Saturday, April 23, 2011

Back in the Game

Posted by - Ellebee

I have been a baking slacker for the past several months, but I decided to turn it around this month when I saw we were doing souffles. I've always been intimidated yet enchanted by souffles, and I've always wanted to try to make one. I feel in love with the photo of the lemon souffles baked in actual lemon rinds and decided to try that. In fact, I decided to make it for Easter dessert! At the in-laws!
Beautiful, beautiful lemons and spring tulips - nothing about this spells disaster, does it?

If this sounds like more than my usual recipe for disaster, it was. When I mentioned to my mother-in-law that I'd both be bringing a coconut cake and making the souffles, she visibly shuddered. So, it was for the best that I decided the souffle recipe was too complicated to try to make in an unfamiliar kitchen. Relieved, my MIL e-mailed me that the coconut cake would suffice. Still, I didn't want to give up the challenge this month, so today I decided to make both the coconut cake and the lemon souffles to serve after dinner with some close friends this evening. All in the two-hour window during my daughter's nap. I'd read that you could make the base of the souffle and just add the meringue when you were ready to cook it, so I decided to go that route.

I tackled the lemons as the coconut cake was baking. It quickly became apparent that Martha Stewart has a superior brand of grapefruit spoon to mine. Her recipe advocates using a serrated grapefruit spoon to dig out the lemon pulp. I used a grapefruit spoon, a paring knife, AND a melon baller, and the stringy white pulp on the bottom of the lemon wasn't budging. So, I decided to switch to making the souffles in ramekins.
Piper eats the icing for the coconut cake while I make the souffle base - bad mommy!

I made the base with no problems, and after dinner, I made the meringue. The souffles went into the oven and at 12 minutes they were rising well over the edge of the ramekins. At 14 minutes, the were browning on top. I pulled them out of the oven, sprinkled them with powdered sugar, and they immediately fell. The photo is about 30 seconds after they came out of the oven.
Souffles before disaster hit.

Also, they were, unfortunately, too lemony to eat. I really had to wing the recipe, because of switching serving dishes and whatnot, as well as a few other things that I won't get into here (mostly not having the proper kitchen equipment or being unsure about how to use the equipment I had). That said, I AM going to attempt another souffle, and another, and another. The savory souffles sound particularly appealing. But I may give up on Martha Stewart.


Rena said...

Good for you for trying. I'm sorry they didn't turn out well but they sure do look good! Happy Easter!

Dorrie said...

Go you! Amazing what you think you can get done during nap. And I love the idea of the lemon souffles in the lemon rind. You must always remember the Martha employs lots of little minions who spend their time doing her biding, like scraping out lemon rinds...
Good for you for trying and I'm glad Piper enjoyed the cake frosting!