The first time I ever attempted a souffle, I was around sixteen years old and was experimenting in my Food Studies class in high school. I had an incredibly supportive teacher who broke the financial restrictions on my “per student, per dish” budget and encouraged me to try more challenging and advanced recipes in every class.
I can’t quite remember what kind of souffle it was that I made. What I do remember was her coaching, my careful consideration of each step in the process, our excited anticipation and the complete thrill of a successful result.
So, just as with the fish, I just wanted to make something wonderful and didn’t want to over-think it.
8 ounces of raspberries
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of sugar
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
3 egg whites
6 chocolate truffles or squares
A bit of butter and sugar for the ramekin prep
This will make six individual portions, so you will need 6 x 1/3 cup size ramekins.
This was easy! Well before you plan on making the souffle (because it needs to cool), you need to make your raspberry puree. Warm the raspberries in a pot on the stove, smashing and mushing the berries with the back of a spoon. Taste the berries to gauge their sweetness. There is very little worse than blindly following a recipe and adding, in this case, sugar when the berries may not need any. So, if the berries need a bit of sweet help, add sugar (up to the full tablespoon… or more if you really thing it needs that (though then I’d be wondering about the quality of those berries)). Stir and warm together to help the sugar dissolve. Now you need to thicken the puree into more of a paste. Add one tablespoon of the cornstarch and stir as the puree thickens. Add the second tablespoon slowly (because you might not need it all), stirring and continuing to cook. You are looking for the puree to be more of that paste like consistency, while not immovable. Put the paste in a mixing bowl to cool. (You could make this ahead, just like the steak marinade… just let it warm up before you start mixing in the whites.)
You can also prep your ramekins now. Butter your ramekins first. Put about 1 tablespoon of sugar in the ramekin, then rotate it to coat the butter. Dump remaining sugar into next ramekin, adding more sugar if needed, until all ramekins are buttered and sugared.
Take your eggs out of the fridge before you start your dinner.
After you’ve enjoyed your dinner and rubbed your bellies contentedly, head back to the kitchen to tend to your egg whites. Heat the oven to 375 F. Separate your eggs being careful to not break the yolks in your whites. Whisk your egg whites to soft peaks then start to slowly add the 1/4 cup of sugar. Continue to whisk until the shiny, glossy, hard peak stage.
Check the thickness of your paste. Does it seem like you would completely deflate your whites when you mix them together? Mine seemed a bit thick, so I mixed in a splash of limoncello (a lemon liquer from Italy) to brighten the flavour and make the next step a bit easier.
Whisk 1/3 of the egg whites into the raspberry paste to fluff it and make it easier to FOLD the remainder of the white into the lightened paste. Then, fold in the rest of the whites.
Spoon into the ramekins. First to about half full, then press the truffle or chocolate square into the centre, then fill completely. Mine were heaping overtop a bit.
Put the ramekins on a baking sheet (for ease) and into the oven. Bake for ~15 minutes until puffed up and golden on top. Serve right from the oven but be careful of licking the still oven hot ramekin as you try to get the last remnants of raspberry and chocolate from the dish.
Simple! A lot less challenging than my mind made it out to be.
Don’t forget to revel in your domestic goddess-ness.
Cookin’ music… Cyndi Lauper ~ Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Totally ridiculous video but you gotta love this song.