Originally Posted by fawn
thanks, i may have underfold the batter.
and the whipped whites bends a little when the whisks were lifted. I may have underbeaten it.. i added sugar gradually , by the time i was finished adding the sugar, i immediately stop the whipping because i'm afraid of overbeating the eggwhites :)
Noticed from your pics, the bottom appears denser - or is it my eyes? Will try to troubleshoot. The batter should be incorporated, nothing should be left at the bottom of the bowl, and the whites should form peaks (according to the two recipes I looked at below & from souffles that I have made) - rather than foamy.
For the bain marie - did you use boiling wate, rather than warm water? Noticed the two recipes call for whole milk - rather than 2% - that may make a difference. It should be a little wiggly/custardy-like (from my experience). Also, incorprate the mixtures gently - I think the reason being you don't want to burst the air bubbles.
Mine has puffed up in a dome (mushroom like), and fallen a wee bit, but not by much. Noticed you said you lowered the temp & inserted a toothpick. Just my opinion, I would keep it at a consistent temp (unless the recipe calls for lowering temp), & no toothpick. Another thought - was the oven preheated?
There are some good tips in both the recipe links - one having to do with the gas vent when cooking with a bain marie. Make sure no yolks get into the whites - it inhibits the rising. Beaters and bowls should be clean. I bring my eggs to room temp - the whites seems to form peaks more easily. Never used cream of tarter - the whites, apparently, were stiff enough. Taking a guess, was the pan large enough to let the souffle expand? The sunken part, makes me wonder after it rose, did it then collapse into itself. Take a look at the two links below, there are some good tips humidity etc. Hope that helps.
For Beating the Whites:
This recipe is a little different - not a souffle. I noticed the bain marie water is warm, but it calls for cake flour -- more like a cake, than souffle, IMHO:
Don't give up. Give it another go. To me, a souffle is worth the effort. THE Ultimate dessert :-)