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Basic Soufflé



TO SEPARATE EGG YOLKS from whites with ease, start with cold eggs.  After separating, return the yolks to the refrigerator and let the whites sit on the countertop to come to room temperature.  The cold temperature keeps the yolks from breaking when separating, while the room temperature encourages the whites to rise high when whipped.

FOR THE BEST WHIPPING HEIGHT, use older eggs rather than fresh ones.

IF USING AN ELECTRIC MIXER, whisk the egg whites on low speed and increase the speed gradually.  If you want a great exercise for your arms, whip by hand.

ADD A PINCH of cream of tartar after one minute of whipping to help egg whites hold their volume.

START BY ADDING ANY SUGAR in a thin stream the moment the soft peaks appear.  Sugar added all at once will deflate the egg whites.

BEAT THE WHITES to soft, not stiff, peaks.  Overly whipped whites do not fold smoothly into their base.  Under beating is better than over beating.

SEAT YOUR GUESTS five minutes before a first-course soufflé, so the presentation is at its maximum height.

PUT A DESSERT SOUFFLÉ in the oven ten minutes after you serve a main course.

IF DISASTER STRIKES, describe a fallen soufflé as your grandmother's pudding recipe.