The elegant, puffed and golden soufflé is considered the prima donna of the culinary world. The classic egg at its magnificent best: golden yolks enriching a delicious savory or sweet base sauce, and stiffly beaten whites, fueled by oven heat, gently expanding and growing the base to create a towering, light and airy mixture that melts seductively on your tongue.
The time to enjoy your soufflé is right after it debuts from the oven, as this leading lady, whether sweetened with chocolate or enriched with cheese, has just a limited time (like about 10 minutes) to stay puffed.
Fortunately for home cooks, learning the art of a soufflé is not difficult. If you can separate eggs, beat the egg whites, and master the technique of folding the whites into the base, you can make a soufflé.
The base of the soufflé is a white sauce; a roux of melted butter and flour cooked with milk until thick. Because soufflés are enjoyed as either entrees or dessert, the components added to the sauce, besides the egg yolks, are either savory or sweet.
Sweet soufflé flavors include chocolate, lemon and Gran Marnier. Ordered in advance at fancy restaurants and served with great aplomb, these soufflés are works of edible art.
Savory soufflés are great glamorizers for leftover and cooked foods. Think spinach or broccoli with feta cheese; poached salmon and dill; cheddar, bacon and scallion; sautéed lobster with goat cheese and fresh herbs; just imagining the creative combinations makes me hungry. Back in my former restaurant days, I featured a different “savory” soufflé every day.
The recipe for Squash Soufflé uses the classic preparation. Read the recipe, assemble your ingredients and tools, and be ready to have fun. As tempting as it may be, don’t open the oven to check on your puffing miracle as it bakes. Set the timer, prepare the table, and enjoy.