Gruyère AOP Christmas soufflé

20' 40'

Imagine an instance of having an incomparable experience; one of those very rare moments where your audacity, helped along with a bit of success, allows you to take part in a unique visual phenomenon in front of your guests: the rising of a soufflé. After 35 years in the profession, I’m still in awe at the sight.

The first culinary mention of this recipe dates back to Vincent de la Chapelle in the beginning of the 18th century. This colourful, adventurous chef worked in England, The Netherlands, Portugal and finally in France for Madame de Pompadour, mistress of the famous Louis XV. Understandably, he named the recipe: the Well of Love. A controversial character due to his involvement with the Freemasons, he even created a lodge in The Netherlands, which still carries his name. Extremely creative, he is most famous for his very elaborate meal of only 2 courses, but what 2 courses they were, just think: a meal for 100 guests. The first course consisted of 175 different dishes including 25 ‘dormants’ (a predecessor of the ‘chafing dish’) and 88 spicy soups (prepared with fish or meat in a sauce). The second course consisted of 166 different dishes including salads and sauces. Finally, 66 small warm ‘entremets’ to spice up the sauces. In those days, a big appetite was a necessity!

Ingredients for



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  • 100 g
    Gruyère AOP
  • 6
  • 3.5 dl
  • 80 g
  • 60 g
  • +
    salt and pepper
  • +
    star anise, or ground anise


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (thermostat 6).
  2. Grate the Gruyère AOP, set aside.
  3. Pepper the milk beforehand and then heat it.
  4. Butter and flour a soufflé pan.
  5. In a pot, melt the butter and then add the flour.
  6. Remove from heat and stir well in order to obtain a smooth mixture.
  7. Add the milk, cook for 1 minute stirring vigourously until the mixture becomes thicker.
  8. Remove from the heat and add the egg yolks one by one. Add the grated Gruyère AOP, salt and pepper to taste, and add the anise.
  9. Beat the egg whites into stiff peaks.  Fold them carefully into the cheese batter.
  10. Pour the batter into the pan and cook at 180°C (thermostat 6) for 35 min. Serve immediately.

Delicious to know

Butter the inside edges of the mould in the direction of the height for the soufflé. This helps it to rise evenly.

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