Explainers

How to make soufflé

This French classic is the perfect dinner party dessert. Add a little finesse and voilà, a light, decadently rich showstopper.
A soufflé dusted with icing sugar and served with burnt orange marmalade, rising a couple of centimetres above the brass tin it was cooked in.

All photos: John Paul Urizar

John Paul Urizar

Soufflés, the baked egg-based dish that evolved in France in the 18th century, have a reputation for being notoriously difficult to make. But while soufflés can be delicate and need a little finesse, they’re not as problematic to bake as you’d imagine. Here, we serve it with a zesty burnt orange marmalade and Grand Marnier cream.

Ingredients

Orange marmalade:

  • 500ml (2 cups) fresh orange juice, pips reserved

  • 2 tbsp julienned orange rind

  • 400gm caster sugar

  • 1 tsp jamsetta

  • 20 ml Grand Marnier

Grand Marnier cream:

  • 125ml (½ cup) pouring cream

  • 2 tbsp pure icing sugar, sifted (plus extra for dusting)

  • 1 tbsp Grand Marnier

Souffle:

  • 4 egg whites

  • Cream of tartar

  • 2 tbsp caster sugar

  • 2 tbsp marmalade

How to make soufflé step by step

Step 1

For burnt orange marmalade, combine 500ml (2 cups) fresh orange juice, 2 tbsp julienned orange rind, reserved pips from 1 orange and 500ml water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and cook until rind is soft, and liquid is reduced (45 minutes-1 hour). Stir in 400gm caster sugar and 1 tsp jamsetta. Cook over low-medium heat until marmalade is thick and starting to catch on the base of the pan, stirring only if marmalade becomes too dark (10-15 minutes). Set aside to cool, then stir through 20ml Grand Marnier, adding more if necessary to thin to marmalade consistency. Makes 300ml.

Step 2

For Grand Marnier cream, whisk 125ml (½ cup) pouring cream, 2 tbsp sifted pure icing sugar and 1 tbsp Grand Marnier in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Step 3

Preheat oven to 220°C. Using a pastry brush, coat base and side of four 200ml-capacity copper pots or straight sided ovenproof ramekins with soft butter. This will ensure soufflé has an even rise when baking; dust base and sides with caster sugar and shake off excess.

When whisking egg whites, ensure all equipment is spotless. Any residue can affect the consistency and how the soufflé bakes and rises.

Step 3

Step 4

Whisk 4 egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar in an electric mixer until soft peaks form, then gradually add 2 tbsp caster sugar, whisking continuously until glossy. Add 2 tbsp marmalade, fold until just combined, do not overwork

Step 4

Step 5

Spoon mixture into copper pots or ramekins, level tops with a spatula and run your finger around edge of pot or ramekin to clean edges. Place on an oven tray and bake until risen and golden (8-10 minutes). Serve soufflés straight from the oven with cream and marmalade on the side.

Step 5

A soufflé dish must have straight sides for the batter to inflate correctly. Soufflés that collapse quickly and easily are too dry. This happens when they are baked for too long and overcook. To check if your soufflé is ready to come out of the oven, give the dish a gentle jiggle a few minutes before it’s due to finish baking. If the top of the soufflé barely moves and has a lovely golden colour, the soufflé is ready.

Related stories