What Is a Souffle Dish?

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A souffle is a classic French dish known for its fluffy texture.
A souffle is a classic French dish known for its fluffy texture. (Image: Heart Shaped Chocolate Cakes image by Nikoner from Fotolia.com)

A souffle is a dish characterized by its raised appearance and light, fluffy texture when it is baked. The name is derived from the French word meaning "to blow up."

Technique

The light, airy texture of a souffle is achieved by folding egg whites into a warm custard mixture. The egg whites are beaten until they form stiff, white peaks and then gently combined with the other ingredients; the egg whites expand when they are heated. Martha Stewart suggests using older eggs or a few drops of lemon juice for best results.

Types of Souffle

A souffle can be a savory or a sweet dish, serving as a main course or a dessert. Popular variations of this French dish include chocolate souffle and dishes with cheese.

Presentation

A souffle is typically baked and served in a porcelain dish due to its ability to evenly distribute and retain heat, which helps the souffle rise. The souffle will deflate as it cools, so it should be served warm.

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