Demystifying the Souffle


We are going to demystify the Souffle for you. Perhaps you have gotten caught up on all of the hype around fancy soufflés in the culinary world. We are going to help remove some of the mystery around a soufflé and help you learn how you, yes you, can easily make a fancy soufflé at home. 

Soufflé’s have a reputation of being very difficult to make as well as temperamental. In reality, once you have an idea of what to do and what you should avoid, soufflé’s are truly just humble casseroles. We are Demystifying the Soufflé’s by showing you that while most recipes present the dish as a fancy type of scrambled eggs, it is actually the sauce where the flavor, consistency and structure for the entire dish will be determined.

Make sure your sauce is thick…

A Soufflé begins with a thick white sauce. The sauce should be very thick so that its grip is strong and it will not slip away from the airy egg whites. If the soufflé is not thick enough, you will end up with a dish that looks good…that is until you slice into it and discover that your beaten egg whites are floating with sauce somewhere down in the center of your dish.

Season strongly…

When your sauce is plenty thick, be sure to season it strongly. Keep in mind that your sauce is going to become five times bigger than it currently is, and whatever spices you have in it will become depleted by the time your dish is served. Whatever seasonings you can taste slightly add more, if you think it currently tastes good, add more. If it tastes good to you now, then it will taste dull by the time it has been cooked and served.

Add egg yolks…

While the sauce is still hot, mix in the egg yolks. This step is essential so that the heat from the sauce begins to set up the protein in your egg yolks. If your sauce is not hot when added to the yolks, your soufflé’s mixture will be too slack and your soufflé will be too thin to puff as it should. To measure that your sauce is at the right temperature, your thermometer should be around 160F, if not slightly above. If your sauce is near bubbling, then it is too hot. You can fix this easily be removing it from the burner and transferring to a mixing bowl. Your sauce will then cool quickly. Just be sure that it stays right around that 160F mark, so that it is not too hot making your eggs curdle, but hot enough so that your mixture will not be slack.

Do you really need egg yolks?

The answer is yes! You definitely need egg yolks if you are making a soufflé. While at first take, egg yolks do not appear to play a prominent roll in the creating of a soufflé, but upon closer examination, you will find that egg yolks form the structure of the soufflé. This is what holds the creation in place once it has risen to its glorious height. This is why trying to substitute the egg yolk with additional whites to lower calories will not work in the long run.

Next steps…

Your next step is to beat the egg whites so that they become white and frothy. While beating your egg whites, be careful to not overheat them, yes there is such a thing. When egg whites are over beaten, they can actually become fragile, break and release the air they once held. The best practice is to stop beating the egg whites while they are still soft. The purpose of beating the egg whites is to transfer air into the sauce mixture. Adding air by way of whipped egg whites, when the soufflé is cooked, allows the air inside to get heated and expand, pushing the soufflé high into the air.

There are many different delightful ways you can make soufflé’s, from dinner dishes, to breakfast dishes to desserts. You could even choose to double the batch of sauce and use it as a base for another meal later on in the week. Pull out your creative side and try using your imagination! It’s hard to go wrong with so much delicious goodness.

Now that we have Demystified the Soufflé, you should try making one at home! You will get the hang of it in no time!

What is your favorite kind of soufflé?

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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