Saturday, January 27, 2007

HHDD#9 - Souffles and the sinkerphobia

I have a confession to make. I am totally terrified of making souffles. There are three thoughts that crosses my head every time I come across a recipe for souffle:

1. Wow... that looks delicious!
2. The recipe doesn't look too hard..
and then... Lucy Liu's sinking souffle scene from Charlie's Angels enters my mind and I flip to the next page and tell myself.. maybe next time..

I call it.. "the sinkerphobia"..

Ok, so it sounds a bit dramatic, but it's true! That scene haunts me and is replayed in my head every time someone mentions "souffle" or if I even see the word "souffle".

Well that particular scene shall haunt me no more! Today I faced me fears and conquered the sinkerphobia! It only took me two weeks since Tami threw down the gauntlet and challenged invited everyone to a souffle fiesta.

It has literally taken me two weeks, I found a recipe for souffle that was easy enough to make and studied it almost every day.. trying to work up the courage. Then I went out, purchased some ramekins and stared at the ramekins for a few days, working up some courage and finally tonight (on the last day of entry) did I manage to convince myself that I should put my fears aside and give it a go. (Oh, I should mention that I did get some encouragement from the Boy)

souffle round 2

Vanilla souffle with chocolate sauce
*from For Chocolate Lovers by The Tanner Brothers

475ml milk
125g caster sugar, plus extra for coating
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out
6 eggs, separated
60g plain flour
softened butter, for greasing

Gently warm milk, half of the sugar, vanilla pod and seeds in a saucepan (do not boil). Remove from heat and leave to infuse for approx 15mins.

Whisk together egg yolks, flour and remaining sugar in a separate bowl until the mixture forms a smooth paste.

Pour in the milk and mix well. Transfer milk and egg yolk mixture into a clean saucepan and heat gently for 10 - 15mins, stirring until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat, transfer onto a large clean bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to cool.

Preheat oven to 200 deg C. Brush the insides of 6 large ramekins with butter and coat the insides with sugar by placing 1 tbsp of sugar into the ramekin and rotating until the insides are completely coated. Pour excess sugar into the next ramekin and repeat. Chill coated ramekins in the fridge.

Whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add half of the egg whites into the custard and mix well. Fold in remainder of egg whites.

Spoon souffle mixture into ramekins, filling them up to the top. Carefully tap down the dishes to release any trapped air in the ramekins. Place on a baking tray and bake for 10 - 15mins.

Important Note: Do not open the oven during baking as this will allow hot air to escape and may potential create the sinker phenomenon.

Chocolate sauce:

350ml whipping cream
150g bittersweet chocolate, broken to pieces
cocoa powder for dusting

Gently heat the cream to point of just boiling. Remove from heat and pour into chocolate and stir until melted. Set aside.

When souffles are ready, carefully remove from oven, dust with cocoa powder and serve with chocolate sauce.

*Serves 6.

Vanilla souffle w/ chocolate sauce

The verdict:

As there was only the two of us, I decided to halve the recipe and served it with some leftover blackberry compote. Taste wise, it wasn't too sweet and the chocolate sauce more than made up for the lack of sugar. The Boy on the other hand, gave it two spoonful and announced that he didn't like it, he said it was like eating scrambled eggs. Hmmph.. after all that effort..oh well.. more for me.


However, I'm extremely proud to announce that I passed the test! (The boy who was watching throughout my ordeal, reckoned that I was starring at the oven and the souffle all through the baking time) My souffles did not sink! They all rised and one of them kinda exploded because I overfilled it. Hahah.. so I guess I was a bit silly for worrying so much about it.

The sinkerphobia has been conquered! Thanks to Tami and her choice of theme for the first Hay Hay it's Donna Day (HHDD) of 2007. Don't forget to stop by Tami's for the round up.

The Hay Hay it's Donna Day event is the brainchild of Barbara of Winos and Foodie.



mellie said...

I tackled my first souffle last year after an extremely bad case of sinkerphobia. But once I finally pulled my finger out and gave it a whirl - it worked! And I've since made them numerous times, and they have always been successful. My first attempt was a Mango Souffle. This is a really simple recipe, which tastes just friggin amazing. Perhaps the Boy may like this one? And Mangoes are in season :-)

ilingc said...

Hi Mellie,

I copied the link of your mango souffle and forwarded it to the Boy. He was quite interested in it.

There is hope! ;)

Brilynn said...

THe last pic is very telling! Looks great!

Barbara said...

This sounds wonderful Ilingc. Thanks for joining HHDD.

Jeanne said...

Hi I-Ling
I am so with you on the sinkophobia! I think souffles (together with bearnaise sauce!) are my final frontiers. When I conquer those fears, I will attain perfection ;-) Your souffle looks delightful - maybe this is the recipe I shouldtry to deal with my phobia ;-)

ilingc said...

Brilynn: Would you believe I ate them both that night! LOL

Barbara: Thanks :)

Jeanne: Hi! May you conquer souffles too! I'm there with you on the sauces.. and custard. I've yet to work out the timing on cooking custard, I think once I work out custard I'll probably be able to master sauces or vice versa. ;)

jenjen said...

Wow, you really have outdone yourself with this creation. I just got into making souffles, they aren't as hard as they make out to be. Yours looks stunning and I bet it tastes great too!

peabody said...

I think everytime you make a souffle you get a tinge of sinkerphobia :)