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Guidelines for Souffle

Microwave . . .

March 23, 1989|JEAN ANDERSON and ELAINE HANNA | Anderson and Hanna are nutritionists and cookbook authors specializing in microwave cookery. and

There's been plenty of discussion about whether you can--or cannot--microwave souffles successfully. We say you can, and we've got the recipe to prove it.

Microwave souffles may not rise as high as those made the old time way, but they will puff about three-fourths of an inch above the rim of the souffle dish and won't collapse the instant they come from the oven.

Microwaved souffles don't brown, it's true. But they are exquisitely moist and velvety; and with an appropriate sauce, they are superb. For perfect microwave souffles, read--and abide by--these guidelines:

1. Follow the recipe exactly. Although you can safely substitute one herb for another, never change the basic proportions of butter, flour, liquid, egg and principal flavoring (cheese, fish, chicken, for example).

2. For a slightly more stable souffle, use evaporated milk in place of light cream.

3. To stabilize egg whites and make them climb to greater heights, beat them with a bit of cream of tartar.

4. For a more evenly risen, evenly cooked souffle, use an ungreased straight-sided, microwave-safe souffle dish in the size specified, never one larger or smaller. Also, smooth the surface of the souffle batter lightly; peaks will only dry during microwaving. Finally, use a turntable. It eliminates the need to rotate the souffle frequently and gives it a professional look. A turntable can sometimes speed cooking as much as two to three minutes.

5. For maximum volume, microwave a souffle uncovered. The top will dry faster, too--a definite plus.

6. To allow a souffle to rise slowly and evenly and to keep its edges from overcooking before the center is done, microwave on MEDIUM-LOW or DEFROST.

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