I’ve put off making souffle for a long. I would look at recipes and photos of them, and think they looked lovely, but were just too hard to make myself. One of those kind of dishes that takes a lot of skill and brings you crashing down to the reality of your culinary mediocrity when it doesn’t work out. If you hadn’t worked it out already, this blog is pretty much powered by my ego. So making dishes that have the potential to become fantastic faillures (whilst fun and a good way to learn) does not entice me to try.
But then along came Michel Roux. Who I’m sure anyone who reads this blog regularly is sick of hearing about. But really, the man is a genius. His recipes are simple, yet beautifully constructed. Refined, but not pretentious, and classic but not old fashioned.
So when I got to the souffle section of his Eggs book, I knew it was time to bite the bullet and have a go.
So a quiet Wednesday night to myself, and what does any red blooded Aussie guy do… Makes souffle !
So… a list of ingredients and a rambling set of instructions. If you don’t want to make so much, then just halve all the ingredients quantities (which is what I did, and still had enough to make two quite large souffles).
- 3 tbsp softened butter (to grease the dishes)
- 1/4 cup of caster sugar (to coat the dishes)
- 240 or so grams of good quality cooking chocolate (I had a bar of Valrhona 70% dark chocolate to use up)
- 10 egg whites
- another 1/4 cup caster to use when whipping egg whites
- 1 3/4 cups of milk
- 1/3 cup caster sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- small 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
- icing sugar to finish
For the Pastry Cream
How I made it
Heat the milk and two thirds of the sugar in a small pan and slowly bring to the boil. Put the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar together in a bowl and whisk them into a ribbon consistency (which I assumed to mean nice and smooth and wavey), then slowly incorporate the flour. Then pour the milk mixture into this egg yolk mixture return it to a low heat, and whisk it til its nicely smooth and a bit thick.
Well that was what I supposed to do. What I did in actual fact was not read the recipe properly… Forget to add the flour entirely, and then have to add it later, after I had already melted the chocolate down in a double boiler, and poured that into the egg yolk mixture… which still kinda worked.
So basically now you have thick chocolatey pastry cream, which can be used for lots of stuff, including fillings for choux pastry (ala Beard Papa’s).
To this I added my egg whites which were whipped into soft peaks with the rest of the sugar. I whisked in about a third of the egg whites, and then gently folded the rest in until it was nicely incorporated.
Then let it all cool down, and pour the mixture into the dishes.
The mixture ended up looking like this:
Which I then put into the oven (preheated to 200 C), for roughly 15 minutes…
And then put it for a bit longer when I could see it was all rather molten inside… Can someone tell me how it’s supposed to be ?
And thats how it came out… I was pretty happy with the result, although seeing as it was a complete experiment I wasn’t equipt with ice cream, double cream, icing sugar, or any other tasty little accompaniments to add to it… So what we had was nude souffle on a plate. The upside being, that it was lovely and airy and light, and made me feel happy with its magical mushroom shaped risingness. So much so that I intend to make a few more in the near future.