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Make a perfect soufflé with Joanne Weir

Joanne Weir is a James Beard Award-winning cookbook author, cooking teacher, chef and host of the popular PBS series "Joanne Weir's Cooking Class”. She has written 20 cookbooks, including the companion cookbook to her “Cooking Class” ser...

Soufflés simplified

People are frightened to make soufflés. It seems that whenever they see a soufflé recipe in a cookbook or online, they run in the opposite direction, but the reality is, they are simple if you know how to whip egg whites. Here are simple tips for a perfect soufflé from celebrity chef Joanne Weir.

Raspberry souffles

1. Master Whipping egg whites

Here are a few tips on how to whip the frothiest, lightest egg whites. Once you've mastered this technique, you'll see how easy it is to make soufflés.

2. Start with Fresh Eggs

First of all, start off with fresh eggs. Make sure you check the date of the eggs; just like milk, they have an expiration date on the end of the box. If they're out of date, don't use them, get some new eggs.

3. Use Room Temperature EggsJoanne Weir

Next, make sure your eggs are at room temperature. Never try to whip cold egg whites, they will whip, but it will be much more work and you won't get the same volume as with room temperature or warm egg whites.

And, if you want extra volume and stability, you can place the egg whites in your bowl and set them over a low to medium electric or gas flame; swirl the bowl and heat the whites just until they are warm to the touch on your fingertip. Do not let the egg whites get white in the bowl. If you do, you've scrambled the egg whites and they'll never whip.

4. A Copper Bowl Works Wonders

I know a copper bowl is not something available in every kitchen, however, if you do have one, use it for your egg whites. You will be amazed how much more volume you will achieve.

5. Electric or by hand, doesn't matter

You can whip your egg whites by hand with a whisk or use an electric mixer with the whip attachment. If you whip them by hand, you will want a big balloon whisk with lots of spokes or prongs and, of course, by hand takes a lot more energy.

6. What the Egg Whites Should Look Like

When you begin whipping your whites, you will see that the bubbles are inconsistent and light yellow in color. As you continue to whip the egg whites, the bubbles will be consistently tiny and pure white.

7. What exactly is a stiff peak?

Make sure you stop whipping your egg whites when they form stiff peaks. What does that mean? Simply turn the bowl over periodically and cautiously to see if they flow or run out of the bowl. If they begin to flow out of the bowl, keep whipping, if they don't, they are done. If they look grainy, you've gone too far and need to start again.

Here is a recipe for a wonderful, no cholesterol raspberry soufflé. You'll love how simple it is to make and how delicious it is to eat. The best part? You'll no longer be afraid to whip egg whites.

Warm Little Raspberry Soufflés

Serves 6Raspberry souffle

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup excellent quality raspberry jam, room temperature
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons kirsch*

*Kirsch is a brandy made from cherries that brings out the

Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen raspberries, defrosted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kirsch
  • Fresh berries, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter 6, 5-ounce soufflé dishes; dust very lightly with sugar and tap out the excess; place the soufflé dishes on a baking sheet.
  2. Strain the raspberry jam through a fine mesh strainer. Place the egg whites in a bowl and warm the whites directly over the burner of the stove, swirling the bowl just until the egg whites are warm to the touch; whip the whites to stiff peaks; fold the jam and kirsch into the whites with as few folds as possible.
  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared soufflé dishes and bake until well puffed and the center does not shake when lightly jiggled, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, purée the raspberries until smooth; strain; stir the sugar and kirsch into the sauce until the sugar is melted.
  5. When the soufflés are removed from the oven, serve immediately.
  6. Serve the sauce on the side. To serve the sauce, cut a hole into the center of each soufflé and pour the sauce into the center. Garnish with berries, if desired.

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