Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Daring Cooks: November 2010 Souffle

I'm a couple weeks behind on this post because once I missed the deadline I decided there was no hurry anyway.

When I found our Daring Bakers for October was donuts, I was heartbroken (hyperbole).  I did not want to make donuts and I've been meaning for several months to make a souffle.  Each month I have one or two things I hope the challenge is, and in October, I definitely wanted it to be souffle.

But then, Daring COOKS challenge was souffles for November.  So my friend and I decided to team up since you have to eat souffles right away and it's quite hard to cut it down to serve one.  We decided to make one savory and one chocolate.  Since after all, you can't make a souffle without making a chocolate one, it just seems wrong.

They really weren't quite as hard as I thought.  I mean we were very careful to follow all directions to a tee, but they ended up fine.  Except for the two chocolate souffles that exploded.  See photo.

Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose Soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge! Dave and Linda provided many of their own delicious recipes plus a sinfully decadent chocolate soufflé recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe found at the BBC Good Food website. 

Chocolate Souffle 
Adapted From BBC Good Food Recipe by Gordon Ramsay 
2 Tbsp (30 ml) 1 oz (30g) unsalted butter, for greasing 
Cocoa powder or finely grated chocolate 

2 tbsp (30 ml) (18 gm) (2/3 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour 
2 tsp (10 gm) (0.35 oz) caster (superfine) sugar (regular sugar is OK) 
½ tsp (4½ gm) (0.15 oz) corn starch (aka cornflour) 
1 medium egg yolk  (we just used small large eggs)
1 medium whole egg 
4 Tbsp (60 ml) milk 
5 Tbsp (75 ml) heavy cream (or double cream) 
3 oz (90gm) good-quality dark chocolate preferably 70+% cocoa solids, broken in pieces 
2 Tbsp (30 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) unsweetened cocoa powder 
Optional: 2 tsp orange zest or 2 tsp minced chipotle chile en adobo or 1 tsp chipotle chile powder. (The chile version is a Monkeyshines favorite!) I clearly added cayenne.  Anyone who knows me should guess that.
Optional: powdered sugar for dusting 

6 medium egg whites  (we used 5 large egg whites)
6½ Tbsp (95 ml) 3 oz (90g) superfine/caster sugar (if you don’t have it, regular sugar is OK) 

1. Heat oven to moderate 375 ˚F/190 ˚C/gas mark 5. 
2. Take four 1 cup/~240ml soufflé dishes and brush them completely with softened butter. Tip a little cocoa powder or grated chocolate into each dish, roll the dish around tilting it as you do so it is evenly lined all round. 
3. For the crème patisserie, mix the flour, sugar and corn starch into a small bowl. Put egg yolk and whole egg into a medium sized bowl, beat lightly, then beat in half of the flour mixture to give a smooth paste. Tip in the rest of the flour mixture and cocoa powder and mix well. 
4. To make the ganache, pour the milk and cream into a pan and bring just to the boil. Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and beat until it is melted and smooth with no lumps. 
5. Gradually stir hot chocolate ganache into the paste from step 3, and add the orange zest or chile if using. This is your crème patisserie. 
6. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks with an electric whisk. Sprinkle in the sugar as you are mixing. Keep whisking to give stiff, firm peaks to give volume to the soufflés. 

7. Stir about 2 tbsp (30 ml) of the beaten egg whites into the crème 
patisserie. Carefully fold in a third of the rest, cutting through the 
mixture. Fold in another third (take care not to lose the volume), 
then fold in the rest. 
8. Spoon the mixture into the dishes. Run a spoon across the top of 
each dish so the mixture is completely flat. Take a little time to 
wipe any splashes off the outside of each dish, or they will burn 
on while cooking. 
9. Bake the soufflés for 15-17 minutes. 
10. The soufflés should have risen by about two thirds of their original height and jiggle when moved, but be set on top. 

We adapted the Watercress Souffle to a spinach and cheese souffle.  I'll include our changes in blue.

Watercress Soufflé 
A Monkeyshines in the Kitchen recipe 
2 Tbsp 1 oz/30g butter plus additional for the soufflé dish 
3½ Tbsp (55 ml) 1 oz/30g plain (all purpose) flour 
1 cup/8 fluid oz (240ml) milk 
½ cup (120 ml) 2 oz/60g parmesan cheese, finely grated plus additional for the soufflé dish (we used white cheddar and parmesan to coat the dish)
1 cup (250ml) 2 oz/60g finely chopped de-stemmed watercress (can substitute spinach) – about 1 large bunch (this measure is the leaves after they’ve been washed, de-stemmed, and chopped) (I think we used about this, a little less SPINACH than this because it's easier to find than watercress, and added about half as much finely diced onion, that we also patted dry)
4 large eggs, separated 
½ tsp (2½ ml) (3 gm) (.1 oz) prepared mustard 
¼ tsp (1¼ ml) (1½ gm) (0.05 oz) cream of tartar* 
Salt and pepper to taste 

* If you can’t find cream of tartar, a dash (~ ½ tsp) of lemon juice can be substituted 
1. Butter the soufflé dish(es) thoroughly, then grate a small amount of cheese in each dish and tap so that the sides are evenly coated with the cheese. Place the dish(es) in the refrigerator until needed (according to some sites, this helps the soufflé climb). 
2. Preheat the oven to moderate 350º F / 180º C / gas mark 4 
3. Wash and chop the watercress if you haven’t already. 
4. Finely grate the parmesan cheese 
5. In a medium sized saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, then stir in the flour to make a roux. Cook 1 minute, then add the milk, a little at a time, and stir until just thickened, about 1 minute. Add the cheese and stir until it’s just melted. Remove from heat then add the watercress and salt and pepper. 
6. In a larger pan, bring water to a gentle simmer. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl set just over this water until pale and slightly foamy – about 6 minutes. (I held the bowl just above the simmering water to be sure I didn’t cook the eggs) 
7. Mix the egg yolks into the watercress sauce. 
8. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until they form stiff peaks yet are still glossy. 
9. Fold the egg whites into the sauce in 3 additions so that it’s evenly mixed, but you don’t lose too much volume. 
10. Remove the soufflé dish from the refrigerator and spoon the mix into it. Use a spatula to even the tops of the soufflés and wipe off any spills. 
11. Bake 25 minutes for small dishes or 40 minutes if using a large soufflé dish, then serve immediately. 

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