Archive for the ‘Souffles’ Category
Maple is a flavor that is frequently used to enhance other foods, whether you’re drizzling maple syrup over waffles or a savory side of sweet potatoes. It isn’t often showcased entirely on its own. I guess that shouldn’t be too surprising, given that maple syrup is so sweet, but it also has a very complex and rich flavor to it – especially if you buy the darker “grade B” maple syrup that I tend to favor – and you just need to find a good backdrop to bring it out.
In this case, I made a very simple souffle and spiked it with maple syrup. The souffle is very simple, with just four main ingredients. I used a little bit of yogurt as the base because I had such great souffle results with it in my Yogurt Cheesecake Souffles. Yogurt brings a bit of richness to the texture of souffle and, in this case, the tartness of plain yogurt was just enough to take the edge off of the maple syrup and prevent the souffles from being too sweet. Instead, the ultra-soft souffles have a flavor that borders on caramel and reminds me a lot of flan. They’re still sweet, but not cloying, and are the perfect accompaniment to some after dinner coffee or tea.
The souffles are quite low in fat (not low in sugar, however) and, even though souffles have a reputation for being tricky, they’re very easy to make. All you need to do is beat the egg whites to soft peaks with some sugar, then fold in the maple syrup and yogurt. It takes about 3 minutes, then you just have top pop them into the oven. Don’t worry about deflating them in any way when you open the door to check on them; the souffles are resilient, even though they’re light. Speaking of lightness, the souffles may actually rise up over the top of the ramekins because they are so fluffy. They’ll sink back down into the cups as they cool slightly and, although you can certainly wait a few minutes to eat them, they are best when they are served shortly after baking, still hot from the oven.
This recipe is small and fills up two 8-oz ramekins perfectly, with just a little bit leftover. You can certainly divide the recipe into three ramekins and fill them up a bit less (or use 6-oz ramekins; baking time is about the same) if you want to stretch it, but I think it’s nice to have a recipe that really works for a small serving. The recipe doubles easily if you need to serve a group and want to make a bigger batch.
Can a dessert be a cheesecake when it doesn’t start with cheese? My gut feeling tells me that it can’t. In spite of that, I can’t resist calling these little yogurt-based souffles, “cheesecake souffles” because they taste exactly like a light and fluffy cheesecake – only without all the calories and fat of a “real cheesecake.”
When I first set about making these, I was simply experimenting with yogurt as a potential souffle base ingredient in a recipe that was originally created by Alice Medrich. Souffles are such classy little desserts and always make a great presentation, so I enjoy making them. But because I don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen, I have a slight preference for souffles that don’t require pre-cooked bases. Yogurt has an appealing thickness to it, but it isn’t generally known for its ability to stand up to heat well. I shouldn’t have been worried because the eggs, sugar and flour that also go into the base of this dish serve to support the yogurt and give plenty of structure to the souffle.
The texture is very light and fluffy, similar to some souffle-style ricotta cheesecakes I’ve tried in the past, and has a very fine, pillowy consistency. If your egg whites are beaten well and you give each of your ramekins a tap on the counter before putting the into the oven, you should have no large air pockets in the souffles to mar their beautiful interiors. The souffles have a very slightly tangy flavor to them from the yogurt. They are lightly sweet and have a pleasant vanilla flavor. If you prefer your souffles/cheesecake to be sweeter, you can add 1 or 2 additional tablespoons of sugar or top off the finished souffles with a drizzle of chocolate syrup or fruit.
I used thick, Greek-style yogurt for this recipe and opted for a low fat instead of full-fat. Nonfat Greek yogurt actually works well, too, although the souffles will be very slightly richer with the low fat variety. If you don’t have Greek-style yogurt, you can use regular, plain yogurt. Make sure to choose a brand that is all natural, then pour the yogurt into a cheesecloth-lined strainer for about 15 minutes before using to thicken it up and drain off excess liquid.
I think that a dark chocolate souffle is the quintessential Valentine’s Day dessert. Chocolate is practically required eating on Valentine’s and souffles, because they aren’t as commonly made as other types of desserts, always seem to be extra-special – perfect for sharing with that special someone.
For all the mystique about them, souffles are not that hard to make. This one in particular is dead-easy as long as you can beat egg whites to soft peaks successfully, as that is the single remotely-challenging component of this recipe. The base of the souffle is made up of melted chocolate, sugar and egg yolks. I added a couple of tablespoons of kahlua for flavoring, but you can use brandy, Irish creme, amaretto or another liqueur in its place. It adds a little dimension to the souffle, but the flavor doesn’t end up being too strong. If you prefer not to use alcohol at all, you can just as easily use milk or cream in place of the liqueur.
Beaten egg whites are folded into the base and the souffles are baked. Baking time is short and the souffles turn out with a slightly crisp top and a melty, but not liquid, interior. They have a great chocolate flavor and taste surprisingly light. I think that this is a great combination because it gives you all the flavor without heaviness – and eating a dessert that weighs you down is definitely not something you want to do on V-day.
The recipe makes four souffles. Leftovers can be stored overnight in the fridge if you don’t eat them the first day. They’re not quite the same as the souffles hot from the oven, but they’re still quite a tasty (and indulgent) breakfast!
For me, almost anything paired with citrus makes a winning combination and I have been on a citrus kick for the past two weeks. Maybe it will pass and maybe it won’t, but I’m certainly going to enjoy a good thing while it lasts.
Combining the two main components of last week’s Lemon Meringue Pie, curd and meringue, I made some simple Lime Souffles this week. The recipe is a slight adaptation of a Donna Hay recipe, from her book Modern Classics 2. Though the name makes it sound like a sequel, it is actually the sweets volume of her two-part Modern Classics set. This book covers everything from cookies to cakes to puddings, including souffles.
This recipe, given in the book as a Lemon Souffle, is used by Donna to liiustrate a basic souffle. A simple syrup mixture is thickened with cornstarch and, once cooled, is folded into beaten egg whites. The total active cooking time is less than ten minutes, including juicing a few limes and beating the egg whites, though the lime base does need to be prepared in advance and given a chance to cool to at least room temperature. It can be kept, covered, in the refrigerator if you want to make it a day or two ahead.
There is no fat added to this souffle and the tartness of the lime cuts cleanly through what turns out to be the softest cloud of fluffy souffle. I am not sure that I have had a souffle with this even and delightful a texture before, but I will definately be making it again, both with lemon and possibly even orange. I think that this is a great souffle to test your skills with because it is so easy and, tastewise, so rewarding.
The brilliant theme of Souffles was chosen by our host, Kitchen Chick, for this month’s Is My Blog Burning event. Souffles are wonderful things and one of the few dishes that should really only be prepared inside the home, though of course, I would not refuse if the souffle is part of a tasting menu at the French Laundry.
A souffle is a mixture of egg whites and some sort of sauce or custard base. You can really souffle just about anything, though moister, softer things will make better souffles. Would you prefer a cheese souffle or a cracker souffle? Souffles are light and airy creations that get their structure from beaten egg whites. The protein in the egg whites forms pockets of air that, much like rising bread, expand when heated and give the souffle lift. Of course, egg whites are rather more delicate than the gluten in bread, so the temperature difference between the oven and your kitchen will cause the souffle to deflate. Souffles should be served immediately to preserve the look and their soft, fluffy texture.
What are, arguably, the two most common souffles? Cheese and chocolate. I make banana souffles often, too. None of that from me for this event. I wanted to be a little bit different and try out a few souffle ideas I had recently. I ended up with a whole day of souffles.