5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, divided
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 bay leaf
5 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
3/4 cup coarsely grated gruyere cheese
1 extra egg white
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Generously butter an eight cup soufflé mold with butter. Sprinkle on half the Pecorino cheese and toss it in the mold to coat the bottom and sides. Tap out any remaining cheese. Refrigerate the mold while preparing the soufflé.
Combine milk with the bay leaf in a small saucepan and bring just to the simmer. Then turn off the heat and let the milk sit for 5 minutes. Melt remaining butter in a heavy two quart saucepan. Add the flour then stir and cook it with the butter for 2 minutes.
Off the heat, rapidly pour the hot milk into the butter and flour roux stirring constantly. Over low heat return the mixture to a boil and cook until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Continue stirring off the heat and add the egg yolks, one at a time. Add, the salt, pepper, and all of the gruyere cheese. Transfer the warm soufflé base to a large, clean mixing bowl
Beat the 6 whites to firm but still moist peaks, adding a pinch of salt to the whites when they begin to foam. Stir 1/3 of the whites into the cheese base. Fold in the remaining whites in two portions until they are just blended. Gently transfer the soufflé into the chilled mold. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on the top, and bake 45 minutes, until the soufflé is fully puffed and brown. Serve immediately.
Yield: 6 servings