For absolutely no reason other than I’m slightly insane, I decided to make a soufflé last night. Well that’s not entirely true.
During a phone call with my 14 year old sister, Ari, she lovingly (ha!) informed me that I am the “wholesomest” person she knows.
GAH! I thought/yelled. How could this be?! Where has my edge gone?! I used to be introduced as “outrageous” and now, kids call me wholesome. I was flabbergasted, so what did I do? Make a soufflé. But not just any soufflé, an edgy soufflé. With a bad attitude. Because that’s just how I roll. Perhaps this is a stretch, but I’m sticking with this assessment of the baked good that I pulled out of my oven last night.
This was my maiden soufflé voyage and I think I’m hooked. I’d heard all kinds of horror stories about soufflés not rising (thus becoming, “baked pudding”) or being dense or gritty or otherwise completely unappetizing. But I’ve also heard that the mystique surrounding this airy confection is not entirely warranted; just follow the instructions, treat your egg whites with respect and for God’s sake, don’t peek into the oven during the puffing process. If you follow the rules, it’ll totally work!
I kept it simple and made Julia Child’s Vanilla Soufflé – she’s amazing. Had I not taken piccies of every little thing, I probably could’ve gotten my soufflé from the first separated egg to plate in 45 minutes! Can’t wait to try another flavor – I’m thinking chocolate!
But until then, please enjoy this, my very first soufflé.
Started out with by buttering the entire inside of my brand spanking new Crate&Barrel, $8.99 souffle dish and then coating it with sugar…
Threw 2 tbsp of flour into a saucepan…
Poured a small portion of 3/4 cup of milk into the pan and whisked until combined.
Then added in the rest of the milk along with 1/2 cup sugar, stirring all the while over med-high heat.
Brought it to a boil, still stirring, and let it boil for 30 seconds before removing the pan from the heat. Stirred it for a minute or so to cool and then beat in each of 4 egg yolks, incorporating each one before adding the next.
Stirred in 1 tbsp of butter…
Then dotted the top with an additional tablespoon of butter (to prevent an icky skin from forming over the top) and set it aside.
Time for some egg whites! Whipped 5 egg whites to soft peak, added in a pinch of salt and some more sugar and continued whipping briefly until they were at a stiff peak.
Stirred a spoonful of stiffly peaked egg whites into the cooling base and then folded in the rest.
Poured it all into my buttered & sugared soufflé dish.
And here’s where I got nervous – before I got started, I (perhaps neurotically) double checked the volume of my dish and was positive that it held 6 cups. But when it came time to pour the situation into that stupid dish, it only filled halfway! “But how can this be?!”, I thought/yelled. I thought for sure I had mismeasured, thus totally fucking up my very first soufflé and, undoubtedly, marring my soufflé experience for all eternity. But what could I do at this point but stick it into the oven (preheated to 400 and then immediately turned down to 375) and hope for the best.
20 minutes later, I pulled my beginning-to-puff pre-soufflé out of the oven and quickly dusted it with powdered sugar. It was looking pretty good, if I do say so myself!
And another 15 minutes later…
Huzzah! New favorite!
Recipe adapted from Julia Child…