Food, Yoga and Travel in Brooklyn
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I’m very late in posting this – so sorry! I started on Friday but was just not happy with anything so it sat on my poor computer while I watched Netflix and ignored everything. But here we are on Sunday and I’m feeling oddly renewed. I’m not sure if it has anything to do with the AC blasting, my double strength French press or the 40 mile bike ride sinking into my bones but either way, I’m going to work with it for now and maybe, just maybe get a few things done.
So here it is people. Soufflé! God, I never thought I would make soufflé. Why would I? Well, now the question is “Why wouldn’t I?”
Soufflé is a big beautiful thing that, in my minds eye, the cooking of should be reserved for those who are actual chefs. The recipe alone is daunting. Never mind the egg white whipping, the double broiler, and the quick incorporating before it all falls before your very eyes. God, just thinking about it makes my blood pressure rise.
P and I made this happen together. It was such a wonderful thing. I actually would not recommend making this alone. I think that is where most people go wrong and come out with a sunken soufflé. I believe the second person really helped keep things moving. I watched the double broiler while he got the egg whites whipping and so forth. Never mind the last step where you have to ladle and fold rapidly. I don’t have three arms – do you? And we are certainly not Julia Child.
So here you are. Don’t be scared. Grab your best friend and make this. And then ignore the fact that it says “Serves 8.” Because after making this, you deserve to eat it all.
Please note that while this calls for a 2 quart baking dish, you can use ramekins. In the end, we believe it would have been more fun and had a better texture with the ramekins instead of a big soufflé dish. Don’t forget the whipped cream for the end.
From “Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom.”
• Butter for coating souffle dish
• 7 oz. or squares of semisweet or sweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
• 1/3 c. strong coffee (we used a long espresso shot)
• 1/3 c. flour
• 2 c. milk
• 3 tbsp. butter, softened (optional)
• 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
• Big pinch of salt
• 4 egg yolks
• 1/2 c. granulated sugar
• 6 egg whites
• Powdered sugar in a fine sieve
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a 2-quart soufflé dish by smearing a light coating of soft butter over the sides and bottom of the dish. Roll granulated sugar in the dish to cover inner surface completely; knock out excess.
Ed. Note – we didn’t do this step because our souffle dish was larger than 2 quarts If you’re using a collar, cut a length of parchment paper or aluminum foil long enough to wrap around the dish with a 2-inch overlap. Fold in half lengthwise, and butter one side. Wrap collar around the dish, buttered side in; it should rise 3 inches above the rim. Secure in place with 2 straight pins, inserted head up for quick removal. Slide the rack onto the lower-third level of the oven.
Place chocolate pieces and coffee in small pan. In a larger pan, bring 3 to 4 inches of water to a boil. Remove from heat, cover small pan with the chocolate in it and set it in the hot water. In 4 to 5 minutes the chocolate should be melted; stir to smooth.
In a separate saucepan, whisk together flour and half the milk. When well-blended whisk in the remaining milk, whisk at a slow boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and beat in the butter, if desired, vanilla extract, salt, egg yolks and the melted chocolate.
In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until they form soft peaks; add sugar and whip to shiny peaks. (Peaks are formed when a bit is lifted up in the wires of the beater and it forms a stiff, shining peak, bending down slightly at the tip.)
Ed note: It helps to use cold egg white. By the time we got settled and separated, they were room temperature and had to go back in the fridge for a few minutes because we were having a tough time getting the peaks.
Combine by ladling chocolate base down sides of egg-white bowl, folding rapidly to combine. To fold, plunge a large rubber spatula like a knife down into the center of the mixture, and draw it to the side of the bowl and up to the surface in a rapid scoop, bringing some of the bottom over the top. Rotate bowl and continue until the elements are blended. Do not deflate the puff by overdoing it.
Reduce heat to 375 degrees. Turn mixture into soufflé dish, set into oven, and bake for 40 minutes, or until puff starts. Dust with powdered sugar and bake until done. To test for doneness, rapidly release the collar just a bit — if the puff sags, refasten the collar and bake a few more minutes. When a skewer is plunged down into the side of the puff and comes out with a few particles clinging to it, the soufflé will be deliciously creamy but will not hold up long. If the skewer comes out clean, it will hold longer. Serve with lightly whipped crème Chantilly.
For a fun video of Julia making cheese souffle check out The French Chef on PBS.