Tuesday's Tip of the Day: Perfect Souffles!
I absolutely love making soufflés, and oddly enough, find their nuances and finicky behavior to be a welcomed challenge. I will never forget my finals in pastry and baking class at Le Cordon Bleu. We had a certain window, 3 minutes in fact, to present a perfectly baked soufflé. If your soufflé came out of the window before your 3 minute time, it would deflate before they were able to grade it. If the soufflé wasn’t fully cooked within that 3 minute window, you would have nothing to show. After dozens of soufflés were timed and tested (and tasted of course) from my home kitchen, I felt confident that my timing was down pat. And thank goodness for that as my neighbors were starting to resist all my samples. I ended up getting the best grade in my class, so let’s say my practice paid off!
People often ask what the secret to a perfectly cooked soufflé is? With my dedication to making them just that, I thought I would share my top 4 tips.
- Acid: If you cannot get your egg whites to whip to firm peaks, add an acid. This isn’t necessary, but it can help when your whites simply won’t cooperate. I always prefer cream of tartar because it won’t impart a flavor, but white wine or lemon juice (very small amount) would work too.
- Don’t over-fold! This is the most critical step as all that work you put into whipping your egg whites will be lost of you over-fold and deflate them.
- Room Temperature Eggs: Room temperature eggs will whip faster and provide more lift than cold eggs. If your eggs are cold and you want to use them right away, simply add them to a small bowl with room temperature water and allow them to slowly warm. You don’t want to cook the eggs but rather gently raise their temperature.
- Oven: Make sure you don’t open the oven once they go in as each time you do, hot air is released which will deflate them. Also make sure you account for their “lift” by placing them in the bottom half of the oven.
Whether looking to make sweet or savory soufflés, consider these helpful tips for making perfect soufflé every time!
Cheers to starting a new tradition around the table together!
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