6 main- or 10 side-dish servings
¼ cup butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups milk
¼ teaspoon cayenne
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups shredded Point Reyes Toma (about 6 oz.)
6 large eggs, separated
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
Generously butter a 2-quart soufflé dish or ten 6-ounce ramekins; if using small dishes, set them on a sheet pan about 1 ½ inches apart.
In a 2--quart pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and stir until mixture is smooth and bubbling. Stir in milk, cayenne, and salt, and continue stirring until sauce boils and thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add cheese and stir until melted. Add egg yolks and stir until the mixture is blended and smooth.
In a bowl, with a mixer on high speed, using the whisk attachment, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff, moist peaks form. With a spatula, fold a third of the cheese sauce into whites until well blended. Add remaining sauce and gently fold in just until blended.
Scrape batter into the prepared soufflé dish or dishes until they are about ¾ full.
Bake at 375° until top is golden to deep brown and cracks look fairly dry, 25 to 30 minutes for large soufflé, 15 to 20 minutes for small. Serve immediately.