These souffles are so good I made them twice, well actually that is a little white lie. The first time I made them I wasn’t organised with my camera and by the time I was ready to take the pictures, my little golden and puffed souffles had gone souther than South. Now, this wasn’t such a bad thing because it presented me with the opportunity to make a few changes and make them even better.
The soufflé, whose name is derived from the French verb “to blow,” is an airy dessert leavened with beaten egg whites and oven heat. Whilst many people say that souffles are tempremental, I find if you follow the recipe carefully they are relatively straight forward. A few simple tips also ensure a perfect souffle, and they are; ensure your egg whites contain no egg yolk (even the smallest scrap will ruin the whipping of your whites), use clean and dry utensils (small particles of oil and water will also create problems) and finally, serve your souffles straight from the oven – as the saying goes, ‘a souffle can be waited for but can never wait’.
These souffles are delicately flavoured with Grand Marnier, this ‘boozy orangey’ taste is enhanced further with a little orange oil and grated zest. I have eaten many a souffle in my time and I would say that this flavour has to be my favourite, it seems to suit the light and airy dessert perfectly.
If you have never made a souffle before then here is your chance. They are not the fickle little creatures we have been led to believe, but merely light and fluffy concoctions that are crying out to be devoured as soon as they leave the oven – and let me assure you, this won’t be a problem at all.
1 cup milk
6 eggs, separated, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
1/2 teaspoon orange oil
Optional – Crème Anglaise for serving (recipe below)
To make the pastry cream, in a saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk until small bubbles appear along the edge of the pan. Remove from the heat.
In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, 1/3 cup of the sugar, the flour, orange zest and salt until pale and well blended. While whisking, slowly add the hot milk.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture just comes to a boil. Lower the heat and continue to cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and whisk in the liqueur and orange oil.
Pour the pastry cream into a large bowl and gently press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool to room temperature or refrigerate until ready to bake (even overnight is fine).
Preheat an oven to 375f. Lightly butter 6 x 2/3 cup soufflé dishes and dust with sugar (this will help the batter climb the sides of the dish).
Remove the plastic wrap from the pastry cream and whisk until smooth. In a deep, spotlessly clean bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until they are foamy and soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted. While beating, gradually add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
Scoop about one third of the egg whites onto the pastry cream and, using a rubber spatula, fold in gently to lighten the mixture. Then fold in the remaining whites just until no white streaks remain. Scoop into the prepared dishes. Run a thumb around the inside rim of the dishes to keep the batter from sticking and help the soufflé rise.
Bake until the soufflés are puffed and the top are browned, but the soufflés still jiggle slightly when gently shaken, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately with the Crème Anglaise on the side (if you wish).
my little souffles – straight out of the oven and puffed to perfection…
2 cups milk
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1⁄4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Rinse the inside of a non aluminum saucepan with water and shake out the excess water. Pour in the milk, place over medium-low heat and cook until small bubbles form around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the eggs, egg yolk and sugar and whisk just until blended. Gradually whisk in half of the hot milk, then pour the egg mixture into the pan. Set over low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it, 6 to 8 minutes. Do not allow it to boil.
Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Stir in the vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and let cool. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for up to 2 days. This recipe will makes about 2 cups.
Source: Souffle recipe adapted from Epicurious, Julia Child and Grenouille, Creme Anglaise from Epicurious
© 2011, Michelle. All rights reserved.