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I recently made a chocolate souffle for the first time and it came out pretty much like I was expecting: slightly gooey middle, a crust on top, fluffy, risen to a little less than double.

But after 10-15 minutes they started deflating, until around an hour later they were back to the size when I put them in the oven. They became a dense mush. Is this supposed to happen?

Some reports say that proper souffles only deflate a little, while others say deflating is supposed to happen. Which one is true?

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2 Answers 2

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A soufflé is simply a hot air balloon. It stays up as long as there is hot air trapped inside it. Your 10-15 minutes sound reasonable, although it is a gradual process and starts as soon as they are out of the oven.

There are tons of kitchen lore about non-falling soufflés. These are either wishful thinking, or marketing trickery. The laws of physics cause a soufflé to fall quickly.

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    Small nitpick: A hot air balloon is inflated even if there is cold air inside . Thats how you start inflating one. Fill it up mostly with cool air and then start heating the air up to fly
    – SirHawrk
    May 11 at 9:13
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    That's also how you inflate a souffle :-) May 11 at 12:38
  • As a non chef, 15 minutes sounds absolutely amazing tbh
    – Hobbamok
    May 12 at 8:51
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Your experience of 15 minutes is longer than my experience with chocolate soufflés, good job! Keep in mind that the hot air bubbles that inflate the soufflé have different permeability and structural strength depending on the type of soufflé. Savory cheese soufflés tend to stay "inflated" longer because the béchamel and cheese mixture forms bubbles that are both less permeable (they let less air out) and are structurally stronger (the cooled cheese keeps more of its shape than the cooled sugar-egg-and-flour mixture of the sweet ones).

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