The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

11:33 PM

Food of the Day - Soufflé

Posted by Truffle Shuffle

Soufflé
Soufflé

What exactly is a soufflé? 
Basically, this versatile dish is a cake.  Its many forms span a wide range of flavors, including savory and sweet.  The soufflé can be an appetizer, a main dish, or a dessert.  It is a puffed pastry, from which the French word soufflé (meaning "blown up") takes its meaning.  A good souffle is so light and airy that the slightest tough with a fork or spoon will break it and release the gooey goodness inside.
Chocolate Soufflé

Soufflés have been made since the late 1700s, and it has developed into a dish that calls to mine decadence and luxury in food.  Whether sweet or savory, the soufflé is a culinary force with which to be reckoned. 
Soufflés obtain their  texture predominately from eggs.  This dish contains whole eggs, but the yolks are used as is, while the whites are beaten until stiff.  These eggs whites lend the soufflé its wonderful, fluffy texture.  The dish is basically made by mixing some sort of a sauce (perhaps a cheese sauce, or a chocolate sauce) with these eggs, and thus creating this simple but heavenly dish.  However, though the dish may be simple, creating a proper soufflé is not necessarily a simple task.
 Spinach Soufflé

Tips for making a good soufflé
1) Do not beat the egg whites too long.  When they form peaks (you can hold the mixing utensil upside down, and the stiff "peaks" will not drip), it is done.
2) Do not mix the egg whites with the egg yolks.  This will ruin the texture of the soufflé.
3)  Do not do anything to compromise the light texture.  A soufflé that is not airy and puffy is not really a soufflé at all!
4)  When you are mixing your egg whites into the rest of the soufflé mix, fold it every so lightly.  This will help to retain the lightness of the mixture.  If you mix it in and incorporate the ingredients with a heavy hand, you will end up with a dense soufflé.

Check out this tasty soufflé recipe.

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