Top Tips for the Perfect Souffle

Vanilla souffle

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Making a homemade soufflé is one of those recipes that many home cooks are afraid to tackle because they think it will be too difficult. The souffle may be considered a very sophisticated dish but it's actually very easy and simple to prepare. All you need are a few top tips to help you on your way. Though soufflé recipes can be sweet or savory, the principles of making them are exactly the same and these tips will work for dessert or savory souffles.

Tip for Making the Perfect Souffle Every Time

These tips will give you a good feel for planning ahead and preparing your souffle. Be prepared to wow your friends and family with your feather-light souffle.

  1. Read your souffle recipe. Then, read it again. Reading the recipe over a few times ensures you are to make sure you are clear on the instructions and, very importantly, you have all the ingredients prepared and ready. Once you start to make a soufflé, it's time-sensitive and you won't be successful if you need to stop mid-preparation and search for an ingredient.
  2. After reading the recipe (a few times) collect all the equipment you will need to prepare your souffle.
  3. Measure and weigh all the ingredients before you start cooking. Lay them all out in the order you will be using them, so you can move seamlessly from ingredient to ingredient.
  4. Make sure all the equipment you are using is scrupulously clean and grease-free (except for the souffle dishes, which will need to be greased). Greasy spoons, bowls, or whisks stop egg whites from rising sufficiently. This can make the souffle collapse.
  5. Ensure all your ingredients, especially the eggs, are at room temperature. Do not use cold eggs.
  6. Prepare and grease the soufflé dishes before you start making the soufflé mixture.
  7. Preheat the oven so once the soufflé is made and in the dish, it can go directly into the oven.
  8. It is not an old wives tale that opening the oven door while a soufflé is cooking can cause it to sink; it's true that this can happen. Be aware that a sudden rise or fall in temperature during cooking will have that effect.
  9. The tableside dishes and guests should be assembled and ready before the soufflé goes in the oven. Don't start to cook unless you know you can serve it directly to the table. Within a matter of minutes from removing it from the oven, a souffle will slowly start to sink. If you want to show-off, then get the souffle to the table as quickly as possible.
  10. Work quickly and calmly, and most of all, have fun. There's no greater joy than cooking for oneself, family or friends.

If you made a basic souffle as your first attempt and feel comfortable with the process, try your hand at some other styles including a French lemon rosemary souffle, cheese and leek souffle, or an easy French spinach souffle.