Sunday, June 19, 2011

Learning about Soufflés

For Father's Day, Howard and I wanted to make soufflés for my dad.
My mom had told me that dad ordered a soufflé every night when they went on their cruise. We were also recently inspired by Mary Sue on Top Chef Masters and Dale MacKay on Top Chef Canada.

I spent Friday looking through a couple of cookbooks to look for lemon soufflé recipes. I found one in Ready for Dessert and showed it to Howard. In the short intro to the recipe, the author had written that there are chocolate people in the world and there are lemon people. So true! Howard's a lemon person and I'm a chocolate one. =)

Here's the super lemony soufflé recipe, slightly adapted from the book:

Lemon Soufflés
Recipe adapted from Ready for Dessert
(Makes about 6)

3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1/3 cup of sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar
A pinch of salt
2/3 cup of milk
4 large eggs, separated
2 tablespoons of butter
Zest from 2 lemons
3 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice
Extra sugar and butter to coat the molds
  1. Lightly butter the bottom and edges of six ramekin or soufflé molds. Pour some sugar into each, tilt and rotate to coat the interior. Pour out the excess.
  2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the flour, 1/3 cup of sugar, and the pinch of salt.
  3. Whisk in about 1/3 of the milk - whisk until smooth. Then add in the remaining milk.
  4. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it thickens to look like custard.
  5. Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks and butter.
  6. Return to the heat and cook until it starts to boil and bubbles appear on the surface.
  7. Turn off the heat, transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the lemon zest and let it cool.
  8. Stir in the 3 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice.
  9. Using a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites on low speed until frothy. Increase the speed to high and add the 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar. Whisk until the whites form stiff peaks.
  10. Mix 1/4 of the whipped egg whites into the soufflé base.
  11. Then fold in the remaining whipped egg whites, be careful not to deflate them.
  12. Divide the soufflés mixture evenly. Sprinkle each with a light dusting of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice. Bake until the tops are light brown, about 10-15 minutes. Serve immediately.
Our first soufflé didn't turn out properly. It sunk in the oven and deflated when we took it out. I was pretty bummed out, but Howard tried to make me feel better by saying they are known for being tricky and that I shouldn't expect it to work on my first try (but I did expect it to work, I am good at following instructions). Then I debated doing a post about our deflated dessert and decided to. This is all a learning experience after all!

Perhaps you can help us? I do have a convection oven - not ideal for baking, but I've been able to make it work for cakes. Does anyone know if I should use a different setting with my oven?

We will be attempting the soufflé again. I can't let this get the best of me! I did some more research and here are some tips if you're going to making one soon:
  • Just like baking cakes, have your butter and eggs at room temperature
  • After buttering and sugaring the interiors of the molds, let them "set" in the refrigerator
  • Adding a little bit of lemon juice helps strengthen the egg whites
  • To avoid lumpy soufflés, fold in the egg whites until smooth
  • Tap the molds down on a cloth to evenly distribute the batter, then fill the batter to the top and slice off any excess
  • Using your finger, create a mini ring in the batter along the edge
  • Set your oven temperature to be a bit higher, because when the door opens, the temperature drops
  • Don't lower the temperature or open your oven door while the soufflé is baking
  • Work quickly and have your equipment and ingredients ready
Do you have any tips or tricks?

We hope you had a wonderful Father's Day!

6 comments:

  1. You know what they say:You can wait, but soufle can not.In the begining of me trying to make souffle I never could make it in time to serve it right from the oven ,I use to make the double baked one(found the recepie in the cookbook 'Two hairy bikers')So you first bake it ,take it out and then just before serving turn other side and baked it.Well that works every time.However practising along(that i all what there is ,together with spotless clean dishes youu use) I am managing ok.So my tip is make sure you use spotless clean dishes and beat eggwhites really well(air).Good luck:)And yes ..practise.. don't give up!

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  2. You are brave! Souffles and I are not friends. I mean, we're friend when I eat them. Just not when I attempt to create them.

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  3. Dzoli, thank you for the words of encouragement! I won't give up =)

    Kelly, haha. It was the two of us versus souffles and we still lost! Grr, must even out the score.

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  4. My mom makes a great soufle but mine never turns out like hers. I think they are one the most challenging things i have tried baking and sadly i have just given up. I applaud you for making your own :)

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  5. complimenti queste note mi saranno molto utili! baci!

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  6. Cakewhiz, aww don't give up! If your mom can teach you, you'll eventually get the hang of it.

    Le ricette dell'Amore Vero, buona fortuna!

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