Welcome to my entry for Hay Hay It’s Donna Day, and the wonderful world of souffles!
Now, many of my fellow home-cooks will know what I’m talking about when I say that I have a golden list of foods to try and make before I die. Those beautiful dishes that you’ve seen on other blogs, ordered and devoured in restaurants, marveled over whilst browsing cookbooks – those things that we think are would be much too complicated to actually try, and so we put off any thought of trying them again and again and again.
From all my reading, I’d heard about souffles as these amazing, light-as-air dishes that were finicky as all heck and could deflate faster than a balloon rubbed the wrong way against a porcupine’s backside, and with that kind of reputation in mind, I think I could be forgiven for having dismissed them as something I’d think about making, albeit in quite a half-hearted manner.
So, I occasionally flipped through my cookbooks and gazed at their splendour on those glossy pages, and browsed the world of food blogs and drooled over the fluffy puffy creations of others with hardly a thought to trying these on my own…till now!
When the theme for Hay Hay it’s Donna Day #9 was announced over at Running With Tweezers, I felt a bit hesitant. Souffles? Finally, I had a good excuse to try making these (supposedly) temperamental dishes of delight…but could I? I, of the non-chewy caramels and grey blueberry panna cotta, could I pull this off?
After pondering this for a few days, today I rolled up my sleeves and thought “Aww heck, why not??”
After trying my hand at these, I can report that these devilish little dishes aren’t as dastardly difficult as reported to be! (ooo, enough alliteration for ya? ;))
After I’d made the decision to take part, the hunt was on for the recipe that would announce my foray into the world of souffles. ‘My Vue‘ had an extremely long and complicated recipe with way too many steps for my sleepy Sunday afternoon self, and ‘The Cook’s Book’ had a wonderful recipe for a simple cheese souffle that I unfortunately did not have the ingredients for and with it being absolutely horrible weather today, I wasn’t about to venture forth to go grocery shopping! At this point I was starting to feel I little despondent and decided to take a break and start planning my meals for the coming week (as well as compiling a shopping list for the next day) and I pulled out a book that I had not yet cooked from – ‘Totally Simple Food‘ by Jill Dupleix. I’d purchased this book quite some time ago, but after the initial interest and much flipping through it endured, I’d put it towards the back of my cookbook shelf where it had started gathering dust.
One of my new year’s resolutions is that I shall not buy any more cookbooks till I have made good use of the ones already on my shelf, and so I pulled this book out of it’s little recess, dusted it off, coughed out a lung from the dust (heh!) and started to flip through.
And then I arrived at the ‘Sweets & Treats’ chapter – and saw a simple and concise recipe for passionfruit souffle that *gasp* I had all the ingredients for!
The source of my passionfruit goodness – this little bottle of pure passionfruit pulp (nothing added) will keep in the fridge for months and provide all the passionfruit juice you need!
Was this luck or fate? Either way, I abandoned my meals planner and shopping list and immediately raced off to the kitchen, the book clasped to my chest like a long-lost lover.
I pulled out the ingredients, then slowly started putting the souffle together, bit by bit. I followed Ms. Dupleix’s instructions to the letter, and as I progressed I couldn’t believe just how easy it was. Even up till the moment that I placed these in the oven to bake, I was gobsmacked at just how little work was involved!
They rose brilliantly in the oven, but started to deflate the moment that I pulled them out. The journey downwards was slow but steady, and the proud, tall souffles that had first left the oven soon started to look more lopsided than the leaning tower of Pisa.
Ah well, at least they had risen, right?
I took my photos, then settled down with a spoon to give my new creations a taste. Whilst quite delicious, they didn’t quite pack the passionfruit punch I’d desired, and the warm foamy texture just didn’t do much for my tastebuds. So, what to do? I polished one off, then decided to stick the rest in the freezer to see how they’d fare when ice-cold.
If a lukewarm dissolve-y foam doesn’t do much for you, then try this recipe and as soon as it has left the oven pop it into the freezer for at least an hour. The result is something with texture halfway between mousse and custard, and the chilling makes them much more stable and stops them from completely deflating!
Frozen Passionfruit Souffle (adapted from ‘Totally Simple Foods’)
1 tbsp melted butter
90g caster sugar, plus 4 tsp
110ml passionfruit pulp (approx. 5 passionfruit)
3 eggs, seperated
2 egg whites
1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.
2. Brush the melted butter inside 6 small ramekins, making sure it’s just a light layer and there are no pools of butter collected inside. Lightly dust each ramekin with 1 tsp caster sugar, tipping out the excess, and place them on a baking tray.
3. Strain the passionfruit pulp until you have 50mL juice. Save some seeds to decorate the tops, making sure to clean them of any membranes attached, and discard the rest.
4. In a large bowl, beat the 3 egg yolks with 50g caster sugar, till pale and smooth. Add the passionfruit juice and mix till well combined.
5. In another large, clean, dry bowl, whisk the 5 egg whites till foamy, then add gradually add 20g caster sugar and beat till mixture begins to thicken. Add remaining 20g caster sugar and whisk till soft peaks form.
6. Gently fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the yolk mixture with a rubber spatula, making sure not to overwork the mixture, then slowly and gently fold in the rest till just combined.
7. Fill the dishes to the brim and either leave the surface lumpy and mountainous, or smooth till level with the top of the ramekin. Add a few passionfruit seeds for decoration, then bake just below the middle rack of your oven for 10 minutes, or till they have beautifully puffed and the tops are dark golden in colour. DO NOT, under any circumstance, open the oven door until they have completed baking. This will apparently kill them…and really, do you want to find out if that’s the truth?
8. Immediately remove from the oven and place in your freezer for at least 1 hour, and remove just before serving with a little whipped cream
Mmm, the top is deliciously caramelized whilst the underside is unbelievably soft and fluffy!
[tags]HHDD, Donna hay, souffle, recipe, passionfruit, desserts[/tags]