Every cook likes to show off sometimes, and few dishes are as dazzling as the old-fashioned but remarkably light soufflé, sweet or savory.
May 17, 2011
1 of 6Photo: John Autry
Three Steps to Soaring Soufflés
The secret to these ethereal puffs has everything to do with egg whites. Whip in a blast of air, and carefully incorporate the billowy froth into a creamy base. Then serve right away—these delicate creations defy gravity for a few fleeting moments.
2 of 6Photo: John Autry
Coat the Dishes
Lightly coat dishes with cooking spray. Then add a coarse ingredient to provide traction. Granulated sugar works for sweet soufflés, and breadcrumbs are good for savory.
3 of 6Photo: John Autry
Whip the Egg Whites
Soufflés are leavened only by egg whites; separate the eggs carefully so they'll whip nicely. Beat whites just to medium peaks: Test to see if they stand at a 45° angle to be sure.
4 of 6Photo: John Autry
Incorporate the egg whites into the heavier base by pushing lightly down and pulling the heavier custard mixture up and over the whites, using a sweeping S motion as you work.
5 of 6Photo: John Autry
Spinach and Parmesan Soufflés
Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese has a superior nutty flavor you won't find in the domestic alternatives. It's worth seeking out—be sure to buy a wedge and grate it yourself.
6 of 6Photo: John Autry
A dusting of powdered sugar or cocoa powder is a traditional garnish for this classic dessert. Here, we sprinkle the tops with sliced almonds before baking to add contrasting flavor and texture.