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I found a make-ahead chocolate souffle recipe that calls for freezing prepared ramekins and then pulling them out (without thawing) and baking in a preheated 400F oven. Isn't that a bad idea, risking cracking the ramekins from the thermal stress?

The recipe is originally from America's Test Kitchen (paywalled, sorry), so I'd expect it to be pretty trustworthy, but this seems a bit scary!

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

It's going to depend on the material your ramekins are made from. If you have glass ones, maybe they'll break.

But the typical porcelain ones should be fine. Keep in mind they're used for crème brûlée, which is prepared by chilling to set, followed by topping with some sugar, then caramelizing by either a torch or placing right under a broiler.

Cold to broiler or torch is a much bigger thermal shock than cold to cold to oven.

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I wouldn't worry about it too much -- those cold ramekins are still going to heat up relatively slowly over minutes.

Dunking super hot ramekins into cold water, on the other hand, will cool them down in a matter of seconds which is where you're more likely to experience catastrophic thermal shock.

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I came in to say this. I'd also be wary of the opposite. Dunking frozen ramekins into boiling water. –  Preston Fitzgerald Jan 5 at 5:18
    
The oven rack that the ramekin is sitting on is going to conduct heat into the ramekin far more quickly than the surrounding air. The points where the ramekin is touching the oven rack are going to heat up very quickly indeed. I suspect that the only way to know the answer for sure is to risk the lives of a few good ramekins. –  David Wallace Jan 5 at 7:21
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