be slower than the speed at which the water evaporates and the gases expand, or else the gases
would not be prevented from expanding and the souffle would remain fairly flat. Ideally souffles should
be cooked at approximately 150-200°C depending on their size and the shape of the ramekin. At this
temperature, the gases will expand fairly quickly, yet the protein network will strengthen because the
internal pressure causes it to break, and a tasty and brown crust will form as surface protein
coagulate, preventing too much water from being lost. The resulting souffle will be hard and crunchy
on the outside, yet moist and tender inside.
At lower temperatures, the outer crust takes longer to harden, and by the time the souffle is cooked
the inside of the souffle will already be fairly dry, and would have lost most of its tenderness.
Opening the oven during cooking is not recommended – opening the door would rapidly reduce oven
temperature, which would cause the air bubbles and water vapour that have swelled in the heat to
deflate, and they may not have enough time to re-expand before the protein network forms.
Preparing the perfect souffle:
The consistency of the base of the souffle to which the whisked egg whites are added when making
souffles also has important effects on the resulting souffle. The base can be made up of almost any
combination of ingredients (most commonly the egg whites are added to a cheese sauce to make a
cheese souffle) to produce a well risen souffle as long as the following rules are respected:
1. The base needs to contain a sufficient quantity of water to allow enough water vapour to be
produced to significantly raise the souffle. The lightest souffles are those with higher water
content. To maximise the swelling of souffles, it is recommended to introduce into the original
mixture as much water as possible to maximum the quantity of water vapour formed.
However, not too much water should be added or the base will be too liquid to support the
incorporated air bubbles – as explained previously, air bubbles are less likely to rise and