Mary Berry's Cookery Course
Making a soufflé is not difficult, just a little fiddly. The key is to make a good cheese sauce (or “base”) for flavour, whisk the egg whites
to the right consistency for light, airy volume, and keep an eye on timing. Individual soufflés make an exciting first course, or baked
in one larger dish, a soufflé is ideal for supper served with salad.
Prep 15 mins Cook 35–50 mins
Getting the timing right
Soufflés deflate soon after you remove them from the oven, so ensure your guests are seated in good time and serve immediately.
You can make the soufflé base up to 3 hours ahead. However, you’ll need to whisk the egg whites and finish the soufflé just before baking and serve straight from the oven.
Calories: 409 Saturated fat: 18g Unsaturated fat: 12g Sodium: 496mg
Make the soufflé base
Prep 5 mins
Cook 20 mins
Heat the milk in a small pan until just boiling. In another pan, melt the butter over a medium heat, add
the flour, and whisk until well mixed.
KEY to SUCCESS
Do not let the butter or flour brown. The flour–butter mixture (“roux”) should be a pale gold colour.
Remove the pan from the heat and gradually whisk in the hot milk. Add a little to start with and mix well until
smooth, then add the rest.
Return the pan to a medium heat. Continue whisking vigorously with a hand whisk until the sauce is boiling and thickened. It is important to keep whisking so the
mixture does not form lumps.
KEY to SUCCESS
As with all cheese sauces, add cheese off the heat so that it melts but does not overcook.
When you feel the sauce thickening, remove the pan from the heat and add the grated cheese, stirring until it has melted. Add the mustard, salt, and pepper. Leave the sauce to cool a little.
KEY to SUCCESS The sauce should be lukewarm or cooler before you add the egg whites.
Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Crack each egg in half and tip the contents between the two shells, allowing the whites to slide through into the bowl beneath
while the yolks stay in the shells.
KEY to SUCCESS Make sure there is no yolk mixed into the white or the white will not whisk to its full volume.
Whisk the egg yolks into the hot sauce, one yolk at a time, whisking thoroughly after each addition until the mixture is completely smooth. Set the mixture aside to cool before adding the egg whites.
Finish and bake the soufflés
Prep 10 mins
Cook 15–30 mins
KEY to SUCCESS Before you whisk egg whites, make sure both the bowl and the whisk are clean and grease-free.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C/350°F/Gas 4) and put a baking tray on the middle shelf. Brush
the ramekin insides with soft butter.
KEY to SUCCESS Use a metal spoon or spatula for folding, not a wooden spoon, which can deflate the egg whites.
Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl with a balloon whisk or electric mixer on a high setting until
fluffy, stiff, and resembling clouds.
Add 2 heaped tablespoons of the egg whites into the cooled sauce and beat well with the whisk to
slacken the mixture.
KEY to SUCCESS Do not open the oven door while the soufflés are cooking or they are likely to “sink”.
Gently fold in the rest of the egg whites using a figure-of-eight motion, cutting through the mixture, then turning it over until well blended.
Spoon the mixture to the top of the ramekins and level off. Run
a thumb nail around the inside rim to
prevent the soufflé catching the sides.
Place the ramekins on the baking tray. Bake for 15–20 minutes (25–30 for a larger dish), or until risen
and just starting to go golden brown.