Cheese-and-Kale Souffle

Photo: John Kernick
Prep Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 5 mins

This beautifully browned cheese-and-kale souffle was baked with a parchment "collar" wrapped around the dish. This encouraged it to rise sky-high. The addition of egg-white powder helps stabilize the mixture.


  • Unsalted butter, room temperature, for dish

  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan, for dish

  • 1 large bunch kale (1 pound), stemmed and washed, water still clinging to leaves

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • 3 ⅓ cups half-and-half

  • 6 large egg yolks, room temperature, plus 11 large egg whites, room temperature

  • 14 ounces mixed semifirm Alpine cheeses, cut into ¼-inch cubes (Martha used 5 ½ ounces Emmental, 3 ½ ounces Comte, 2 ounces Scharfe Maxx, 1 ½ ounces Appenzeller, and 1 ½ ounces Gruyere)

  • ¼ cup egg-white powder


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in lower third. Butter an 8 1/4-by-3 1/2-inch (11 cups to the rim) souffle dish; coat with Parmesan. Using a long piece of parchment, form a collar around souffle dish that extends 3 inches above top of dish; tie kitchen twine around collar to secure. Place on a rimmed baking sheet.

  2. Heat a large pot over medium. Add kale; season with salt and black pepper and toss to combine. Cover and steam, tossing occasionally, until kale is wilted, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain in a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess moisture. Coarsely chop kale (you should have 1 cup); set aside.

  3. In a medium saucepan, whisk together flour, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, cayenne, and nutmeg. Gradually whisk in half-and-half, then heat over medium-high, whisking constantly, until thick and smooth, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto surface of mixture. Let cool completely, then stir in yolks, cubed cheese, and kale.

  4. Whisk together egg whites and egg-white powder on medium-high speed until stiff but not dry peaks form, 5 to 6 minutes. Spoon one-quarter of whites mixture into base, then whisk thoroughly until smooth. Gently fold in remaining whites mixture. Transfer to prepared dish.

  5. Bake 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees; continue to bake until souffle is risen, set, and dark golden brown, 50 to 60 minutes more. Remove collar and serve immediately.


Cheese-and-Leek Variation

Melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a large pot over medium. Add 1 bunch large leeks (white and pale-green parts only), thinly sliced, washed well, and dried (5 cups). Season with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are tender, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; let cool completely before stirring into mixture in place of kale at end of step 3.

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