Saturday, April 30, 2011
Souffles have become a go-to, quick and easy meal during the week for my busy household. Crazy, right? Not when you have Fanny Farmers recipe for Sturdy Souffle! Because the eggs are not separated, but beaten whole, this dish is a cinch to make. Although it does not rise as high as a traditional souffle, it does come out round, shiny and brown.
I typically serve this souffle on chilly nights and when paired with a bowl of cold weather greens (like spinach, baby kale, miners lettuce, etc.) tossed with apples, dried cranberries and goat cheese, it becomes a super fast, super healthy and super tasty meal that all three of my kids enjoy. If I have some extra time or company coming, I throw together a pot of veggie and bean soup with crusty fresh bread for dipping.
Tonight's souffle comes two ways. By dividing the same recipe, into separate ramekins, I can add tasty treats for more grown-up palates. If you have only a 1 quart souffle dish, this recipe will fit nicely into it, with or without the additions. I have also been know to hazard best guesses and put this into whatever I could find. Always comes out delicious.
Below, is my adaptation of Fanny Farmers Sturdy Souffle:
4 T butter, unsalted
1/4 cup + 2T of flour
1 1/4 cup hot milk
1/4 cup cream
pinch of salt
1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
4 T blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 c finely chopped, fresh baby spinach
4 eggs, well beaten
Preheat oven to 375F. Butter four, 1 cup ramekins or ovenproof bowls/baking dishes with high sides. Sprinkle containers with some of the parmesan cheese. Place these containers into one large baking dish or two smaller dishes. You will fill these "base dishes" with water before baking the souffles.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour with a whisk, blending until smooth. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes, until smooth and thick.
Carefully add hot milk, stirring constantly and quickly, for 3 minutes, until smooth and very thick. Add salt and remaining parmesan cheese, blending until the cheese is completely incorporated into the sauce. Remove from heat.
Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of the hot cheese base to the eggs, to temper the eggs, then return the egg-sauce mixture to the saucepan and beat until smooth.
In two of the 1 cup ramekins, divide the blue cheese and spinach evenly. Pour the souffle base on top until 1/2 inch from the top and mix gently with a spoon. In the remaining ramekins, pour in the remaining base.
Using a small pitcher, pour water into the "base dishes", so that the water comes up about 1/2" up the sides of the ramekins. Transfer to the preheated oven and bake about 20 to 25 minutes, or until raised, pouffed and lightly browned.
Pairs nicely with mixed and dressed greens and/or soup. Enjoy with a classic rhone wine, hard cider or sparkling water.
Other ideas: mushrooms, fresh thyme, gruyere; goat cheese, kale and carmelized onions; ham and cheddar;
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
For my simple and yet impressive chocolate souffle I turned to one of my favorite dessert books, Melanie Barnard's "Short and Sweet: Sophisticated Desserts In No Time At All". Barnard's recipe for "Buried Treasure Cocoa Souffles" is easy to make, quite yummy, and takes about 30 minutes start to finish.
Melanie Barnard's Buried Treasure Cocoa Souffles
6 chocolate truffles or chocolate kisses
2 large egg yolks
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
8 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 Tablespoon coffee liqueur (I used Kahlua)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Butter six 6-ounce (3/4 cup) souffle dishes and coat each with some sugar, tapping out the excess. (Note: Don't go overboard on the sugar here; it's only supposed to help the souffle "crawl" up the sides of the dishes. Too much and the souffles will be overly sugary - I learned this the hard way.) Place a chocolate truffle or kiss in the center of each dish.
3. In a bowl, beat or whisk the 2 egg yolks with 2 tablespoons of sugar until it becomes thick and is a pale yellow. Whisk in the cocoa, liqueur and vanilla.
4. In another mixing bowl, beat the 4 egg whites to soft peaks with an electric mixer. Slowly add in the remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar and beat until the mixture has formed stiff peaks.
5. Fold the cocoa mixture into the egg whites.
6. Divide the mixture between the souffle dishes and place the dishes on a baking sheet.
Bake the souffles until well puffed, about 15-17 minutes and serve immediately.
I like to serve mine with a little whipping cream on top - it provides a nice cooling element to the molten hot chocolate in the souffle.
I made this during the kids' nap on a weekend when my husband was in and out running errands. When the souffles were done I told him to have one on his way out and then I went upstairs to grab some laundry and check on the baby. With my 30-minute souffle I garnered this reaction from my beloved on his way out the door:
This souffle is lovely warm, with the melted chocolate kiss or truffle in the bottom being so nice. But I've discovered that when it's cold, it tastes like a brownie and that ain't bad either. Next time you want to impress some guests with a easy souffle, try this one!
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Have The Cake's theme this April is souffle. I wanted to participate because I have two great souffle recipes, one for a cheddar cheese souffle and one for a chocolate souffle and both are really simple.
Souffle can be intimidating and I think the French mean for it to be that way; they do love to make their cuisine very difficult. If there is a way to make chicken soup take 12 hours and involve 10 ingredients that require a trip to a farm in Provence - the French will do it. I think it has something to do with French national pride.
But I'm here to tell you that souffle can be easy. First up, cheddar cheese souffle. This recipe comes from my mother and her September 1979 Family Circle. In that issue, an article entitled "The 6-minute Souffle" appeared, which included recipes for Cheddar cheese, Roquefort, Ham, and Banana souffles, all quick and easy. Since this article was published when I was four, I grew up thinking that souffle was always easy and was quite surprised to discover that most people thought souffle was "supposed" to be hard. Mais mon souffle n'est pas dificile!
In the battle for an easy cheese souffle, here is your weapon:
Get your blender and your souffle dish (or 6 small dishes) and we're off!
Cheddar Cheese Souffle
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 tsp prepared mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 lb cheddar cheese, cut into about 1" chunks
11 oz. cream cheese, cut into about 1" chunks
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and butter a large souffle dish or 6 small souffle dishes.
2. Add to the blender the eggs, cream, Parmesan, mustard, salt and pepper. Blend until mixed well and smooth.
3. With the blender running, add the cheddar through the hole in the lid, one chunk at a time until all are chopped up and the mixture is thick. Add the cream cheese in the same manner. (Note - the mixture will be very thick at this time; it may be necessary to stop the blender and stir the mixture around with a spatula to fully incorporate the cheeses.)
4. Once all of the cheddar and cream cheese is fully incorporated, run the blender for 5 more seconds, just to get a little air in the mixture.
5. Pour the mixture into the buttered souffle dish(es).
6. Bake the souffle for 40-50 minutes depending upon your preference. The original recipe says that either you can bake the souffle for 40 minutes and use the "liquid center as a sauce to spoon over the rest of the souffle", or you can just do what I do and bake it for 50 minutes to get a nice firm souffle all the way through.
The souffle will have a lovely brown top:
This souffle is heaven with a soft cheesy center and a crispy edge. It is a great vegetarian and gluten-free main course (hence why it is often served at the book club meetings at mine and my sister's houses), and isn't too bad the next day as leftovers. I have an aunt who likes to eat the leftovers with salsa...
Now see wasn't that easy? No slaving over a pan, separating eggs and beating egg whites to stiff peaks. If anyone wants the recipe for the Ham Souffle for their Easter leftovers let me know.
Next up - easy chocolate souffle for dessert!
Saturday, April 23, 2011
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!
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.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
With Spring comes the season of my favorite vegetable, asparagus, so I immediately searched for a recipe based on this ingredient. I stumbled on this one from the Cooking Light site:
Asparagus and Gruyere Souffle-
- YIELD: 6 servings
- Cooking spray
- 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
- 3/4 pound asparagus
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 cups 1% low-fat milk
- 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
- 6 large egg whites
- Dash of cream of tartar
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Coat a 2-quart soufflé dish with cooking spray; sprinkle breadcrumbs over bottom and sides of dish.
- Cook asparagus in boiling water 4 minutes; drain and rinse with cold water. Cut a 1-inch tip from each asparagus spear; finely chop stalks.
- Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place the flour, salt, ground nutmeg, dry mustard, and black pepper in a medium saucepan. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook 1 minute or until thick.
- Gradually stir about one-fourth of hot milk mixture into egg yolk, stirring constantly with a whisk, and add to remaining hot milk mixture, stirring constantly. Cook 30 seconds, and remove from heat. Stir in asparagus tips and chopped asparagus with the cheese. Cool slightly.
- Place egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently stir one-fourth of egg white mixture into asparagus mixture; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture. Spoon into prepared soufflé dish. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until puffed, golden, and set. Serve immediately.
Posted by -colleen
Friday, April 1, 2011
Posted by - BrookeI know I have been very remiss in my participation of the "Have the Cake" baking club. But I must admit I was very excited to be assigned the month of April. Not just because it means Spring is upon us, but given that Easter is around the corner, I have resurrected a recipe that my mom often made for Easter dinner dessert; Lemon Souffle with Raspberry Sauce . It is a recipe that she has handed down from her mother and so on... There are many versions of Souffle's both savory and sweet. The first recipe posted here is a cheese version my mother also taught me how to make. So take your pick savory or sweet. And there are a zillion takes on Souffles; chocolate, pumpkin, spinach. These are basics but I encourage everyone to think outside the box!
"A souffle, quickly described, is a sauce containing a flavoring or puree into which stiffly beaten egg whites are incorporated. It is turned into a mold and baked in the oven until it puffs up and the top browns" - Julia Child Courtesy of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" By Julia Child
***Just a brief note before I list the recipe. There are many variations of a cheese souffle. This can most certainly be made with Gruyere instead of plain Swiss and is also delicious prepared with a nice Cheddar cheese.The souffle sauce base
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter inside of a 6-cup souffle mold with a tsp butter and 1 tablespoon of Swiss or Parmesan cheese
3 tbs butter3 tbs flour
1 cup boiling milk1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepperA pinch of cayenne pepper
A pinch of nutmegMelt the butter in the saucepan. Stir in the flour with a wooden spatula of spoon over moderate heat until the butter and flour foam together for about 2 minutes without browning. Remove from heat; when mixture has stopped bubbling, pour in all the boiling milk at once. Beat vigorously with a wire whip until blended. Beat in the seasonings. Return over moderate heat and boil, stirring with the wire whip, for one minute. Sauce will be very thick.
4 egg yolksRemove from heat. Immediately start to separate the eggs. Drop the whites into a bowl and the yolk into the hot sauce. Beat the yolk into the sauce with the wire whip. Continue in the same manner with the rest of the yolks. Dot top of sauce with butter.
The egg whites and cheese5 egg whites
a pinch of salt3/4 cup (3 ounces) of coarsely grated Swiss or Swiss and Parmesan
Add an extra egg white to the ones in the bowl and beat with the salt until stiff. Stir a big spoonful (about a quarter of the egg whites) into the sauce. Stir in all but a tablespoon of the cheese. Delicately fold in the rest of the egg whites.Baking Turn the souffle mixture into the mold which should be almost 3/4 full. Tap bottom of mold lightly on the table and smooth the surface of the souffle with a flat knife. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on the top. Set on a rack in the middle of the preheated oven and immediately turn heat down to 375. (Do not open the oven door for 20 minutes.) In 25 to 30 minutes the souffle will have puffed about 2 inches over the rim of the mold, and the top will be nicely browned. Bake 4 to 5 minutes more to firm it up. Serve at once! So I know this recipe sounds "involved" and it is. Might take a few times to master the perfect "pouf". And honestly if it falls your first time chances are it will probably taste as good just won't look as "pretty'. But this is a perfect dinner paired with a simple salad. Now onto my mothers other souffle recipe. This one is MUCH easier and the perfect light Spring dessert. This souffle doesn't "bake" as most traditional souffles do, it sets in the refrigerator.
Cold Lemon Souffle
For 6-8 people
2 envelopes of gelatin1/2 cup of cold water and 1/2 cup of lemon juice - total 1 cup
8 yolks3/4 lemon juice and grated rind of lemons used
8 egg whites1 cup of sugar
1 cup heavy cream 3 tbs of sugarSprinkle gelatin into 1/2 of water and 1/2 lemon juice. Beat yolks until thick then beat in softened gelatin. Cook mixture until it coats the spoon but don't let it boil. Quickly add lemon juice and grated lemon rind mixture, transfer to a large bowl and chill in the freezer until it becomes syrupy ( + or - 1/2 hour). Beat whites until they froth then add the cup of sugar slowly and beat until quite stiff. Whip the cream with the 3 tablespoons of sugar. Fold cream into the lemon mixture then egg whites. Tie wax paper collar 2 inches above the rim of a 1 1/2 quart souffle dish. Pour mixture up to the top of the collar and chill in the refrigerator for at least four hours. remove collar carefully. Optional: Sprinkle a little cocoa powder on the top to imitate crust. Serve with sweetened pureed raspberry sauce.
1 tablespoon of lemon juice1 tablespoon of cognac or Framboise liquor
Combine raspberries, sugar and (optional liquor). Cook until raspberries are broken down. Remove from the heat and strain through a chinois to eliminate seeds. Sauce should be cooled a bit before serving.So happy souffle making everyone! Hope everyone achieves the perfect "pouf"!