How-to Make Souffles

Don't let souffles intimidate you. Follow these easy tips, and you'll soon be able to master this technique.

Coat your baking dish with cooking spray and lightly sprinkle with bread crumbs or flour (if savory) or sugar (if sweet) to give your souffle flavor and traction as it climbs up the sides of the dish.

Beating the egg whites to stiff peaks is a key step. This creates the small air bubbles that expand when heated to create an airy souffle. Stiff peaks are glossy and stand straight up when the beaters are removed from the bowl. If the egg whites look grainy and have lost their shine, they've been over-beaten, and you must start again for a puffy souffle.

Gently add the beaten egg whites to the base a bit at a time. Begin by folding about a fourth of the whites into your base to thin it out. This makes it easier to fold in the rest without over-mixing. Use a spatula, bringing the batter up from the bottom and spreading it across the top. It's better to leave a few unblended patches than to over-mix and risk deflating your souffle.