How to make souffles, your quick and basic guide to making this great and interchangeable dish. The versatility of this is you can go in two directions: dessert or savory.
Souffles may seem intimidating but jumping in getting your feet wet might change your mind! Likewise, I initially felt that way before I made my first one and then two, three, etc. Surprisingly, they are actually pretty easy and so versatile. I love that you can even make them sweet or savory.
What Are Souffles?
Soufflés are generally lightened desserts that get their air like qualities from egg whites. And when baked, rises to a beautiful dessert that makes for an amazing presentation! However, one thing about soufflés is, they must be presented right out of the oven because they will collapse quickly. Additional to note, they are not something you can make and re- heat and serve, due to their instability and losing volume after minutes leaving the oven.
But truly, they are beautiful pieces of food art once they rise to full capacity and come out of the oven. Remarkably, they are such a sight and will generate much excitement at your dinner or dessert table.
The Art of Soufflés 101
Generally, how to make souffles start with a basic custard where egg whites are folded in, this makes for their light texture and volume. Flavor components and items are added to the custard to make it either savory or sweet.
Ideas for flavorings of souffles:
- Finely chopped herbs or vegetables
The airy texture and high-volume appearance results from the folding of the egg whites which allow it to expand when baking and creates that light and fluffy appearance and taste. As a trademark, souffles will rise just above the rim of the baking containers they are baked in.
Ramekins make a great vessel for soufflés and also great for individual servings. Additionally, you can use one large round dish as well to make a giant souffle which would also make quite a conversation piece as you bring it to the table.
Typically, your foundational ingredients for a how to make souffles are:
- Egg Yolks
- Egg Whites
- Cream of Tartar
Those are the components required for soufflés. Many other items and flavorings can be added to create savory and sweet version, creating something fresh and new.
Typically, this is the process for creating standard soufflés:
- Egg yolks and sugar are whipped till thick
- Additional items are added to this mixture like herbs, cheese, chocolate, juices, etc.
- Egg whites, cream of tartar, and sugar are whipped to form stiff peaks
- Egg whites are folded into the egg yolks mixture in three portions
- Mixture is placed into ramekins for baking
Keys for Successful Souffles
- Egg whites need to be at room temperature before they are whipped
- No trace of egg yolks should be present, this will hinder the whites from whipping to their full potential
- Egg whites whipped till stiff peaks
- Egg whites should be folded in to the custard in thirds
Preparing Ramekins for Souffles
- Butter and sugar the ramekins well before pouring in the soufflé mixture, butter and parmesan for a savory version
- Once batter is placed in ramekins, run your finger around the rim of the ramekin. This allows the soufflé to rise perfectly and gives it the release to rise to its full potential.
My pastry chef instructor in culinary school shared with me that last tip about running your finger around the rim. I have found that was one of best tips I have received! Thank you Chef!
Soufflés can be made up to the point of where you place in the oven, then refrigerated a few hours before baking. I have tried this both with savory and sweet soufflés and they both came out awesome! This is awesome if you want to make ahead and have ready for a special meal.
Soufflé Ideas-Sweet and Savory
Now that you have the basics of how to make soufflés, let me share with you some fun ideas for both sweet and savory.
First, is a traditional chocolate soufflé that is very basic and just fantastic. It is light and chocolatey and just amazing. Perfect dessert for really anytime.
Orange soufflés are loaded with fresh orange juice and zest and baked up to golden brown. These are super light and pack a fresh punch of orange freshness in your mouth.
Cheddar Chive Onion Soufflés
This savory version is one of my favorites to make! I LOVE how they rise up so beautifully and will make an awesome presentation to your family and guests. Cheddar cheese and chives are added to create that savory version of this fun culinary creation!!
Hope this basic “how-to” helps you become more confident in your kitchen creating some amazing sweet and savory masterpieces. Giving you a good background to inspire you to make something great.
Love to see your creations, post below in comments.
Check out my other posts on the Pastry 101 series.