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I’m never really sure who comes up with these national food days for various ingredients and dishes, but nonetheless, they always seem to be a fun excuse to make something delicious.

Since February 28th is National Chocolate Soufflé Day, obviously, it’s only natural to try to whip a few up for yourself (and some friends — don’t be greedy) at home. Making soufflés can be a little intimidating, especially if it’s your first go at it. To make sure you get the tallest, puffiest soufflé of them all, here are four tips from Top Chef Canada season 4 alum and pastry chef extraordinaire, Karine Moulin.

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How to make a perfect soufflé:

1. Make sure to properly brush the melted butter and then coat the inside of the ramekins completely with sugar. This is what makes soufflés rise evenly and achieve full height.

2. Once prepared, soufflé batter needs to be baked immediately. The longer it sits out at room temperature the less height you will have with the final products.

3. Run your eggs under warm water before using. This will help you get more volume and great height with your soufflés.

4. When it comes to getting creative with a soufflé batter, avoid using whole fruit like pieces of apple or other fresh fruit in the mix as this will prevent the soufflés from rising.

Karine Moulin will be baking these beauties all weekend long at her restaurant, Yellow Door Bistro, in Calgary. If you’re a little too far away to pop into Yellow Door for a soufflé, don’t worry, Moulin has shared her no-fail recipe with us!

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Karine Moulin’s White Chocolate and Lemon Soufflé

Serves: Six 4oz ramekins

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
8 large organic egg yolks
10 large organic egg whites, room temperature
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
1 cup white chocolate shavings
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (plus the zest of 2 lemons)
1 vanilla bean cut in half, remove the seeds
1 cup whole milk

Directions:

  1. Brush melted butter inside each ramekin, and coat with sugar. Using your index finger, level off the top surface of the ramekin, to make sure there is no butter or sugar on the top of the lip.
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk together yolks, flour, zest, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.
  3. Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan. Slowly pour milk into yolk mixture, whisking constantly to prevent yolks from cooking. Return mixture to pan, and whisk until thick like a pudding, about 1 to 2 minutes. Strain through a sieve, and whisk in butter and lemon juice.
  4. Beat whites until foamy. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form. Stir a third of the whites into the yolk mixture. Gently fold in the remaining whites using a rubber spatula.
  5. Next, fold in the white chocolate shavings and fill each soufflé dish until it is 3/4 full, removing any excess batter from rims.
  6. Place ramekins onto a baking sheet and let cook in oven until soufflés rise and are golden on top, about 16 to 18 minutes.

Dan-Clapson-Avatar Dan Clapson is a food writer and culinary instructor based out of Calgary. He is constantly creating new recipes and striving to expand his culinary horizons. He thinks yam fries are overrated.