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How To Make a Spinach Soufflé in Convection

Updated: Feb 11, 2023

Eggs are a remarkable food, there are so many different ways they can be prepared to create a delicious meal from a simple poached egg on toast to a spectacular soufflé. Soufflés have long been thought of as difficult to make but in fact, they are fairly simple to prepare, as with most cooking planning is key.

Baking a Soufflé - Traditional Bake vs Convection

The recipe for soufflé was developed long before we had fan-driven Convection ovens, and soufflés were considered difficult to make. Part of the reason was the fact many older ovens didn’t perform well. Ovens that didn't seal well created hot spots which resulted in uneven cooking and ovens with exposed heating elements required more careful monitoring when baking delicate items such as a soufflé.

Convection ovens were originally developed for the baking industry allowing bakers to bake on multiple racks at one time without having to change the positions of the trays and bake larger quantities of different items at one time. While many baked goods benefit from Convection baking, some foods benefit from the dry stable heat of the traditional Bake mode which uses the Top + Bottom heating elements. However, this mode limits us to single-rack baking.

For many years I preferred to bake my soufflés in the traditional Bake mode, reasoning that the dry stable heat gave a better result. Even so, after much experimentation, I find that they bake just as well in the Convection mode as long as I reduce the recipe temperature by 25 degrees.

The Important Tips for a Successful Soufflé

The key to making a great soufflé begins long before it goes into the oven. Here are the important things to know:

  • Make sure the eggs are at room temperature.

  • Take the time to separate the eggs carefully so that not one speck of egg yolk is mixed in with the egg whites.

  • Add a pinch of cream of tartar to the egg whites to stabilize them when whipped.

  • Fold the egg whites with the base mixture rather than stirring the ingredients.

One of the best aspects of preparing a soufflé is that the base can be made in advance and the egg whites whipped just prior to baking so there is very little last-minute work involved. In fact, the prepared soufflé can even be left in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes prior to baking.

For this recipe I first sautéed the spinach and shallots then set them aside to cool. Then I prepared the bechamél sauce and when it was ready I added the egg yolks and cheese and when they were well incorporated I folded in the cooked spinach. Finally, the eggs are whipped and the base is folded into the whipped eggs.

The recipe I use for soufflé uses only 4 eggs and 5 egg whites and the soufflé rises just slightly above the rim of a 1 ½ quart dish so there is no need to tie a collar around the dish. Soufflé recipes that use a greater quantity of egg whites will rise much higher so be sure to arrange the oven racks before you heat the oven allowing plenty of room for the soufflé to rise.

Soufflés can be savory or sweet and when you find a recipe you want to try feel confident that you can cook it to perfection using the Convection or Convection Bake mode by reducing the recipe temperature by 25 degrees. Depending on the size of your oven the cooking time may be increased slightly but the results will be perfect.

Braising is perhaps the easiest way to create a delicious meal when you have plenty of time, in my next post I will review how to braise brisket in the Steam oven.

Larissa, Your Convection Enthusiast

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