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Making a soufflé is often cited as the most challenging French technique to master but following a few simple rules will ensure perfect results every time. Make sure not to open the oven during cooking or the souffles may collapse.
Using a pastry brush, line the inside of 6 ramekins with soft butter in upwards strokes then dust with sugar until evenly coated
Begin whisking the egg whites with half the sugar in a stand mixer. As the whites stiffen, gradually add the rest of the sugar a spoonful at a time
When the whites have reached very stiff peaks, mix 1/3 into the crème patisserie with a hand whisk
Fold in the rest of the egg whites with a spatula, being careful not to knock out any air
Divide the mixture between the ramekins then tap the ramekins on the work surface to evenly distribute the mixture
Using a palette knife, level the top of the soufflé in one swift movement
Run your finger around the edge of the mould to create a lip on the soufflé – this will prevent it from sticking to the mould as it rises
Wipe away any mixture on the outside of the mould
Place the soufflés on a heavy based baking tray leaving equal space between them
Cook on the top shelf of the oven for 7–8 minutes, until the soufflés have risen and serve immediately
There are many flavours that can be used when making soufflés but they lend themselves very well to strong and acidic flavours, for example, Andy Waters uses lemon, Luke Tipping uses orange and Dominic Chapman uses raspberry in his recipe.