Make a Soufflé

I used to do a lot of baking. I like baking because it’s like a science experiment. Recipes for baking matter in a way that cooking doesn’t. Screw-up the ratio of baking powder to egg and your delicious cake could become a dry mess. When it comes to either cooking or baking though, there are certain foodstuffs that intimidate me. Sometime the fear is due to the complexity (which is why macarons made the list), but some are due to reputation. I get so nervous making anything that requires a perfect timing- browning butter, making caramel, roux, soft-boiled eggs. This is another case where television has created a reputation that isn’t deserved. Every time you see someone making a soufflé in the movies, it falls due to noise or other disturbance. The reality, now that I’ve done it, is that it’s one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever attempted.

Obligatory finished product first…

First things first, I sought out a recipe. Most of the more ‘interesting’ sounding soufflés involve a bunch of small ramekins, which didn’t feel right. I ended up settling on Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Soufflé as the most classic form I could find.

Everything needed

As mentioned above, it’s a simple recipe. Melt chocolate, a little water, some vanilla extract over a double-broiler. Let it cool. Separate eggs, add yolks to chocolate mix. Whip egg whites with cream of tartar and sugar. Fold whipped eggs into chocolate mix. Pour into large ramekin that has been coated with butter and sugar. Bam.

Bake that sucker for half-hour or so. The trick is to not open the oven during the first 25 minutes. The drop in air temperature will deflate the mixture. The lightness comes from expanding air trapped in the mix by way of the whipped eggs (which is why its folded in and not finely combined). Out of the oven it gets a dusting of confectionary sugar and then plated right away (it will deflate quickly). Added a scoop of good french Vanilla ice cream to ensure diabetes.

Seriously an easy list item. Almost feel bad calling it. But this one is done. Bon Appetit!