Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Lilia. Lilia Wonders, “What is a soufflé?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Lilia!
Are you hungry? “Oui" are! Ha! This Wonder of the Day features a French dish. Get it? (“Oui" is the French word for “yes" and it's pronounced like “we.") Oh well…“oui" tried! Oops! “Oui" did it again!
OK, enough silliness for now. If you find yourself in France and you're seriously hungry, you might want to try a French delicacy with a distinctly-French name. What are we talking about? The soufflé, of course!
Soufflés are light and puffy cakes made with egg yolks, beaten egg whites, and a variety of other ingredients. Soufflés can be served as a savory main course or sweetened to be a delicious dessert.
The name soufflé comes from the French verb souffler, which means to blow up or puff up. This accurately describes what happens when a soufflé is baked.
The two main parts of a soufflé are a custard base (a creamy sauce) and egg whites that have been beaten to form a meringue. The custard base provides the flavor and the meringue provides the rising effect that soufflés are famous for.
Egg whites, which are pure protein, are beaten to add air to them. The proteins in the egg whites surround the air bubbles and develop into a frothy mixture that, when baked, makes the soufflé rise. After it has been cooked, a soufflé will fall to its final form within about 5-10 minutes after it leaves the oven.
Soufflé custard can be made with many different types of ingredients for a wide variety of soufflé flavors. Common ingredients include cheese, chocolate, fruits, berries, and jam. To create sweet desserts, a good amount of sugar is also added. Chefs around the world have used their imaginations to create hundreds of different types of soufflés.
Soufflés are often served in the glazed, white, round porcelain containers they're cooked in. These containers — called ramekins — come in many different sizes. Because soufflés are delicate creations, they're usually served quickly upon coming out of the oven. If you're ever asked if you'd like a soufflé, say “Oui!" and enjoy!