This month I participated in my very first Daring Cooks Challenge! The topic was souffle. “Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose Soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge! Dave and Linda provided two of their own delicious recipes plus a sinfully decadent chocolate soufflé recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe found at the BBC Good Food website.” To view the other recipes from the challenge, CLICK HERE. Overall, I enjoyed the experience. Souffle was easier to make than I expected, although the end result didn’t completely wow me.
I guess I think of souffle as a pretty big deal. When you order it at a restaurant you have to give them more notice than you do for any other dessert. It’s something special, elusive. It’s something with a crisp flaky outside and a rich creamy inside. It’s light and fluffy yet deep and rich. Perhaps I’ve glorified it because I haven’t had it since I was a kid, or maybe I cooked it just a minute too long, but my souffle didn’t exactly live up to my high expectations. It was light and spongy with a delicate chocolate flavor and that was about it. Still, it was a good challenge and I’d be happy to try a savory souffle sometime soon. Here’s the recipe, as provided by Monkeyshines:
Adapted From BBC Good Food Recipe by Gordon Ramsay
FOR THE DISHES
2 Tbsp (30 ml) 1 oz (30g) unsalted butter, for greasing
Cocoa powder or finely grated chocolate
FOR THE CREME PATISSERIE
2 tbsp (30 ml) (18 gm) (2/3 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
2 tsp (10 gm) (0.35 oz) caster (superfine) sugar (regular sugar is OK)
½ tsp (4½ gm) (0.15 oz) corn starch (aka cornflour)
1 medium egg yolk
1 medium whole egg
4 Tbsp (60 ml) milk
5 Tbsp (75 ml) heavy cream (or double cream)
3 oz (90gm) good-quality dark chocolate preferably 70+% cocoa solids, broken in pieces
2 Tbsp (30 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) unsweetened cocoa powder
Optional: 2 tsp orange zest or 2 tsp minced chipotle chile en adobo or 1 tsp chipotle chile powder. Optional: powdered sugar for dusting
FOR THE EGG WHITES
6 medium egg whites
6½ Tbsp (95 ml) 3 oz (90g) superfine/caster sugar (if you don’t have it, regular sugar is OK)
1. Heat oven to moderate 375 ˚F/190 ˚C/gas mark 5.
2. Take four 1 cup/~240ml soufflé dishes and brush them completely with softened butter. Tip a little cocoa powder or grated chocolate into each dish, roll the dish around tilting it as you do so it is evenly lined all round.
3. For the crème patisserie, mix the flour, sugar and corn starch into a small bowl. Put egg yolk and whole egg into a medium sized bowl, beat lightly, then beat in half of the flour mixture to give a smooth paste. Tip in the rest of the flour mixture and cocoa powder and mix well.
4. To make the ganache, pour the milk and cream into a pan and bring just to the boil. Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and beat until it is melted and smooth with no lumps.
5. Gradually stir hot chocolate ganache into the paste from step 3, and add the orange zest or chile if using. This is your crème patisserie.
6. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks with an electric whisk. Sprinkle in the sugar as you are mixing. Keep whisking to give stiff, firm peaks to give volume to the soufflés.
7. Stir about 2 tbsp (30 ml) of the beaten egg whites into the crème patisserie. Carefully fold in a third of the rest, cutting through the mixture. Fold in another third (take care not to lose the volume), then fold in the rest.
8. Spoon the mixture into the dishes. Run a spoon across the top of each dish so the mixture is completely flat. Take a little time to wipe any splashes off the outside of each dish, or they will burn on while cooking.
9. Bake the soufflés for 15-17 minutes.
10. The soufflés should have risen by about two thirds of their original height and jiggle when moved, but be set on top.