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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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Soufflé a French word which literally means ‘puffed up’, is a culinary term in both French and English (and used in many other languages) for a light, frothy dish, just stiff enough to hold its shape, and which may be savoury or sweet, hot or cold. There is no mistaking a hot soufflé; but cold ones are difficult to distinguish from a mousse.

The basic hot soufflé has as its starting point a roux—a cooked mixture of flour and butter. This is cooled slightly and blended with egg yolks and savoury or sweet flavouring ingredients which are either already cooked or do not require much cooking. The result resembles a thick rich sauce. Stiffly beaten egg whites are then folded in. The mixture is baked in a high-sided dish. It rises mainly through simple expansion of the air in the egg foam.