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Please raise your hand if you have ever felt personally victimized by soufflés.
Well, it’s not just you—soufflés have quite the reputation. You can pour your heart, soul, and frothy mixture into little ramekins and they still deflate like a sad balloon as soon as they come out the oven. Even Julia Child wrote 16 (!) pages on mastering soufflé techniques and recipes.
One easy work-around is to bake the soufflés twice, a trick I learned from Anne Willan at La Varenne; it liberates the cook from the high-stakes moment of pulling a soufflé from the oven and serving it before it deflates.
Liberating is right! This approach follows the familiar formula of whipping egg whites and folding into a velvety yolk mixture, baking until puffed and golden brown, then removing and watching them deflate. Once cool, remove the soufflés from the ramekins into a gratin dish and coat with cream and cheese. Sure, you could pop them back in the oven, but what’s the rush?
“At this point, the soufflés can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours,” says Battilana. “I’m telling you, this recipe is magic.”
A second turn in the oven puffs them right back up. Maybe soufflés aren’t so mean after all.
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup finely chopped leeks
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk, warmed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 5 eggs, separated
What’s your best tip for soufflé success? Share in the comments!