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How to Make Soufflés

How to Make Soufflés

Every cook likes to show off sometimes, and few dishes are as dazzling as the old-fashioned but remarkably light soufflé, sweet or savory.

Three Steps to Soaring Soufflés

The secret to these ethereal puffs has everything to do with egg whites. Whip in a blast of air, and carefully incorporate the billowy froth into a creamy base. Then serve right away—these delicate creations defy gravity for a few fleeting moments.

Coat the Dishes

Lightly coat dishes with cooking spray. Then add a coarse ingredient to provide traction. Granulated sugar works for sweet soufflés, and breadcrumbs are good for savory.

Whip the Egg Whites

Soufflés are leavened only by egg whites; separate the eggs carefully so they'll whip nicely. Beat whites just to medium peaks: Test to see if they stand at a 45° angle to be sure.

Gently Fold

Incorporate the egg whites into the heavier base by pushing lightly down and pulling the heavier custard mixture up and over the whites, using a sweeping S motion as you work.

Spinach and Parmesan Soufflés

Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese has a superior nutty flavor you won't find in the domestic alternatives. It's worth seeking out—be sure to buy a wedge and grate it yourself.

Lemon-Almond Soufflés

A dusting of powdered sugar or cocoa powder is a traditional garnish for this classic dessert. Here, we sprinkle the tops with sliced almonds before baking to add contrasting flavor and texture.


How to Make an Airy Soufflé, According to Our Test Kitchen

Making savory, light-as-air soufflés is way easier than you might think—seriously—with a few key ingredients and technique secrets.

If you&aposre looking for a stunning and delicious brunch dish, a soufflé is the perfect choice. While the delicate and fluffy egg dish might seem intimidating, understanding a soufflé&aposs ingredients𠅊nd how they work—will help you achieve brunch perfection. Although these ingredients speak specifically to our Cheese & Spinach Soufflés (pictured above), you can easily transfer the techniques and knowledge to any of our soufflé recipes to make a satisfying and gorgeous dish.


Parmesan Soufflés

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 40 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 8

Special Equipment: 8 individual soufflé dishes, preferably about 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter and 2 1/2 inches (6 cm) tall

Ingredients US Metric

  • For the dishes
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 to 2 1/2 oz), softened
  • 2 ounces Parmesan, freshly grated
  • For the soufflés
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 oz)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon full-fat milk
  • 2 pinches cayenne pepper
  • 10 medium free-range eggs (divided), plus an extra 2 yolks
  • 6 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Generously butter 8 individual soufflé dishes, preferably about 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter and 2 1/2 inches (6 cm) tall. Add the grated Parmesan to one of the buttered dishes and then rotate the dish to coat the inside. Tilt the first soufflé dish over a second soufflé dish to let the excess drop into the second. Repeat this with the remaining dishes until they’re all coated.

Melt the butter in a small pan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring with a small balloon whisk, for 2 minutes to make a roux. Gradually stir in the cold milk and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Simmer for 1 minute and then pour the béchamel into a bowl. Add a little salt and pepper as well as the cayenne and then whisk in the 12 egg yolks. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place.

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

In a very clean bowl, whisk the 10 egg whites with a pinch of salt until semi-firm peaks form, about 8 minutes (or, if using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, about 3 minutes. Without delay, whisk 1/3 of the egg whites into the warm béchamel. Now, using a spatula or large spoon in one hand, very gently fold in the rest of the egg whites while gradually showering in the grated Parmesan with your other hand. Stop mixing as soon as the mixture is combined, less than 1 minute.

Using a spoon, generously fill each soufflé dish to 1/2 inch (12 mm) above the rim. Gently smooth the tops of the soufflés using the side of a knife and then run the tip of the knife around the inside of each rim to allow the souffle to get a good rise.

Line the base of a roasting pan with parchment paper and place the soufflé dishes in the pan. Pull the rack partway out of the oven and pour enough near-boiling water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the soufflé dishes. Bake for 14 to 17 minutes, depending on the size of the ramekins, rotating the pan halfway through to ensure even cooking.

Gently remove the pan from the oven and lift the soufflé dishes out onto warmed plates. Serve immediately.

Cheddar Soufflés Variation

For Cheddar soufflés, replace the Parmesan in the soufflé mixture with 7 ounces (200 g) Cheddar and use 3 ounces (85 g) for lining the dishes. For Gruyère or Comté soufflés, use 8 1/2 ounces (240 g) cheese for the mixture, and 3 ounces (85 g) for the dishes.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

This was my first attempt at a savory soufflé and I wasn't sure what to expect. It was delicious. It was light but crusty and filled with the wonderful Parmesan flavor (you will need to use a good Parmesan) and accentuated by two small pinches of cayenne pepper. And it was versatile. I made them for dinner one night and served them with a grilled New York Strip. The flavors complemented each other beautifully. But the next morning, I popped a leftover one in the toaster oven at 350°F while I brewed coffee and it made a wonderful breakfast. I cooked the soufflés for 11 minutes to get a lightly brown crust. I did only the Parmesan version and it was so good. This makes 8 soufflés but the men had two each with dinner.

Practice patience! Despite the simplest of ingredients and how rewarding they are, making soufflés paralyze me with fear and I talk myself out of making them. To get height and lightness, I knew I needed the lightest touch with the egg whites, and part of that is volume. A simple calculation would have said for TWO servings, 2 eggs and half a yolk (which is inconvenient and probably not as important as the weight or volume of the whites and yolks). I tried several variations (yard eggs, large store-bought, and extra-large store-bought eggs), and my FINAL best results were 3 whites and 2 yolks.

The Parmesan is just right in flavor along with a half a pinch of cayenne (my “pinch” measure looks to be 1/16 teaspoon) along with a couple of grinds of pepper and a scant pinch of kosher salt. I tried hand whisking (about 8 to 9 minutes and a sore shoulder) and moved to using my wire-whisked electric hand mixer, one I bought especially because it was well known for quickly putting air into whipped egg whites or cream. That happens in under a minute! I also tried both the recipe method of folding in the whites to the béchamel as well as letting the béchamel cool slightly and adding a portion of the Parmesan before the whites. In each case I measured and weighed the egg whites, seeing variation even in the same grade commercial eggs, roughly under a 1/2 cup, from 100g to 118g, and 130g with the extra large).

The butter for the ramekins seems excess, but the point really is to generously butter them. And the amount of freshly grated Parmesan is also generous for the ramekins, but weigh that out first, and use any extra for the soufflé (I was using 8 to 10g finely grated Parmesan on a Microplane box grater for the ramekins and 45g for the soufflé). Don’t worry if your ramekins are slightly different in size than the recipe specifies. Mine were 4 inches by 2 inches. The first time you make this, maybe prepare an extra ramekin if you think you might need it. I now feel confident I can walk into the house, turn on the oven and serve souffles in under an hour.

Immediately after turning on the oven, separate your cold eggs (cold eggs are easier to separate), placing the whites in the bowl you will whisk or beat them in so they can now come to room temp as you prepare the ramekins, grate your cheese and make the béchamel. if you are making this for two, your roux and béchamel are going to progress very quickly and I found that part was best done with either a small silicone spatula or a flat small whisk, in your tiniest saucepan. Stir and whisk constantly, drizzling in the milk slowly as you continue to incorporate the milk.

Most important, don’t panic. Even if you are not sure the first time you make these, you can pop them back in the oven if they are underdone. I definitely learned a lot after 5 batches, and once mastering it on a small scale. I can consider making it for a dinner party. Next mountain of egg whites maybe I will attempt chocolate or Grand Marnier soufflé like a favorite restaurant offered.

I divided the quantities of the ingredients in two, making half the amount given. My soufflé mix made 5 soufflés in the molds I used. The taste was good and perhaps needed just a little more salt. Overall the recipe gives good results and looks impressive.

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11 Soufflés Perfect for an Elegant (but Effortless) Dinner

Incredibly simple and versatile, soufflés are a great secret weapon to keep in your back pocket when you want a quick and delicious dinner or dessert option any time of year (though they naturally lend themselves to romantic occasions, like Valentine’s Day). They seem fancy and maybe fussy, but they’re really just delightful. If you’re still afraid of soufflés, just keep these tips and tricks in mind:

1. Don’t over-whip your egg whites. Yes, you want billowy clouds, but they should still be moist and soft. To help them achieve those lofty peaks, make sure there’s not a trace of fat (butter, egg yolk, etc.) in the bowl with them.

2. Use a light touch when folding in the whipped egg whites so they stay fluffy.

3. Don’t open the oven door during baking, no matter how tempting it is!

4. Use a parchment or aluminum foil “collar” to help the souffle rise up above its baking dish if you like.

5. Above all, don’t stress, and know that even the airiest soufflé will deflate as it cools—and will still taste delicious!

Bellemain Porcelain Ramekins, 6 for $12.95 on Amazon

Individually portioned souffles are classic, and so are these simple ramekins for baking and serving them.

Pair your savory soufflé with a simple salad or any vegetable side and you’ve got a protein-filled dinner that you can make with whatever you find in the fridge (as long as you’ve got a few eggs). The sweet versions can stand alone, or be accompanied with fresh whipped cream and a fruit sauce or fresh berries. Check out these 11 soufflé recipes for an elegant and easy meal you can have on the table in almost no time.

1. Leek and Feta Cheese Soufflé

Dusting the ramekins with grated parmesan makes these soufflés extra special, but the blend of sweet leeks and sharp feta is stellar to begin with. Make the leeks ahead of time and these will come together even quicker. Get the Leek and Feta Cheese Soufflé recipe.

KitchenAid Queen of Hearts Collection, $49.99-$399.99 at Walmart

Browse the 100th anniversary limited-edition KitchenAid Queen of Hearts collection, including the iconic stand mixer for whipping egg whites in no time.

2. Cheddar and Chive Potato Soufflé

Marcus Nilsson/Real Simple

Forget basic mashed potatoes—fluffy, egg-enriched potato soufflé is the way to go (sweet potato soufflé is great too). Loaded with cheddar cheese and fresh chives, this is an amazing side dish that pairs well with any grilled or roasted meat, or simply a green salad, sharply dressed. Get the Cheddar and Chive Potato Soufflé recipe.

3. Jack Cheese and Grits Soufflé

This is an easy soufflé recipe that you can have for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (try adding green chilies, avocado, and cilantro for a full southwestern soufflé). Grits lend texture, and whole eggs mean there’s no whipping whites involved, but these unconventional soufflés still puff up in golden clouds. Use any sharp, aged cheese you like to switch up the flavor. Get our Jack Cheese and Grits Soufflé recipe.

4. Cajun Soufflé

Creole seasoning, andouille sausage, and sauteed bell peppers and onions give this large-format souffle a kick, just as welcome at brunch as at dinner. Feel free to cook it in individual ramekins if you prefer. Get the Cajun Soufflé recipe.

5. Roasted Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Soufflé

This light and creamy vegetarian soufflé starts with a classic béchamel and whipped egg white base, but adds roasted cauliflower and goat cheese for a tasty twist. Get the Roasted Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Soufflé recipe.

Di Oro Silicone Spatula Set, 3 for $29.97 on Amazon

Use a light touch and a silicone spatula to fold the whipped whites into the other ingredients so they don't deflate.

6. Havarti Soufflé with Scallions and Dill

Christopher Testani/Country Living

Havarti, scallions, and dill give this soufflé a Nordic nuance. Make this recipe in one large soufflé dish or several smaller ramekins—and you can throw in any vegetables you have on hand, like roasted bell peppers or broccoli, to make it more substantial. Maybe even a little flaked smoked salmon… Get the Havarti Soufflé with Scallions and Dill recipe.

7. Vegan Spinach Artichoke Soufflé

Okay, so soufflé without eggs is a little tricky. You can try substituting aquafaba (as in this vegan chocolate soufflé recipe), but another option is to simply evoke the look and feel of a souffle using a pretty nifty pastry trick. Make an airy croissant-inspired vegan and gluten-free dough, then wrap it around a blend of artichoke hearts, onion, garlic, spinach, bell pepper, and firm tofu, with nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor. Bake until it’s puffed and golden, and dig in. Get the Vegan Spinach Artichoke Soufflé recipe.

8. Clean Eating Pea and Ricotta Soufflé

Just as you can use different types of cheese in cheesecake, soufflés welcome all kinds too. This light and fluffy ricotta-based soufflé brings sweet green peas into the mix, for a healthy but still satisfying rendition of a classic that’s full of fresh flavor. Get the Pea and Ricotta Soufflé recipe.

9. Raspberry Soufflé

Dessert versions of soufflé are just as adaptable as the savory sort. Fresh raspberries lend sweet-tart flavor and a naturally rosy hue to these treats. In an inversion of the classic chocolate-soufflé-with-raspberry-coulis pairing, try topping these with bittersweet chocolate sauce. Get the Raspberry Soufflé recipe.

10. Meyer Lemon Soufflé

Slightly less fruity, more floral, and with their own natural zing, Meyer lemon soufflés shine like warm winter sun. (When Meyer lemons aren’t in season, try this recipe with regular lemons, but know that you might need a bit more sugar.) A simple dusting of confectioner’s sugar is all this light, bright, lovely dessert needs—except for a spoon, of course. Get the Meyer Lemon Soufflé recipe.

11. Chocolate Soufflé

OK, we can’t resist the classic. Try a milk chocolate soufflé if you want something a little different, but if you’re a dark chocolate lover, this one’s for you. Get our Chocolate Soufflé recipe.

Related Video: Souffle Your Breakfast with These Fluffy, Jiggly Japanese Pancakes

This post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated with new images, links, and text.


How to Make a Dessert Soufflé

Follow these steps and tips on how to make a soufflé dessert. You’ll be surprised at how easy this elegant French dish is to make.

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HEAT oven to 350°F. MIX 1/4 cup sugar, the cocoa powder, flour and salt in medium saucepan gradually whisk in milk until smooth. COOK over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. STIR IN vanilla. Remove from heat.

BEAT egg whites and cream of tartar in mixer bowl with whisk attachment on high speed until foamy. Beating constantly, ADD remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 2 Tbsp. at a time, beating after each addition until sugar is dissolved. (Rub a bit of mixture between thumb and forefinger it should feel completely smooth.) Continue beating until whites are glossy and stand in soft peaks.

STIR egg yolks into reserved sauce until blended. Gently but thoroughly FOLD yolk mixture into whites until no streaks of white remain. Carefully POUR into ungreased 1-1/2 to 2-quart soufflé dish. For a “top hat”, hold metal spatula upright and make a ring in top of the soufflé mixture, 1 inch from side of dish and 1 inch deep, if desired.

BAKE in 350°F oven until soufflé is puffy, delicately browned and shakes slightly when oven rack is moved gently back and forth, 30 to 40 minutes. SERVE IMMEDIATELY.

Enjoy
Dust soufflé with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream.

Follow the age-old rule – the soufflé doesn’t wait for the guests, the guests wait for the soufflé. Be ready to whisk the soufflé to the table as soon as it’s out of the oven.

Serve by gently breaking the top crust into portions with two forks held back-to-back. Then lightly spoon soufflé onto plates, including some center and some crust in each serving.

Insider Information on How to Make Soufflé Dessert Perfectly
Soufflés need something to cling to. Soufflés are baked in ungreased dishes so they can cling to the sides on their ascent. If a coating is desired, lightly grease the dish with butter or cooking spray then dust evenly and completely with fine cookie crumbs, finely chopped nuts or granulated sugar. The coating will keep the soufflé from slipping down to the bottom.

Straight sides make all the difference. The straight sides of the traditional soufflé dish help the soufflé to climb and hold itself up. You can use a straight-sided casserole or saucepan (with ovenproof handle) as a substitute. If using a nonstick saucepan, be sure to coat the sides (as described above) to provide a non-slip surface.

How high do soufflés rise? A soufflé can double or even triple in volume. It depends on your beating and folding skills and on the weight of any added ingredients you use.

Use the appropriate size dish. The soufflé mixture should fill the dish to about 1/2 inch from the top. If the dish is too small, the soufflé will overflow if too big, it may not rise above the rim and look elegant. A four egg soufflé usually requires a 1-1/2 to 2-quart dish a six egg soufflé needs a 2 to 2-1/2-quart dish.

Collaring the dish: If the soufflé dish is a bit too small, you can add a collar to the dish before baking. Make a triple thick 4-inch wide band of aluminum foil, long enough to go around the dish and overlap by 2 inches. Grease and coat one side of the band (as described above). Wrap the band around the outside of the dish, coated side facing in. Fasten with string or strong masking tape. The collar should extend at least 2 inches above the top of the dish. It will keep the soufflé in bounds when it bakes. (Quickly but gently remove the collar from the baked soufflé before bringing it to the table.)

Keep the yolks separate from the whites. Fat from egg yolk will prevent egg whites from beating properly. When separating eggs, take care that no yolk gets in the whites. To avoid an accident, separate each egg white into a cup or small bowl before transferring it to the mixer bowl. Discard any white that has even a speck of yolk in it.

Equipment: Beaters and bowl should be spotlessly clean. Any residue of fat will prevent egg whites from beating properly. Use a stainless steel or glass bowl. Plastic bowls can retain a film of grease.
Egg temperature: It’s easiest to separate eggs cleanly when they are refrigerator cold. However egg whites whip to greater volume when they’ve had a chance to warm a bit, 20 to 30 minutes. Always begin by separating the eggs. Let the whites stand at room temperature while you prepare the sauce and other ingredients.

Cream of tartar: The air beaten into egg whites can be lost quite easily. A small amount of acidic ingredient, such as cream of tartar, acts as a stabilizing agent. A bit of lemon juice or vinegar will also work.

Salt decreases egg-white foam stability, so it should be added to the other ingredients.

Add sugar gradually. For optimum volume and smoothest texture, sugar should be added gradually, beginning only after the whites have been beaten to the foamy stage (about double in volume). Adding some or all of the sugar before beginning to beat will result in less volume.

To check if sugar is dissolved: After each addition, whites should be beaten until sugar has dissolved before adding more. To test, rub a bit of meringue between thumb and forefinger. If sugar is dissolved, it will feel completely smooth. If it feels grainy or sandy, continue beating.

What’s a soft peak? Egg whites should be beaten until they appear glossy and stand in soft peaks that curl at the tips when the beater or whisk is lifted. If the peaks stand straight and tall (stiff peaks), the egg whites have been overbeaten.

Gentle folding is the key to maintaining volume. Combining heavier mixtures with beaten egg whites can knock the air out of them. To prevent this, begin by pouring the egg yolk mixture over the beaten whites, not vice versa. Then gradually and gently combine the mixtures by folding, rather than stirring. Using a rubber spatula, start with a downward stroke into the bowl, continue across the bottom, up the side and over the top of the mixture. Come up through the center every few strokes and rotate the bowl often as you fold. Fold just until the color of the mixture is uniform, with no streaks of white remaining.

To create a “top hat” (a center that rises higher than the sides): Hold a metal spatula or table knife upright and make a ring in top of the unbaked soufflé mixture, 1 inch from side of dish and 1 inch deep.
Don’t open the oven door! A cool draft or slammed oven door can easily deflate the soufflé. Resist the urge to peek, at least during the first 25 minutes of baking.

Make ahead: The best soufflé is baked immediately. If necessary, it can be refrigerated up to 2 hours before baking. An unbaked soufflé can be frozen for several weeks, if you’re willing to sacrifice some puff. Defrost it in the refrigerator before baking.


Recipe Summary

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 firm, ripe bananas, mashed (1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 large egg whites
  • Salt

Preheat the oven to 400°. Brush four 1-cup ramekins with melted butter. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar to 1 of the ramekins and rotate it to coat with sugar. Tap the excess sugar into another ramekin and repeat until all the ramekins are coated with sugar.

In a food processor, puree the bananas with the lime juice, egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of the sugar until smooth. Scrape the banana mixture into a large bowl.

In a medium stainless steel bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until firm and glossy. Using a rubber spatula, beat one-fourth of the beaten whites into the banana mixture, then gently fold in the remaining whites. Spoon the soufflé mixture into the prepared ramekins and tap them lightly on a countertop. Transfer the soufflés to a baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown and risen. Serve at once.


  • 230 gm dark chocolate
  • 4 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 cup low fat milk
  • 5 egg whites

How to make Dark Chocolate Soufflés

Step 1

For making this delicious French dessert, take a chopping board and chop dark chocolate. On the other hand, preheat oven to 450 degree Fahrenheit. Apply butter on 10 1/2-cup soufflé dishes, and place them on baking sheet.

Step 2

Now put a saucepan on medium flame, pour in milk and bring it to a boil. Once boiled, remove the saucepan from flame, and add in the chopped chocolate. Now add 1/4 cup sugar, and unsweetened cocoa powder and stir until chocolate has melted and you have obtained a smooth mixture.

Step 3

Now put a saucepan on medium flame and melt butter in it. Once the butter is melted, add flour in it and stir once. Roast the flour for a minute.

Step 4

Next, pour in the molten chocolate mixture, stir and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until mixture has thickened. Turn off the flame and stir in vanilla extract.

Step 5

Then, with the help of electric mixer beat egg whites until frothy in a large bowl. Add in the remaining 1 cup sugar, and beat until smooth, glossy and creamy.

Step 6

Heat the chocolate mixture again until mixture starts boiling on low flame. Now put down the saucepan from flame and add in one-third of egg whites with spoon into souffles until well combined. Fold in remaining egg whites just to blend.

Step 7

Divide soufflé mixture among prepared soufflés dishes, and sprinkle powdered sugar on each soufflé. Bake soufflés until puffed above rim of dish, tops are flat and dry. Garnish as you like with chocolate chips, berries or chocolate syrup.


First of all, start off with fresh eggs. Make sure you check the date of the eggs just like milk, they have an expiration date on the end of the box. If they’re out of date, don’t use them, get some new eggs.

Next, make sure your eggs are at room temperature. Never try to whip cold egg whites, they will whip, but it will be much more work and you won’t get the same volume as with room temperature or warm egg whites.

And, if you want extra volume and stability, you can place the egg whites in your bowl and set them over a low to medium electric or gas flame swirl the bowl and heat the whites just until they are warm to the touch on your fingertip. Do not let the egg whites get white in the bowl. If you do, you’ve scrambled the egg whites and they’ll never whip.


How to Make a Savory Soufflé

Want to impress your guests? Serve a savory soufflé for lunch or dinner! Learn how by following our easy and simple recipe for soufflé.

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HEAT oven to 350°F. MIX flour and salt in medium saucepan gradually whisk in milk until smooth. COOK over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. REDUCE heat to low. ADD cheese stir until melted. Remove from heat.

BEAT egg whites and cream of tartar in mixer bowl with whisk attachment on high speed until Stiff Peaks but not dry, just until whites no longer slip when bowl is tilted.

STIR egg yolks into reserved sauce until blended. Gently but thoroughly FOLD yolk mixture into whites until no streaks of white remain. Carefully POUR into ungreased 1-1/2 to 2-quart soufflé dish.

BAKE in 350°F oven until soufflé is puffy, delicately browned and shakes slightly when oven rack is moved gently back and forth, 30 to 40 minutes. SERVE IMMEDIATELY.

Enjoy
Herbs and other seasonings can be added to the sauce at the end of step 1.

For other savory soufflés: Follow the basic recipe above, omitting cheese. Add up to 1-1/2 cups cooked ingredients to sauce with the egg yolks in step 3. These ingredients should be pureed, shredded or finely chopped and drained very well. Large pieces would sink to the bottom, weigh the soufflé down and hamper its rise. (A portion of the 1-1/2 cups may be cheese, if desired.)

Follow the age-old rule – the soufflé doesn’t wait for the guests, the guests wait for the soufflé. Be ready to whisk the soufflé to the table as soon as it’s out of the oven.

Serve the savory soufflé by gently breaking the top crust into portions with two forks held back-to-back. Then lightly spoon soufflé onto plates, including some center and some crust in each serving.

Insider Information on How to Cook a Savory Soufflé Perfectly

Soufflés need something to cling to. Soufflés are baked in ungreased dishes so they can cling to the sides on their ascent. If a coating is desired, lightly grease the dish with butter or cooking spray then dust evenly and completely with grated Parmesan cheese, fine dry bread crumbs or cornmeal. The coating will keep the soufflé from slipping down to the bottom.

Straight sides make all the difference. The straight sides of the traditional soufflé dish help the soufflé to climb and hold itself up. You can substitute a straight-sided casserole or saucepan (with ovenproof handle). If using a nonstick saucepan, be sure to coat the sides (as described above) to provide a non-slip surface.

How high do soufflés rise? A soufflé can double or even triple in volume. It depends on your beating and folding skills and on the weight of any added ingredients you use.

Use the appropriate size dish. The soufflé mixture should fill the dish to about 1/2 inch from the top. If the dish is too small, the soufflé will overflow if too big, it may not rise above the rim and look elegant.

A 4-egg soufflé usually requires a 1-1/2 to 2-quart dish a 6-egg soufflé needs a 2 to 2-1/2-quart dish.

Collaring the dish: If the soufflé dish is a bit too small, you can add a collar to the dish before baking. Make a triple thick 4-inch wide band of aluminum foil, long enough to go around the dish and overlap by 2 inches. Grease and coat one side of the band (as described above). Wrap the band around the outside of the dish, coated side facing in. Fasten with string or strong masking tape. The collar should extend at least 2 inches above the top of the dish. It will keep the soufflé in bounds when it bakes. (Quickly but gently remove the collar from the baked soufflé before bringing it to the table.)

Keep the yolks separate from the whites. Fat from egg yolk will prevent egg whites from beating properly. When separating eggs, take care that no yolk gets in the whites. To avoid an accident, separate each egg white into a cup or small bowl before transferring it to the mixer bowl. Discard any white that has even a speck of yolk in it.

Equipment: Beaters and bowl should be spotlessly clean. Any residue of fat will prevent egg whites from beating properly. Use a stainless steel or glass bowl. Plastic bowls can retain a film of grease.
Egg temperature: It’s easiest to separate eggs cleanly when they are refrigerator cold. However egg whites whip to greater volume when they’ve had a chance to warm a bit, 20 to 30 minutes. Always begin by separating the eggs. Let the whites stand at room temperature while you prepare the sauce and other ingredients.

Cream of tartar: The air beaten into egg whites can be lost quite easily. A small amount of acidic ingredient, such as cream of tartar, acts as a stabilizing agent. A bit of lemon juice or vinegar will also work.

Salt decreases egg-white foam stability, so it should be added to the other ingredients.

Beat egg whites just until they are Stiff Peaks but not dry and no longer slip when the bowl is tilted. When underbeaten, whites will not achieve full volume. Overbeaten whites form clumps of dry puffs which don’t hold air well, are difficult to incorporate when folding and do not expand properly when baked.

Gentle folding is the key to maintaining volume. Combining heavier mixtures with beaten egg whites can knock the air out of them. To prevent this, begin by pouring the egg yolk mixture over the beaten whites, not vice versa. Then gradually and gently combine the mixtures by folding, rather than stirring. Using a rubber spatula, start with a downward stroke into the bowl, continue across the bottom, up the side and over the top of the mixture. Come up through the center every few strokes and rotate the bowl often as you fold. Fold just until the color of the mixture is uniform, with no streaks of white remaining.

To create a “top hat” (a center that rises higher than the sides): Hold a metal spatula or table knife upright and make a ring in top of the unbaked soufflé mixture, 1 inch from side of dish and 1 inch deep.
Don’t open the oven door! A cool draft or slammed oven door can easily deflate the soufflé. Resist the urge to peek, at least during the first 25 minutes of baking.

Make ahead: The best soufflé is baked immediately. If necessary, it can be refrigerated up to 2 hours before baking. An unbaked soufflé can be frozen for several weeks, if you’re willing to sacrifice some puff. Defrost it in the refrigerator before baking.


Beating the Whites (Soufflex Those Muscles)

Brace yourselves: This is the section where I'm going to tell you the one thing you don't want to hear, which is that for the best soufflé, you'll likely get better results if you beat the whites by hand. You don't have to, but it's the one part of the process where you really can take more complete control if you use your own horsepower instead of outsourcing it to a motor. (Obviously, if you can't beat the whites by hand for physical reasons, it's totally fine to use an electric mixer you will still succeed.)

I came to understand the advantages of hand-beating the whites while running my first test batches, during which I used a stand mixer. I'm not a pastry chef, you see, so, while I've beaten my share of egg whites in my life, I'm not as practiced at it as a pastry pro might be. And what I realized was a mixer makes it harder for those of us who don't beat egg whites every day to properly judge the stage the whites are at in any given moment.

I found myself staring down into the bowl as the beater battered around a blur of whites that was almost impossible to analyze. Worse, the mixer is so powerful that it takes the whites through their respective stages, from a loose foam to firm peaks, very quickly. It's a little too easy to stop the machine, see that it's only at soft peaks, turn it back on, and then discover that you've sped past stiff peaks to grainy ones that are falling apart.

This does not happen when you beat them by hand. With each snap of the whisk, you have immediate feedback on the status of the whites. You can feel when they're liquid, and when they're becoming a foam. As they begin to grow in stiffness, all you have to do is pause your hand for a moment and lift the whisk. Do the peaks slump over on themselves? Start moving the whisk again. The progression is slower than in the bowl of a stand mixer, so you're much less likely to pass your desired stage of firm and glossy whites without noticing it.

And it's really not all that slow. People act like it's some great tribulation to beat egg whites by hand, but it only takes a couple minutes at most, especially if you're using the right kind of whisk (a French whisk).

Jacques Pépin, incidentally, whisked all his egg whites by hand when I had my soufflé session with him, and he talked in greater detail about beating egg whites than I thought possible. He talked about why he prefers fresh, cold eggs for soufflé, since they're thicker and form smaller air bubbles. He described his whisking method, first beating quickly to loosen the whites before slowing down to aerate them, lifting the whites with the whisk and letting them splash back down on themselves without tapping the bowl too much with the tines, a whisking movement that's different (and easier) than the figure eight often used to beat cream by hand. He talked about how he'd beat older eggs whites to a different stage than newer ones, a master's dialing-in to compensate for whites that are less viscous.

He used an expensive copper egg-beating bowl, which helps form more stable beaten whites that are less prone to breaking and weeping (the copper interferes with too-strong sulfur bonds from forming). If you don't have one of those, you can add a little cream of tartar to the whites, an acid that also prevents those sulfur bonds from forming. Or you can skip those tricks and just beat the egg whites alone. In my tests, I noticed almost no difference between the sample with cream of tartar and the plain one, but then I didn't over-beat my whites in either case. If you want an insurance policy against messed-up egg whites, copper or cream of tartar are good ideas.


Banana Souffle

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Brush 4 1-cup souffle dishes with melted butter sprinkle the insides of the cups with sugar.

Set the egg yolks aside, and place the 4 egg whites into the work bowl of an electric mixer. Beat the egg whites and salt until the whites form soft peaks.

Place the 2 egg yolks, bananas, honey, vanilla extract, and ginger into a blender pulse until smooth.

Scoop the banana mixture into a bowl use a rubber spatula or wire whisk to gently fold 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into the banana mixture. Gently run the spatula through the center of the bowl, then around the sides of the bowl, repeating until fully incorporated. Fold in the remaining egg whites, being careful to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.

Spoon the souffle mixture into the prepared dishes bake in the preheated oven until the souffles have puffed up above the baking dishes and the tops are browned, about 15 minutes. Sift a little sweetened cocoa powder over each souffle for garnish to serve.