Preparing and Filling the Soufflé Dish

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
Ever since La Chapelle’s timbale of cream, soufflé dishes have been prepared in two steps: first the interior is buttered, and then coated with sugar for a sweet soufflé, with breadcrumbs or grated cheese for a savory one. The butter supposedly helps the soufflé mix slide up the side as it expands, while the particles give the mix something to cling to as it climbs. Contradictory claims, and not true! Soufflés made in unbuttered or uncrumbed dishes rise just as high. The butter simply makes the soufflé surface easier to detach from the dish, and sugar, breadcrumbs, and cheese make a nice crunchy, brown crust for the otherwise soft interior.