Culinary Mythbusting #1 A Souffle

Many times people look at things like soufflés and think there is a mystery and that they are too intimidating to master themselves. We are here to change that with as many things as possible. 

We’ve all heard about banging oven doors, cupboards, yelling in the house, or yes the dog farts in the other room and the soufflé crashes ruining a beautiful dessert or breakfast. 

First of all the leavening for soufflé, or what gives it it’s lift is air and steam. That’s not unusual, things like puff dough and croissants also have the use of steam that is created when the butter starts to melt. What makes this notoriously less stable is the structure that has to form in the heat to hold the shape. With soufflé you are relying on very little flour and beaten egg whites depending on what kind of soufflé you are making. Here is the recipe….. but before I get you started, be aware that like all cooking or baking your mise en place is VERY important. That means “everything in it’s place”, you need to have all your ingredients measured out and ready, your oven preheated, your baking dish prepared, you need to read through the recipe more than once so you know what to prioritize and this is all BEFORE you start cooking/baking anything.  

That mise en place is also pulling your eggs out of the refrigerator so they can be at room temperature. Room temp eggs will cook better! *Another note about your whites, do not use your bare hands to separate the whites from the yolk. Make sure that your mixing bowl is completely free from grease. If you get any oils in your eggs whites, from your hands, bowl, whisk, whatever, it will impede the whipping process and will be difficult to reach medium or stiff peaks. 

So did the souffle fall under duress? You’ll have to check out the video. 




After 15 minutes this is what the souffle looked like. 



   And that’s pretty typical, time is going to do more damage, for those       souffles that are super light, they may fall quicker than others. But don’t drop it on the counter, that’ll do the trick quite rapidly.  






Melinda’s Favorite Cheese Souffle from The New Basics Cookbook

Good for any meal!

4 T unsalted butter

2 T freshly grated Parmesan cheese

3 T all purpose flour

1/4 t cayenne pepper

1 cup milk

3 egg yolks room temp

1 cup Gruyere cheese (sub your favorite)

4 oz prosciutto thinly sliced (optional)

2 T fresh chives diced

4 egg whites room temp


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using 1 T of the butter grease the inside of a straight sided soufflé dish or ramekin Sprinkle with 1 T of the Parmesan cheese. (Obviously you may use more than a Tablespoon or less depending on what size container you are using. 

Melt butter in a suacepan over medium heat and when it stops foaming add flour and stir into a smooth paste. You can use a regular spoon or spatula but you’ll need a whisk for the next part. Add your milk in slowly and whisk as you go to make sure you don’t get any lumps. Add cayenne. 

Cook it until it comes to a boil and is thick, 5 min. Transfer into a bowl and let cool slightly.

Whisk in yolks, the rest of the cheese, prosciutto and chives. 

The part above can be done earlier, it can sit for awhile. If you refrigerate it just let it come back to room temp before trying to fold in the egg whites or it’s going to be difficult to incorporate. 

Beat egg whites* until stiff. Fold into mixture, some chefs will add a big spoon full of the whites and stir it in and then fold in the remaining. It makes the flour/milk mixture a little lighter body to make folding in the egg whites easier. 

Bake 20 min. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake until deep golden brown, puffed and it will still be wet inside. Serve immediately!!! 



Chocolate Souffle

part 1 Pastry Cream for souffles 

16 oz milk

5 oz sugar

3 oz flour all purpose

2 oz eggs

1 1/2 oz egg yolks


Combine 4 oz milk and half sugar in a saucepan and bring it to a boil stirring occasionally.

Combine remaining sugar and flour together in another bowl and stir with a whisk, add remaining milk and whisk until smooth.  Add eggs and egg yolk and continue to whisk until smooth. 

Temper in hot milk mixture into your bowl and then pour back into the sauce pan and heat until thick, whisking and stirring. As it gets thick it will burn on the bottom of the pot if you aren’t careful. Once it’s thick remove from the heat and pour into a bowl either over ice or put into refrigerator to cool a little. 

(you can make this part a head of time, same as the above directions.)

1 1/2 oz butter

5 oz chocolate

17 oz pastry cream

1 oz egg yolk

6 oz egg whites

2 1/2 oz sugar

Coat the inside of the ramekins with butter and dust with sugar.

Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler until melted and blend into pastry cream. Blend in egg yolk and set aside.

Whip egg whites to soft peaks. when they reach soft peaks sprinkle in sugar a little at a time while continuing to whisk until medium peaks.

Gently blend in 1/3 of the egg whites to the chocolate pastry cream and then FOLD in the remaining carefully to not deflate the air. 

Portion into ramekins and bake at 350 until done about 20 min. Serve immediately!


Oh by the way the Smoked Chocolate Souffle was definitely that, smokey, I enjoyed it though it was pretty pronounced I think it would be best with some raspberry or creme anglaise on top!

We’re going to have the kids and teens making souffles for camp next week. And I know they will all be a success! If they can tackle it, you can to! 






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