It’s always comical to watch my cooks anxiously peer through steamy oven windows as if they might will their soufflé into an upright position. The soufflé always rises. True, a soufflé can seem like an overwhelming task when you're faced with dinner for six and one of those guests is, say, your mother-in-law. Been there! Have no fear. The soufflé gods are on your side. Just remember that the soufflé gets its lift from a combination of heat building in your oven and properly whipped egg whites. So keep the oven door closed and fight the temptation to peek.

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Serves | 6 |


  • ¼ cup butter, plus more for greasing ramekins
  • 2 tsp + 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 3 vanilla beans
  • 1 cup bread flour, sifted
  • 1¾ cups milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2½ Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 7 egg whites
  • powdered sugar, for dusting

Salted Caramel Anglaise

  • 6 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup sugar, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 pinches sea salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk

| Preparation – Soufflé | Preheat the oven to 375ºF. It’s important to assemble and measure all the ingredients before you begin. Coat the inside of 6 ramekins with butter right up to the rim. Dust with 2 tsp sugar and refrigerate. Cut the vanilla beans in half lengthwise and scrape the pods to remove the contents. Add the contents to ½ cup sugar and use your hands to mix well. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and vanilla sugar until blended. Add sifted flour and mix until sandy, creating a soufflé base.

Boil the milk and add the soufflé base. Whisk rapidly for about 20 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in the egg yolks. Cover with plastic and set aside. Combine remaining sugar and cornstarch. Whip salt and egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold in the sugar and cornstarch mixture. Fold this into the soufflé base and fill ramekins with the mixture. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake 15 to 20 minutes.

| Preparation – Salted Caramel Anglaise | In a medium bowl, mix together the egg yolks and one-third of the sugar. Set aside. Place remaining sugar in a small, heavy saucepan. Add water and turn stove top to medium-high heat. Stir just until the water and sugar are well-combined. Using a pastry brush that has been dipped in warm water, brush down the insides of the pot to remove any loose bits of sugar. These sugar granules can lead to crystallization, resulting in a hard, grainy caramel that will need to be tossed out. Cook the sugar to an amber color while brushing the inside of the pot from time to time. Remove pan from heat. Add butter and salt. Gently whisk until butter is thoroughly combined. Stir in the cream and milk. Whisk in the yolk and sugar mixture. Return to the stove to thicken slightly. Remove from the stove and strain.

| To Serve | Immediately after removing the soufflé from the oven, dust it with powdered sugar. Just before serving, create a hole in the center and pour in the anglaise.

SUGGESTED WINE PAIRING: Montelle Vidal Icewine 2009 from Montelle Winery, Defiance, Mo.,

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