When we were thinking about desserts we could add to the menu at Kōjin, chocolate soufflé seemed like an obvious choice. The whole team loves soufflé at a steakhouse, and everyone in the dining room seemed to really like it when we first started testing in the fall. So, we went for it.
We’ve gone through a lot of changes over the past three months. We only have eight soufflés every night, so we want them to be as perfect as we can get them. We think we’ve at last worked out a fool proof recipe that gets it to rise up to nearly an inch and a quarter every time.
Here are some DOs and DON’Ts we learned along the way.
The biggest thing is that you have to make the time. You can’t walk away. Once you start, you’ve started―it’s all happening after that. You can’t pause or go back on the road to a soufflé.
Have everything ready to go in front of you because when you’re making a soufflé everything has to come together very quickly. You don’t have time for distractions. This includes all your ingredients, prepped and ready, and all the equipment you’re going to use.
Always the molds with butter using a bush. Make nice and even lines. Otherwise, your soufflé could stick.
Always, always test one to be sure you’ve mixed everything correctly. Every time. Then eat it. Every time.
Never whip your egg whites, then walk away. They won’t hold.
This may seem intuitive, but never assume your oven is preheated. The soufflé needs to go in at the exact temperature you want to cook it at. It can’t sit in there while the oven adjusts.
Never open the door while its cooking. It’s fair game to peer through the window, but never open the door. You can risk your soufflé not rising all the way or, worse, falling.