The admirable lightness* and delicacy of a well-made Soufflé render it generally a very favourite dish, and it is now a fashionable one also. It may be greatly varied in its composition, but in all cases must be served the very instant it is taken from the oven; and even in passing to the dining-room it should, if possible, be prevented from sinking by a heated iron or salamander held above it. A common Soufflé-pan may be purchased for four or five shillings, but those of silver or plated metal, which are of the form shown at the commencement of this chapter, are of course expensive; the part in which the Soufflé is baked is placed within the more ornamental dish when it is drawn from the oven. A plain, round, cake-mould, with a strip of writing paper six inches high, placed inside the rim, will answer on an emergency to bake a Soufflé in. The following receipt will serve as a guide for the proper mode of making it: the process is always the same whether the principal ingredient be whole rice boiled very tender in milk and pressed through a sieve, bread-crumbs soaked as for a pudding and worked through a sieve also, arrow-root, potato-flour, or aught else of which light puddings in general are made.
Obs. 1.—The Soufflé may be flavoured with vanilla, orange-flowere, or aught else that is liked. Chocolate and coffee also may be used for it with soaked bread: a very strong infusion of the last, and an ounce or two of the other, melted with
Obs. 2.—A Soufflé is commonly served in a dinner of ceremony as a remove of the second-course roast; but a good plan for this, as for a fondu, is to have it quickly handed round, instead of being placed upon the table.
* This is given to every description of Soufflé in the same manner as to Savoy or sponge-cakes, by mingling gently with the other ingredients the whites of eggs whisked to a solid mass or snow froth,—that is to say, that no portion of them must remain in a liquid state. For the proper mode of preparing them, see commencement of the chapter of Cakes: Soufflé-puddings are rendered light in the same manner, and steamed instead of being boiled.