How to Make an Airy Soufflé, According to Our Test Kitchen
Making savory, light-as-air soufflés is way easier than you might think—seriously—with a few key ingredients and technique secrets.
If you're looking for a stunning and delicious brunch dish, a soufflé is the perfect choice. While the delicate and fluffy egg dish might seem intimidating, understanding a soufflé's ingredients—and how they work—will help you achieve brunch perfection. Although these ingredients speak specifically to our Cheese & Spinach Soufflés (pictured above), you can easily transfer the techniques and knowledge to any of our soufflé recipes to make a satisfying and gorgeous dish.
5 Ingredients in a Soufflé
Cream of Tartar
The acid in cream of tartar helps strengthen and stabilize the proteins in the egg whites—making the foam studier and less likely to collapse. Think of cream of tartar as your insurance policy for soufflés that rise perfectly!
Soufflés get their cloudlike texture from whipped egg whites. As the ramekins heat in the oven, air bubbles in the whites expand, giving the soufflés their puff, while proteins in the yolks provide structure to hold them up.
We opt for frozen because it's ultra-convenient—you'd have to cook down 1 ½ pounds of fresh spinach to get the amount used in our recipe. And research shows frozen veggies are just as nutritious, if not more so, than fresh.
This Swiss cow's milk cheese adds bold flavor, so you can use less and save calories and sodium. Gruyère also has a relatively high water-to-fat ratio and won't curdle during cooking, which could weigh down and deflate the soufflés.
Fine Dry Breadcrumbs
Adding breadcrumbs to the liberally greased ramekins gives the soufflés a surface to hold onto and climb as they cook. Using the fine dry kind ensures better adherence than coarser fresh breadcrumbs.
Once you've assembled your soufflés, transfer them to the oven carefully and resist the urge to open the door while they are cooking, as this can cause them to collapse.
This story originally appeared in EatingWell Magazine, April 2021.