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Soufflées and Omelets

The best cooks will sometimes fail in making soufflées, as their manufacture requires the very greatest care and attention. It is also necessary to be able to judge to a nicety the time they will take to cook, because, to be eaten in perfection, they should be served directly they are ready. In making a soufflée, be very careful to take exact measure of the different ingredients; a little too much flour, or rather too little milk, may make a great difference in the lightness of it. The flour should be the best Vienna.

Another point to be attended to is to whip up the whites of the eggs as stiffly as possible, and to mix them with the other ingredients very lightly. Bear in mind that the object in beating the whites of eggs is to introduce air into the soufflée; and it is the expansion of the air when the soufflée is cooking which makes it light. If the whites are mixed heavily with the other ingredients, the air which has been whipped into them is beaten out again; and consequently they fail to make the soufflée light. When the soufflée is firm in the middle, it is sufficiently cooked, and should be served with the greatest expedition, as it will begin to sink rapidly. An omelet soufflée, left in the oven two or three minutes over time, will be quite spoilt, and become tough and leathery.

Steamed soufflées are turned out of the tins they are cooked in, and served with a sauce poured round them.

Baked soufflées are served in the tins, which are slipped into a hot metal or silver case, or a napkin is folded round them.

Plain omelets are quickly made, and quickly spoiled. Some practice is required to make the plain omelet to perfection, as the art consists in folding the omelet just at the right moment, before the eggs used in them are too much set. The omelet should not be firm throughout, like a pancake, but should be moist and succulent in the middle. A very sharp fire is essential, and the omelet should not take more than three minutes in the making.


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The Skilful Cook (1905).

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