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A soufflé is a light, fluffy, baked cake made with egg yolks and beaten egg whites combined with various other ingredients and served as a savoury main dish or sweetened as a dessert. The word soufflé is the past participle of the French verb souffler which means “to blow up” or more loosely “puff up” – an apt description of what happens to this combination of custard and egg whites. Work on 3 eggs for every 2 people.

Flavouring ingredients used for soufflés work best when they are cooked and either chopped finely, grated or puréed. Variations include Cheese Souffle, Ham Souffle, Seafood Souffle or Mushroom Souffle, Chocolate Souffle, Orange Souffle, Blueberry Souffle, Coconut Souffle and Almond Souffle.

 
  • Makes/Serves
  • See above
  • Preparation Time
  • 15 mins
  • Cook | Chill | Freeze
  • 10 - 30 mins
  • Oven Temperature
  • 185oC
  • Oven Setting
  • Classic Convection
  • Freeze
  • No

Ingredients

  • 1 qty thick or masking Bechamel Sauce
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup variations (see below)
  • Sweet
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • Savoury
  • Flaked salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven.
  2. Place the béchamel sauce into a saucepan.
  3. Separate the eggs and add the yolks to the béchamel sauce mixture one at a time, beating continually until a smooth mixture is formed.
  4. Gently heat the mixture on medium heat until the sauce thickens. DO NOT BOIL.
  5. Add the variation ingredient to the mixture.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover with a piece of greased baking paper cut to fit the bowl width, or some cling wrap right down on the surface of the mixture (this will prevent a skin forming).
  7. Set aside but not in the fridge.
  8. Place the egg whites in a separate bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form.
  9. Gently and lightly fold the egg whites into the sauce mixture with a sharp flat spatula, then place the mixture into prepared ramekins, which have been greased and collared. (Wrapped with baking paper, cut twice the height of the ramekin and secured with kitchen twine to form a collar.)
  10. Place the ramekins in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
  11. They are ready when they are puffed and golden, and bounce back when pressed lightly.
  12. Remove from the oven, cut the twine and remove the paper.
  13. Serve immediately.
 

Variations

Savoury Souffles

  • Cheese Souffle – use hard cheeses that can be grated easily such as gruyère or stilton; parmesan also works well. About 125g of less strong cheese to about 30g of stronger cheeses such as parmesan. Add half the cheese to the sauce during the thickening stage, the remainder to the finished pastry cream.
  • Ham Souffle – ½ cup of cooked ham or finely chopped pork.
  • Seafood Souffle – ½ cup smoked salmon, smoked haddock or smoked trout that has been finely flaked.
  • Mushroom Souffle – ½ cup mushrooms that have been chopped and cooked in butter until tender, then drained.


Sweet Souffles

  • Chocolate Souffle – 2 Tbsp melted chocolate. Lemon – juice and grated rind of 1 lemon.
  • Orange Souffle – juice and grated rind of 1 orange.
  • Blueberry Souffle – ¼ cup of fresh (or thawed, frozen) blueberries.
  • Coconut Souffle – ½ cup of desiccated coconut, couple of drops of coconut extract or essence.
  • Almond Souffle – ¼ cup almond meal, 1 Tbsp slivered almonds, couple of drops of almond essence or extract.