The soufflé: It’s something you think you should know how to make (you’re a grown-ass adult, after all). But when it comes to this light and airy dessert, intimidating is an understatement. Luckily, Erin McDowell, author of The Fearless Baker, is here to make the fine art of the soufflé quick, easy and foolproof.
“The key is not overmixing,” McDowell tells us. “Be tender with them and don’t slam the sheet tray down. Everyone will think you’re a pro when you make these, so try it when you’re really looking to impress someone.”
Best of all, these soufflés are “choose your own adventure”—make raspberry, blueberry, blackberry or all three. (Don’t worry, you’ll use frozen fruit to keep things super simple.)
So, can we come to your place for dinner tomorrow night?
Birthday Cake Petit Fours
Unsalted butter, as needed for coating ramekins
1 cup (215 g) granulated sugar, divided
1 pound (453 g) frozen raspberries, blueberries or blackberries, thawed
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2½ tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch fine sea salt
6 large egg yolks
6 large egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
Confectioners’ sugar, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place six 6-ounce ramekins on a baking sheet. Coat each ramekin with softened butter. Scoop a few teaspoons of the granulated sugar into the ramekins, rotating to coat the bottom and sides.
2. In a blender or food processor, puree the thawed fruit until smooth. Strain the mixture into a large bowl to remove the seeds. Stir in the vanilla extract. You should end up with about 1 cup (185 g) berry puree.
3. In a small bowl, whisk ½ cup of the granulated sugar with the cornstarch and salt to combine. Stir this mixture into the berry puree, along with the egg yolks.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-high to combine. Add the remaining ⅓ cup granulated sugar in a slow, steady stream and continue to whip until the whites reach medium peaks, 4 to 6 minutes.
5. Add about a fourth of the egg whites to the puree and yolk mixture and mix to combine (you can be a bit more vigorous to incorporate the whites at this stage). Then gently fold in the remaining whites in two or three additions.
6. Divide the batter among the prepared ramekins and gently transfer to the oven. Bake, undisturbed, until they have risen about 1 inch above the rim of the ramekin and the surface is evenly brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Do not open the oven while they are baking—turn on the oven light and check through the window to determine if they are rising or finished. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately.