Top 10 list for a perfect soufflés

(A 31/2 inch soufflé mold is recommended. Same principals apply for a larger mold. The time in the oven will only have to be increased. Soufflés can be prepared up to two hours before cooking. Soufflés can be cooked twice)

1)    Ceramic ramequins are best for soufflés. Coat the mold evenly with soft butter, with a brush or the index finger. Don't use clarified butter or oil.

2)    Flour or sugar must be sprinkled on the buttered mold. This is done by rolling the flour inside the mold and discarding the excess at the end. Having mold only buttered will cause leaks and indents. Mold must be refrigerated until filled.

3)    When coating the mold with flour, don't touch the inside. Any impact will make the soufflé stick on one side. It will stretch the opposite side and make it burst and leak.

4)    After adding the egg yolks to the base, it is imperative to either finish the soufflé right away or bring the batter to a boil. The yolks break into liquid if not boiled at once.

5)    Be careful not to over whip the egg whites. A drop of lemon help stabilize the albumin. Sugar help controlling the whites, even for savory soufflés.

6)    Do not over mix the whites and the base. The soufflés will rise better even if the batter looks swirled.

7)    Fill up the mold by pouring dead center. Don't spill the soufflé mix on the buttered part of the rim. Any spot would make the soufflé stick and, as in tip # 2, break the sides.

8)    Fill up the mold to the rim. Any part of the mold not covered would burn and make the soufflé stick.

9)  Start the soufflés in a hot oven (400°) or hotter if baking more than two. Then,   lower the oven to 350o. 4 inch space, between soufflés is recommended to allow the heat to flow. Sheet pan must be filled with water when soufflés are cooked in a convection oven.

10)Don't expect soufflés to hold up forever. Chef René Verdon told President Kennedy after he had served flat cheese soufflés for lunch. "Soufflés cannot wait, even for the President of the United States"


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