A soufflé is one of those dishes that gives the home cook a big advantage over the pros. Home cooks generally have better equipment that the pros do for preparing and baking a soufflé: a smoother running, better maintained mixer, a smaller oven with more even heat, etc.. Home cooks can also afford to give a soufflé the care and attention it requires. But perhaps the most import factor tipping the scale in favor of home cooks is that they don’t have to rely on wait staff to deliver a piping hot soufflé to the table. Because let me tell you, friends, where soufflé delivery is concerned, a few seconds can make the difference between between a presentation that impresses and delights and one that falls a little er…flat.
I once knew a pastry chef back home in Chicago who was forced to take her legendary chocolate soufflé off the dessert menu because four out of five of them sat too long waiting for delivery and fell. Talk about taking a bath on food cost, it’s easy to see why the head chef wasn’t willing to put up with a loss leader like that for very long. No doubt other restaurants have had the same problem over the years, which is why you don’t see soufflé on too many menus these days. But then it must be admitted that soufflé hasn’t been hip in America since the 70’s, when crêpes and French onion soup were all the rage.