Gordon Ramsay's Trick To Help Soufflés Rise Evenly

Few recipes intimidate the home chef like soufflé. The temperamental dish requires a little skill and patience, but, at the end of the day, it's just eggs. Still, once baked, a soufflé has an air of stateliness about it, standing tall, proud, and golden brown on top until it is cut into, deflating gracefully with a gentle sigh. At least, that's what you see on television and in magazines. Professional chefs and food stylists make sure their cheese or dessert soufflés are as straight as a top hat, with perfectly vertical sides and a flat top. Meanwhile, for those who have made soufflés at home, they know that your beautifully prepared egg mixture can often pour over the side of the dish or at the very least look a bit lopsided.

Gordon Ramsay, the television-hosting, cookbook-writing, foul-mouthed, Michelin-starred celebrity chef knows a thing or two about cooking. After decades of experience in the industry, which includes working under greats such as Marco Pierre White and Joël Robuchon, and opening a string of successful and acclaimed restaurants, Ramsay not only knows how to make food taste sublime, but also how to make it look sensational, per Britannica. And these skills extend to the tricky soufflé.

Aside from precise measurements of ingredients and an eye for detail, Ramsay believes an easy step right before the soufflé is put into the oven will give you straight sides and an even rise and a show-stopping result.

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Ramsay tells MasterClass that he first learned to make soufflés in Paris and that, after all his years of cooking, making the dish remains exciting for him. To make his raspberry soufflés, he first makes two other elements that will be incorporated into the soufflé mixture and used in plating: pastry cream and raspberry coulis. For the soufflés, he butters ramekins and coats the inside of the baking dish with chocolate shavings. He then combines the raspberry coulis and pastry cream in a bowl. In a stand mixer, egg whites are whipped with lemon juice and sugar at different stages until the whites are stiff and glossy. Ramsay then gently folds the egg whites into the raspberry-cream mixture in stages until the ingredients are combined but still airy.

Once he fills the prepared ramekin with the soufflé mixture, Ramsay gently taps it to even out the batter, flattens the top with a spatula and, to achieve those desired vertical sides, runs his thumb around the inside edge of the ramekin and rotates it so that the entire edge has been cleaned of batter. 

The New York Times agrees with this method, noting that there should be about a quarter-inch gap between the inside edge of the dish and the soufflé mixture. The soufflé is baked in a preheated oven and served immediately. After all, letting them sit for too long will cause the gorgeous dessert to deflate, thus affecting the presentation.