Week 4 – Hot Lemon Soufflé
Soufflés are sort of notorious little bastards. They belong to the category of foods I’ve never eaten so I have no idea if what I do is “right” so I’ll judge it based on if I like it and it looks right (which is actually most of the bakes).
The reputation of these very light, baked egg dishes is that they are finicky and will fail if you look at them wrong.
With Mary Berry’s how-to video and my intrepid companions by my side, I set out to conquer the wild soufflé beast.
What struck me most about this recipe is how many times I took the mixture on and off the stove. There were lots of tiny things to do.
I love to dwell on the history of recipes like this. The millenia of trail and error and the “well damn, I don’t have any more ingredients so I need make do with what I’ve got” attitude that led to making sure you brush the butter into the ramekins in the correct direction.
Liz actually beat some air back out of the egg whites, they were a bit too stiff, and then they got folded in to the egg yolk, flour, cream, mix. I didn’t do it like Mary (gasp!) I used the whisk and lifted and let it drop through. What I did do, vary carefully, is match the visual texture of Mary’s mix. Her’s was very smooth and I went for that.
Into the ramekins, and into the oven. Liz and I introduced my little girl to the fine art of watching for the perfect moment to pull something out of our hat.
I don’t know if my oven is really slow, I use a thermometer every time I bake, or recipes tell you too little time so you start checking early and don’t burn stuff. Either way, the souffles took about 17 minutes, not the 14 on the recipe. They would have been taller, except my ramekins were bigger than the recipe called for, so the mix didn’t fill them as full. But…
How did they taste? Well for one, hot! You need to eat them right out of the oven. We skipped the powdered sugar.
They were light and lemony. Very delicious and we knocked them back as quickly as we could, given that we were burning our tongues!
Tasty and not actually that hard to do. Would bake again!
Next time: Cornish Pasties!