A soufflé is a baked egg-based dish which originated in early eighteenth-century France. It is known for its light, airy texture that comes from egg whites beaten to a soft or stiff peak. The dish can be made as a sweet dessert or a savory main dish. The word “soufflé” is the past participle of the French verb “souffler,” which means “to blow” or “to puff up,” which describes the soufflé’s ability to rise during cooking, creating a puffy top.

Soufflés are versatile and can incorporate a variety of ingredients for flavor, such as cheese, chocolate, lemon, and seafood, among others. The key to a successful soufflé lies in the preparation of the egg whites, which must be carefully folded into the base mixture to retain as much air as possible. This air expands when heated in the oven, causing the soufflé to rise. It’s a dish that requires precise timing and temperature control, as soufflés are known for their tendency to fall or deflate quickly after removal from the oven, making them a dish best served immediately.

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