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Cloud-like Lime Souffles

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.

Lime Souffles

3 1/2 ounces (100mL) fresh lime juice

2 tbsp water

1 cup sugar, divided

1 tbsp cornstarch

1 tbsp water

5 egg whites (I used 4 extra large), room temperature

butter and sugar, for greasing the ramekins

In a small saucepan, whisk together lime juice, 2 tbsp water and 2/3 cup sugar. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, throughly combine 1 tbsp cornstarch with 1 tbsp water in a small bowl. Whisking constantly, pour into lime syrup and continue cooking for 1 minute, until slightly thickened. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool.

Preheat oven to 350F.
Butter six, 6-ounce ramekins and coat them with sugar.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat egg whites until foamy. With the mixer on high speed, stream in the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and beat to soft peaks. Stir 1/4 of the egg whites into the lime mixture to lighten it. Pour lime mixture into the large bowl with remaining egg whites and fold gently until thorougly combined.
Distribute mixture even between ramekins, making sure each souffle is level. Use your finger to wipe the rim of each ramekin, which will ensure a clean rise.
Place on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, until souffles are a light golden brown.
Serve immediately.
Makes 6.

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  • ilva
    December 1, 2005

    Lovely! I think I will try these this coming weekend!

  • nosheteria
    December 1, 2005

    Beautiful, the souffle looks like it is almost glowing.

  • Anonymous
    December 1, 2005

    Nic, you did it again!! The soufflé looks fabulous. I will definitely try it.


  • Ana
    December 1, 2005

    Your soufle looks lovely! Perfect!

  • Mika
    December 1, 2005

    They look delicious and tempting!You managed to photograph them while they still look perfect. I think Martha Stewart had a similar souffle in lemon cups.

  • dksbook
    December 1, 2005

    All of us are raving about that gorgeous picture, Nic – Wow! I just want to add that souffles are generally an easy way to impress people. They usually keep, at least part of the process can be done ahead as you say; and some can even be baked and re-souffled! I have a recipe for goat cheese souffles on spring greens dressed with a sherry vinaigrette that I love. I make the souffles a few days in advance, bake ’em, take ’em out of the cups, and keep them in the fridge for a day or two. Then I heat the oven up very hot again, put them on a greased baking sheet, and bake them til they puff again, serving them on top of the already plated greens.

    Souffles are a great trick.

  • mari
    December 1, 2005

    Nic, I, too, am impressed, as usual with your work. I’m a souffle chicken. Everyone keeps saying how easy souffles are…oh no. Not for me. I can mess them up royally. Don’t know why. Your picture makes it look as good as I bet it tastes! BTW, I just checked out Jessica’s site and discovered that you two started the BBM…Wow! I really enjoyed participating in BBM3.

  • vanessa
    December 1, 2005

    wow, that is gorgeous. too good to eat…almost. i will have to give this a try. i adore lime.

  • Nic
    December 2, 2005

    Ilva – I really hope you like these. I’ve made them twice this week alone.

    Nosh, John and Ana – Thank you so much!

    Mika – That sounds like a wonderful idea for a presentation. Perhaps if I’m feeling brave one day… =)

    dskbook – Thanks. You know, I haven’t tried any of the make ahead souffles, but I think that they do make for wonderful additions to dinners and salads.

    Mari – I’m glad to hear that you had fun with BBM! Jessica and I certainly have had a lot of fun with it.

    Vanessa – If you like lime (or any citrus, really), I bet you’ll like this souffle!

  • Lori
    December 3, 2005

    Nic, that souffle shot looks ethereal. Fantastic!

  • Nic
    December 3, 2005

    Thanks, Lori!

  • Fran
    December 4, 2005

    Gorgeous! Want to make this soon.

  • Kevin
    December 5, 2005

    Oh. My. God. That’s gorgeous! And I agree with you about citrus desserts. I’m doing a class on souffles next month and I may have to figure out a way to include this one.

  • Caroline
    December 6, 2005

    Bravo…souffle are so difficult.

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