal for a dinner party menu.


  • 3/4 of a slice of wholemeal or brown bread in the form of dry breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp of hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped
  • 100 ml of milk (I used low-fat milk)
  • 2 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp (melted) for coating ramekins
  • 2 tbsp of plain flour
  • 160g of mature cheddar cheese, grated
  • A generous bunch of chives, chopped
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180ºC
  2. Mix together the chopped hazelnuts and dry breadcrumbs in a bowl.
  3. Coat melted butter on each of the 8 ramekin dishes (capacity 125ml). Place the breadcrumb and nut mixture on each of the ramekin dishes; on the base and all round the sides. The melted butter should act like an adhesive holding the mixture in place.
  4. Transfer the ramekin dishes to a metal baking tray.
  5. Boil a kettle of water.
  6. In a saucepan, heat the milk and turn off the heat when the boiling point is reached.
  7. In another pan, melt the butter and then gradually add the flour until all is dissolved and a pale golden colour is achieved.
  8. Gradually, whisk the milk in, turning up the heat until the boiling point is reached.
  9. Remove this mixture from the heat. This step is important as it will avoid the scrambled egg effect.
  10. To the mixture, add 80g of grated cheese, the egg yolk and half of the chopped chives. Whisk together and then allow to cool slightly.
  11. Meanwhile, prepare the egg whites. To a glass or plastic bowl, add the egg whites, lemon juice and salt. Use a hand held blender/mixer to beat the egg whites until stiff.
  12. Fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the cheese mixture to loosen it and then add the remaining egg white mixture remembering to fold all the way.
  13. Divide half of the mixture among the ramekin dishes and sprinkle the remaining grated cheese and chives on top.
  14. Top with the remaining soufflé mixture.
  15. Pour the water from the kettle into the baking tray until it reaches half the height of the ramekin dish.
  16. Place in the oven and bake between for around 15 minutes or until a golden brown colour is achieved on each ramekin dish. The soufflés should have risen during the baking process.
  17. Leave for about 15 minutes to cool down.
  18. Remove the soufflés from the water.
  19. Prepare a section of greaseproof paper.
  20. Run a small knife round the inside edges of the ramekin dishes and turn them upside down onto the greaseproof paper. If looking to bake straight away, place back in the oven and bake for a further 8-10 minutes at 180ºC.
  21. Otherwise, cool down completely, cover the soufflés, refrigerate overnight and bake for 10 minutes the next day.


This may seem a bit fiddly but if you break down the steps and leave the second bake until the next day, most of the work is already done! Make sure that all of the preparation is done before you cook/bake.

I would say the only tricky part is the timing in that you have to work pretty quickly to fold in the beaten egg whites into the roux-like mixture and not lose any of the air you have worked so hard to achieve in the previous steps. The acidity in lemon juice allows more air into the egg whites effectively changing the shape or “denaturing” the protein so always remember to add some lemon juice to the mixing bowl when whisking egg whites.

Have you had any disasters with soufflés before? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

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I’m entering this post into the One Ingredient Challenge whose theme this month is cheese. The challenge is owned by Laura over at How to Cook Good Food and Nazima over at Franglais Kitchen and is hosted this month by Nazima.

One Ingredient April  Cheese

Since I have chives in the ingredients, I’m also entering this on into Herbs on a Saturday hosted by the lovely Karen over at Lavender and Lovage.

Herbs on Saturday

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Angela Darroch April 30, 2013 at 9:27 am

I’ve had my fair share of disasters with souffles – once even forgetting to add in the egg whites!! I would love to find a recipe that is foolproof so watch this space. I will let you know if this works for me.


2 Jacqueline April 30, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Great – thanks Angela. Not sure why my first attempts didn’t work – think it may have been the size of the dish. Perhaps the larger surface area of the smaller dishes does the trick ;-)


3 Elizabeth April 30, 2013 at 9:38 am

That is gorgeous! It sounds absolutely delicious too. I’ve never made a souffle before – I might have to remedy this! MMmm!


4 Jacqueline April 30, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Thanks Elizabeth. I think twice-baked are so much easier – there is less stress invloved (for me, anyway!)


5 Christine (Cook the Story) April 30, 2013 at 12:23 pm

I had nearly the same disaster with soufflé that you did. But my recipe came from Bon Appetit magazine. I was beyond disappointed. I haven’t made one since. BUT, I did learn a tip that I’ve been meaning to try. Supposedly, you can use an instant read thermometer stuck into the middle. If it gets to the right temp (no memory for what that is. I’m helpful, right?) then you know the middle is cooked. But the twice baked strategy probably works just as well. These little soufflés look and sound lovely!


6 Jacqueline April 30, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Thanks Christine! Glad to hear I’m not alone in my soufflé disasters! Gosh, the instant read thermometer sounds complicated….but if it works…why not?
I’m happy to make the twice-baked version for the time being :-) Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!


7 Sarah April 30, 2013 at 9:52 pm

I usually leave the souffle making to my husband – he has an almost no-fail recipe, so they generally turn out well. But I like the idea of a nut crust on the souffle… may have to show him your recipe!


8 Jacqueline May 1, 2013 at 2:09 am

Oh lucky you Sarah, what a treat! Does he make both savoury and sweet soufflés?


9 Karen April 30, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Such a BEAUTIFUL post and stunning photos too…..and, I could eat that in a trice, it’s my kind of food Jacqueline! Thanks so much for another delectable entry into Herbs on Saturday! Karen xx


10 Jacqueline May 1, 2013 at 2:10 am

Thanks Karen! Three entries in one month – that must be a record :-)


11 Monet May 1, 2013 at 3:35 am

I’ve had a few souffle disasters…some more disastrous than others! I must say that this looks divine though. I just love the crunchy crust you added to this. What a brilliant idea. Thank you for sharing!


12 Jacqueline May 1, 2013 at 9:23 am

Thanks Monet! A little bit of crunchiness on top works wonders :-)


13 Jacqueline May 1, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Thanks Monet – I’m a bit addicted to hazelnuts!


14 Maggie May 1, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Souffle can be very temperamental – twice baked takes away most of the stress! Lovely souffle and beautiful presentation too.


15 Jacqueline May 1, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Stress free cooking all the way for me Maggie :-)


16 karin@yumandmore May 1, 2013 at 1:44 pm

This sounds delicious Jacqueline! yes souffles can be tricky and take different timing than in a recipe.
besides i love cheese more than souffle! ;D


17 Jacqueline May 1, 2013 at 4:01 pm

I adore cheese too Karin – the stronger the better!


18 Katerina May 1, 2013 at 5:54 pm

I love the idea of a nutty crust on top of this souffle! The juxtaposition of crunchy versus soft makes it very interesting!


19 Jacqueline May 2, 2013 at 2:21 am

Thank you Katerina!


20 Nazima May 1, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Oh this looks lovely. I love cheese souffles but have not made one so shall be trying this out.


21 Jacqueline May 2, 2013 at 2:22 am

Oh fab! Let me know how you get on :-)


22 Camilla @FabFood4All May 1, 2013 at 8:16 pm

These sound yummy Jacqueline and thank you for not using green cheese:-) I haven’t made souffle since before the kids were born and followed Delia’s recipe for Brocolli Souffle. It turned out beautifully and I was really pleased with it. As we started to eat it I burst out laughing and realised that I’d in fact made Brussel Sprout Souffle, can you get dementia in your late twenties? Funnily enough it was really nice so maybe I should blog it one day LOL!


23 Jacqueline May 2, 2013 at 2:24 am

Ha! Green or blue cheese? That’s great to know that Delia’s recipes are reliable. Brussel sprout souffle – was it at Christmas time? I imagine both this and broccoli would be fab and yes you should definitely blog it!


24 Laura@howtocookgoodfood May 1, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Wow, the nut crust on your souffle sounds so good. I am a big fan of the twice cooked soufflés, they are so easy and create such a wow factor. If only I made them more often. I love to make these for friends as they all think a souffle is most impressive! Thanks for entering into One Ingredient xx


25 Jacqueline May 2, 2013 at 2:25 am

Indeed, why make life difficult for yourself if twice baked works just as well ;-)


26 Mich Piece of Cake May 2, 2013 at 5:35 am

This souffle looks delicious and pretty easy to make. I love the flavours of cheese and chives.


27 Jacqueline May 3, 2013 at 3:54 am

Thanks Mich and as far as souffles go, yes it is fairly straightforward – just the way I like it :-)


28 rebecca May 3, 2013 at 4:22 am

this would be a fab brunch perfect


29 Jacqueline May 3, 2013 at 9:22 am

Thanks Rebecca!


30 Amy Tong May 3, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Oh…your Nut Crusted, Twice Baked, Cheddar and Chive Soufflé looks divine. I’m sure it tastes just as good. Nothing is more satisfying than sinking my teeth into the soft and dreamy cheese souffle. Yours is even better with the nut crust for a contrast of texture. Thanks for sharing.


31 Jacqueline May 4, 2013 at 6:59 am

Thanks for your lovely comment Amy. It does taste mighty fine! Your little tip of removing hazelnut shells is a touch of genius!


32 Nic May 5, 2013 at 12:45 pm

What I love about twice baked souffles is that you can prepare them ahead, and you know they are going to be just perfect when you serve them! Looks wonderful Jac!


33 Jacqueline May 7, 2013 at 3:07 am

I know – it’s almost cheating isn’t it Nic :-)


34 Caroline Taylor May 7, 2013 at 11:05 am

I had the same first souflee experience but have not tried the twice baked method, perhaps I should rethink!


35 Jacqueline May 7, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Absolutely – the twice baked will give you the desired result!


36 lisaiscooking May 7, 2013 at 3:32 pm

The added crunch from the crust sounds fantastic! And, what a great dish for a dinner party.


37 Jacqueline May 8, 2013 at 8:18 am

Thanks Lisa!


38 kellie@foodtoglow May 9, 2013 at 2:26 pm

The nutty crust is genius! I can’t eat hazelnuts but this pecans might be good instead. I am with you on the safety of a twice-baked souffle. I have had luck with the single bake ones in the past but the will they/won’t they rise stress is too much. But a flat souffle is still tasty! Lovely recipe and clear instructions


39 Jacqueline May 13, 2013 at 5:56 am

Thanks Kellie. The pecans sound like a good alternative!


40 rita cooks italian May 11, 2013 at 9:55 pm

The word souffle’ scares me….I’ve tried and failed, I do not know what went wrong??? So BRAVISSIMA, cheesy and ‘herby’, soft and crusty and baked twice!! Ciao


41 Jacqueline May 13, 2013 at 5:56 am

It can be really frustrating Rita. Have a go at the twice baked and you’ll be fine!


42 Rachel Cotterill May 13, 2013 at 7:37 pm

I haven’t tried souffle yet – but this looks lovely :)


43 Jacqueline May 14, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Thanks Rachel!


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