Archive for the ‘Souffles’ Category
One of my favorite souffle recipes to make is for my Yogurt ‘Cheesecake’ Souffles. It’s an easy to make souffle recipe where the base is thick, greek-style yogurt that gives the souffle a lot of body (and a cheesecake-like flavor) without a lot of work. It is also a great base for other souffle flavors, like these Chocolate Yogurt Souffles. Adding a little bit of cocoa powder to the mixture, along with a little extra sugar and honey for sweetness, turns these desserts into something a little more decadent.
These souffles have a great texture, both light and creamy. They don’t have an intense chocolate flavor, as some more traditional chocolate souffles do, but they certainly have enough to satisfy a chocolate craving – and they’re light enough that you can justify making them as often as you want. The base is made with yogurt, eggs, cocoa powder, honey and flour, with a little vanilla added for depth of flavor. Egg whites are beaten into a fully meringue with some sugar, then folded into the yogurt mixture. The mix is divided into ramekins and baked.
I use plain, Greek-style yogurt when making these souffles. The finished dish still has a slightly tangy, yogurty flavor to them, in addition to chocolate. If you don’t care for that tang of plain greek-style yogurt, a vanilla flavored yogurt will give you a slightly sweeter and slightly less tangy finished product and is also a good option. Greek-style yogurts definitely give you the best results with this recipe and you can use nonfat, full fat and everything in between.
To dress them up for a fancier dessert, I like to add a drizzle of chocolate fudge sauce (or ganache) before serving, but generally enjoy them as-is when I’m just indulging myself.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy fresh summer strawberries. You can stuff them into a shortcake or pile them up into a pie, as well as add them to cereal and toss them into a salad. Shortcakes are probably my favorite strawberry dessert, but I’ve recently added a new recipe to my list of strawberry dessert options: a strawberry souffle.
This light, fluffy Strawberry Souffle is made with just a few ingredients – and fresh strawberries make up the bulk of it. Whole berries are pureed with some sugar, cornstarch and a very small amount of lemon or lime juice (which just brightens up the berries a tiny bit). Egg whites are beaten to stiff peaks with a little bit of sugar and are then folded into the puree. Everything is divided up into ramekins and baked. The souffle has a beautiful pink color (the darker your berries, the darker the souffle), a not-too-sweet strawberry flavor and an airy texture that reminds me of Strawberry Chiffon Cake. As an added bonus, this dessert is so light that it is fat free, so you’ll never feel guilty about ending a meal with it.
The souffle will rise up quite high in the oven and, like most souffles, will sink down as it cools. That said, it is pretty structurally sound for a souffle and will retain its shape very well for quite a while, even after it has cooled. This means that you can serve the souffles hot or warm, and you don’t need to feel any pressure about getting the dessert to the table the instant it comes out of the oven.
This recipe is best made with fresh strawberries, although if you defrost and drain frozen berries before using them, they will work in the recipe. I have to admit, though, that I put this solidly in the summertime dessert category and make it only when I have good, fresh strawberries available. I serve this plain or with a little bit of whipped cream. One way to make it a little more decadent – and to add a fancy finish to impress dinner guests with – is to drizzle it with melted chocolate or fudge sauce before serving, too.
Souffles are a very versatile dessert because they are light, yet satisfying. Chocolate souffles can be fairly rich and you might not want to have one after a very meal. Lemon souffles, on the other hand, have a bright and fresh flavor that you can always make room for. These Lemon Blackberry Souffles have an easy to make lemon base that is made with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. There is very little added fat in these – aside from the egg yolks that give the souffle their body – so they actually are just as light as they taste.
The souffles themselves are lemon. The blackberries are actually buried at the bottom of the ramekins, underneath the cloud-like lemon topping. In the oven, they become sweeter and juicier, and add some extra sweetness to the souffles when they’re served. I used fresh, whole blackberries for these souffles. You can substitute other berries, such as raspberries, blueberries or boysenberries. If you only have frozen berries, defrost and drain the berries, then spoon them into the ramekins in a single layer. You’ll have a saucier result this way, as the fresh berries hold their shape well during baking, but you’ll still get the same great flavor.
These are best served when they’re fresh from the oven, warm and rising dramatically above the rims of their ramekins. The recipe doesn’t take long from start-to-finish (and it is possible to prepare the base earlier in the day and beat in the egg whites just before baking), so it’s fairly easy to pop these into the oven at the end of a meal and be ready to eat them just as the coffee has finished brewing. If you must let them sit before serving, they’ll deflate a bit, but they’ll still have great flavor and will be enjoyable to eat.
There aren’t too many souffles that focus on vanilla as a flavor. Chocolate, double chocolate, citrus and all kinds of other fruits seem to work themselves in easily. I’m not complaining because I really enjoy a good chocolate souffle, but sometimes I just want that vanilla to stand out more. These Ricotta Souffles are a perfect vehicle for vanilla because, like cream cheese in a cheesecake, mild ricotta cheese has a subtle flavor that adds richness and structure to the souffle while letting the vanilla be a focal flavor.
This recipe is based on one I clipped out of an issue of Food & Wine magazine a couple of years ago (I was able to find it online, too!) for a lemon-flavored version. I eliminated the lemon, loaded up on vanilla and kept the technique the same. This souffle starts out with a choux pastry dough, made by cooking butter, water and flour together in a skillet. Ricotta, egg yolks and vanilla are added to this base, then beaten egg whites are folded in before dividing the mixture into ramekins for baking. The choux dough, which is the same type of pastry used to make cream puffs and eclairs, ensures that the top of this souffle becomes wonderfully crisp when it is fresh out of the oven.
The finished souffles will fall fairly quickly, but that doesn’t take away from their deliciousness. They have a crisp top, moist and cheesecake-like interior, but with a very tender texture thanks to all that ricotta cheese. Even the leftovers – which can be stored in the refrigerator – taste good. You can definitely taste the vanilla in the souffles, too. Since they’re relatively plain (but delicious on their own), they are perfect for pairing up with a fruit garnish. I used freshly whipped cream and some blackberries, simmered lightly in a bit of sugar to sweeten them up.
Yogurt can be a great, no fuss base for souffles. This is particularly true of thick Greek-style yogurt, as it provides a lot of body to the base of a souffle recipe. One of my favorite souffles that features yogurt is my Yogurt Cheesecake Souffles, as they have a fluffy texture but a rich cheesecake-like flavor in spite of the fact that they include no cream cheese in the recipe. The souffle itself is only mildly flavored, and I made a little variation on it by adding some Nutella to the souffle base.
The souffle has a taste and texture that is very similar to a mousse, although it is served piping hot shortly after it emerges from the oven. It has a relatively subtle Nutella flavor when compared to eating a spoonful of the stuff straight out of the jar, but the clear hazelnut and chocolate notes come through well and make the souffle both airy and tasty. The tang of the yogurt, as well as the fact that there just isn’t that much sugar in this recipe to begin with, keeps things from getting too sweet. It’s a great dessert to end a meal – even a big one – thanks to its lightness. Plus, it only takes a couple of minutes to mix up the base and pop it into to bake.
The souffles will rise up impressively in the oven (see photo below) and are pretty stable, so while they will deflate and sink down slightly into the ramekins as they cool off (see photo above), you don’t have to worry about them being so fragile that they’ll collapse with a puff of air. As I said before, Greek-style yogurt works the best for this recipe, as “regular” yogurt can be a little bit on the thin side. Any fat content will work, and you should be able to find Greek-style yogurt in most grocery stores. If you can’t, drain some plain yogurt over a cheesecloth for 15-30 minutes to allow some of the excess moisture to drain out and leave behind a thicker, more cheese-like, yogurt.