All Puffed Up ….K Cooks…A Souffle!

Oh, how I love what I love when I love it. And right now, I am loving these

Souffles. For the past 6 weeks, my hand has practiced these little ramekins of imperfect perfections no less than 6 times. The word out on the culinary streets is that their delicate constitution makes them a bit, temperamental. Boy, what a BAD RAP! These babies  definitely take a punch. My first one, a lovely goat cheese herb concoction, required a ton of whipping about of those egg whites. One of my favorite sidekicks here, a foodie dietician, had never tackled them either. Really what I wanted was a something to slow me down from guzzling a whole bottle of Presecco. So we whipped and whipped and whipped with my precious whisk until I called it quits. And so, for 20 minutes, she consoled me with the sparkling venetian wine and assuring me that “it’s your first time” and that the soufflé is hard to master.

The ding ding ding of m Iphone alarm announced that it was time to face deflation.

And yet, they rised!

Okay…have you ever made a soufflé before? Yes, they do deflate a bit, but once cooled for 90 seconds, there is nothing more satisfying than the gooey center and the crusty exterior. We shut up and put the presecco down. Yep. That was how heavenly the bites felt…and I savored each one.

So much so, that when having guests over four days later, I tried the soufflé starter again. This time, black pepper cheddar. And proud I was that they delivered in flavor, although I shortened the “hat” by not making sure the ramekins were 2/3rd full.

Yet completely gobbable…especially in celebrating my 2nd year living abroad, toasting with mMy most cherished American Wine EVER Mary Hill’s Winemaker’s red (2007)—I swear this is American capturing the fierce gentleness of Rioja.

And then the piece de resistance. The pinnacle of soufflés so far…the cointreau soufflé I produced as the final touching piece to a French themed cooking course dinner group….

About 10 minutes after slurping my first one, I scraped the sides off my guys ramekin and then unabashedly interrupted my guests to say “any one want this?”

“3-2-1” (I counted silently!)

A sigh of release as no one jumped on it. And it was mine.

I am a super sharer. But come on. This was my little patch of well earned brownie badge accomplishment. And honestly? After repeating it for myself three more times, the soufflé is pretty sturdy and adaptable. Easier to me than browning meats. So! I am loving that:

You can have your soufflé and eat it, TWO.

The Hot Soufflé

The hot soufflé is a combination of a thick white sauce blended with beaten egg yolks and lightened with stiffly beaten egg whites. Savoury soufflés are flavored by adding finely chopped or pureed meats, vegetables, cheese or seafood added to the base sauce. To make a dessert soufflé, the white sauce is sweetened with sugar and flavoured with pureed fruits, liqueurs, extracts or grated chocolate. (I added 1/4 C. Cointreau to the dessert souffle)

Basic Soufflé
(Makes 6 servings)

2 tablespoons (30 mL) butter

2 tablespoons (30 mL) all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon (2 mL) salt

Dash pepper

¾ cup (180 mL) milk

Filling of choice (see below)

4 eggs

2 egg whites

¼ teaspoon (1 mL) cream of tartar

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Stir in milk all at once. Continue stirring until mixture boils and is smooth and thickened.

Separate 4 eggs. Beat yolks well and add some of the warm mixture to the yolks. Combine yolk mixture with remaining sauce, blending thoroughly. If desired, add filling ingredients, stirring them into the white sauce until well blended. Set sauce aside to cool slightly.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold some of the egg whites into the sauce to lighten it, then gently but thoroughly fold the sauce into the remaining egg whites.

Carefully pour the mixture into an ungreased 4 cup (1 L) soufflé dish or casserole. Bake in a preheated 375F (190C) oven for 17 to 20 minutes.

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2 thoughts on “All Puffed Up ….K Cooks…A Souffle!

  1. I can’t even make a pizza crust so it’s safe to say I’ll probably never try to make a souffle…you never cease to amaze me with your limitless talents! These look absolutely delicious.

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