Daring Cooks 19th challenge: Soufflés 

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.

I had done a soufflé before in cooking school, but couldn’t remember how successful I had been. I knew they were pretty fussy. I looked for a recipe online that wouldn’t be so big. There’s only two of us to feed, and found what looked like a pretty straightforward spinach soufflé recipe. Didn’t work. Never rose, though it was cooked throughout and tasted good. It didn’t involve a water bath, though. I also had waited for the oven to reach the proper temperature after folding in the egg whites. Perhaps that was the reason? Who knows.

So I went back to basics and did the lemon soufflé recipe from my school notes. It worked, kinda. Didn’t rise
much, but had a nice light and lemony taste. Interesting challenge, but not one I’ll be doing again soon. As noted above, too fussy.

Here’s one of the recipes Dave and Linda offered.

Chocolate Souffle

Adapted From BBC Good Food Recipe by Gordon Ramsay

Ingredients

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. (The chile version is a Monkeyshines favorite!) 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)

Directions:

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.

 

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