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Valentine's Day White Chocolate Soufflé

[Photograph: @sstiavetti]

Soufflés are light and tender, a perfectly delicate treat for Valentine's Day. Don't let the word soufflé scare you; they're easier to make than you might think. At their very core, soufflés are simply a sauce mixed with egg whites, which causes the batter to rise when subjected to high temperatures. Your primary concern when making a soufflé is to not flatten your egg whites, and this can be accomplished by not overmixing your batter. The key is to stop folding as soon as the egg whites disappear into the batter. Problem solved!

These little beauties sport a festive red and white swirl, or if you like, you can make them entirely pink by not dividing the batter before stirring in the red food coloring. You can also use 8-ounce ramekins, though you'll need twice as many and you'll have to reduce the baking time to about 14 minutes to compensate for the smaller size.

Note: Soufflés always fall—that's just the way they are. You have just a few minutes to get them to their final destination before they begin to lose their loft; this is nothing you did wrong. I promise!

About the author: Stephanie Stiavetti is a writer and cookbook author in San Francisco. Stephanie's cookbook, Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese, celebrates America's favorite dish by recreating it with small production, specialty cheeses. Her food blog, The Culinary Life, is a repository for all things comfort food related, from savory dinners to transcendental desserts.

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