I love soufflé. Always have. My first chocolate soufflé was at Roy’s in Maui. Yum. Salt Creek Grille makes a pretty good one, too. So of course, I couldn’t help but skip to the back part of my cookbook to make a soufflé.
After the whole experience, I love soufflé even more. It’s an absolute joy to make and bake.
The sauce base is super easy and can be made ahead of time. The ingredients are really basic so I actually only had to stock up on eggs since I was running low anyway. The whole time I was making it, I started wondering what was so hard about souffle. I also started wondering how less than a cup of sauce mix was going to fill my two ramekins that totaled 20 oz.
Apparently, the answer to the latter question was the egg whites.
I finally got to break in my new mixer (did I mention Mom and Dad got me a mixer for my birthday? Love it!) by beating egg whites! Beating egg whites until they form “stiff peaks” was interesting since I had never done it before. You stand there watching the whisk move in circles in what looks like a bowl of spit (egg whites). Of course, the bubbles that the whisking creates makes it look like really gross bubbly spit. But after a few minutes, it starts to look white and fluffy and before you know it, BAM! Stiff peaks! I’m glad I didn’t over beat them. I’ve read very bad things about over beaten eggs.
So with sauce in a pot and stiff peaks in a bowl, the most difficult part for me was actually combining the two. It doesn’t seem difficult…Julia Child has a nice visual diagram in her book, and I’ve seen Alton Brown do the whole “fold gently” method. However, I think the fact I was folding in a pot, not a bowl, made for very awkward movements. Note to self: transfer sauce to mixing bowl next time.
So this difficult resulted in some overmixed egg whites and some not so overmixed egg whites. I poured the mixture into the two ramekins and crossed my fingers. I think most of the uncollapsed egg whites made it into one ramekin while the other get most of the…not so gently folded egg whites.
Let the baking begin.
Normally I don’t sit on my kitchen floor at oven level to watch things like cookies, bread, and mac&cheese bake. Well, this was different. This was exciting to watch since I had no clue if all my effort would be a success or a total failure. These 20 oz. souffles baked up in about 15-20 minutes. I did 20 minutes, but I think I could have gone 15 and had a gooier inside. I guess it’s a matter of preference?
Julia Child says to mix the extract into the sauce before folding in the egg mixture, so you could still taste a lingering bit of alcohol. I think next time I’ll get a vanilla bean or heat the extract with the sauce base instead. It was delicious though! I love vanilla soufflé! I’m going to definitely try an almond variation seeing as I love almond jello. And of course, the ever classic chocolate is definitely on my list. I’m hoping I can half the recipe so I can just make one soufflé. We were only able to finish one (the puffier one OF COURSE) and had to refrigerate the other. Although, I must say chilled soufflé is pretty darn tasty, too…