Souffle is a fluffy, baked cake which is made by combining egg yolks and beaten egg whites with a base that could be made of custard, fruits, jams, etc. Souffle is a French word that literally means “To BlowUp” or “Puff-Up.” Souffles can be prepared into both savory as well as sweet desserts, depending on individual likings. There are different types of souffles, depending on whether it is a savory variety or a sweet one. Some popular Souffle recipes are Chocolate Souffle, Lemon Souffle, Cheese Souffle, Fruit Souffle, etc. Containers of varied shapes and sizes can be used for making souffles; however, a ramekin which is a glazed, white, flat-bottomed round porcelain container is ideal for baking souffle dishes.
Origin of Souffle Recipes
Souffleis first noted to have been made in France in the mid-18th century. The first recorded recipe of this dish was made in the year 1742 in Vincent La Chapelle's, Le Cuisinier Moderne. By 1841, souffle recipesbecame popular, especially with a lot of technicalities and details going into the making of the dish. Careme’s Patissier Royal Parisien went to great lengths to minimize the chances of the fluffed up souffle from collapsing.
Preparation of Souffle Dishes
Souffle is prepared with two basic components – the first component is the base that usually comprises fruits such as banana and berries, jams, chocolate, lemon, etc. The second component in the soufflé dishesis made of eggs, wherein, the egg whites are beaten to a soft peak meringue. The base is essential for providing flavor to the souffles, while the eggs give lift to them. Hence, it is very important to ensure that the eggs peak well when beaten. Cream sauce or puree forms a good base in soufflé dishes. When the ingredients bake well (which usually takes around 45 minutes), the cake tends to rise well. But once it cools down after about 5 to 10 minutes, the cake tends to fall just like sour dough. The sign of a well done souffle is when it is not only light like feather, but easily melts in the mouth. In most cases, fruit is the base component of Souffles.
Variations of Souffle Dishes
Soufflehas many variations, though the basic method of preparation is the same for all of them. Some variations of the souffle recipesare –
- Ice Cream Souffle– This soufflé recipe is a combination of ice cream and fruit. In some cases, a hot sauce replaces the fruit.
- Souffle Potatoes– This is made with puffed-up sautéed potato slices. Cambazola blue cheese is added to the ingredients and the souffle is usually topped with paprika. This dish is generally served with Chateaubriand Steak.
- Fig Souffle– This is one of the most delicious soufflesmade with eggs, whipped cream, figs, flour, milk, butter and sugar. This souffle is usually garnished with white and dark chocolate and pieces of figs.
- Kiwi Souffle– This souffle is made the same way as others with eggs, whipped cream, gelatin, milk, sugar and fresh kiwi or kiwi crush. It is garnished with sesame basket that contains dark chocolate and kiwi slices. This particular dish does not use flour.
- Bread Pudding Souffle– This souffle is just like bread pudding, wherein cubes of day old French bread are used along with milk, heavy cream and eggs. Vanilla essence adds flavor to the dish. It is spiced up with ground cinnamon and grated nutmeg. This dish uses a Whiskey Sauce made of heavy cream, corn starch, bourbon, sugar and cold water.
- Chicken Souffle– This is one of those savory souffle dishesthat are made with chicken breasts, eggs, single cream, flour, parmesan cheese, dry white wine and shallots. The ingredients are spiced up tarragon, bay leaf, white peppercorns, parsley, pepper powder and salt. Similarly, there are many more meat based souffle dishessuch as Pepperoni Souffle, Salmon Souffle, Crab Souffle, etc., that are popular with a lot of people.
- Vegetable Souffle– This souffle recipe includes adding minced vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, spinach, corn, mushrooms, asparagus tips, artichoke hearts that have been pre-cooked. Swiss cheese adds a lot of favor to the dish. Eggs as usual are beaten stiff and spices such as shallots, nutmeg and pepper.
Other variations of souffle recipes are Artichoke Souffle, Asparagus Souffle, Broccoli Souffle, Molded Souffle Salad, Corn Souffle, Ham and Cheese grits Souffle, Pineapple Souffle, Sweet Potatoes Souffle, etc.
Souffle Recipes Trivia
Souffleis not only ideal as a savory treat or a dessert, but it can be served as a starter. Other than the usually souffle recipesthat everyone is familiar with, there are some exotic versions of the dish such as chilled, iced, twice baked soufflesand also souffle omelettes.