Friday, April 16, 2010

Adventures of a Slightly Forgetful Baker: Lemon Souffle

See the pointy nose and wide, gaping mouth in that souffle? It's MOCKING me. Side note: This seeing-faces-in-souffles thing is the same sort of thing as when we see a bunny-shaped cloud. See pareidolia.

I know I said I'd be getting on with croissants, but I just haven't had the time yet. I promise they will manifest themselves in my kitchen by this weekend (I am currently editing this during the first lamination rest).

I wanted a quick sweet treat with ingredients I already had on hand and I thought back to eggy, sugary dessert recipes. The internet graced me with a lemon souffle recipe, which I sort of cut in half and rushed to assemble before the Resident Taste Tester got home. Now, I'm typically a methodical and excellent baker, but occasionally I'll just forget an ingredient. Not exactly what you want to hear from an aspiring pastry chef. Heh.

Here's what happened:

Loose Interpretation of Lemon Souffle with Lemon Curd

Yields two 9cm ramekins of souffle

1/2  egg (1/2 T yolk, 1 T white)
1/2  a lemon's zest
2 T  powdered sugar
1 tsp  cake flour
1 T butter
1 1/2  egg whites (3 T)
2 T  powdered sugar
1 1/2 egg yolks (1 1/2 T)
1/2  a lemon's juice

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (about 175 C).
  2. Whisk 1/2 egg in a saucepan and add lemon zest (oops - forgot the juice), sugar, and flour (and skip forward to adding the butter a step early) and stir over medium heat until thickened.
  3. Completely remove from heat and forget about whisking an additional minute because it's already a thick mess that you put the butter in prematurely.
  4. Divide between two ramekins.
  5. In a medium bowl, whip egg whites until they form soft peaks.
  6. Add 1/2 T sugar and whip until stiff peaks form.
  7. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining sugar, yolks, (zest forgone because I couldn't be bothered with another half a lemon) and lemon juice until smooth.
  8. Fold in a spoonful of egg white (as sort of a prep step for adding all that fluffiness) and then fold in remaining egg whites gently until homogenous.
  9. Pile into ramekins.
  10. Bake 15 minutes until golden.
  11. Cool 5 minutes and serve.
Lemon Souffle Reflections
It's was still laughing... UNTIL I ATE IT'S FACE!

To the best of my recollection, I've never had a souffle in my life. I'm not sure if souffles generally form a skin while baking, but the skin isn't a texture I particularly like. It's slightly rubbery and I could do without it. Suggestions?

The lemon curd in the bottom was... not lemony and that was entirely my fault. The Resident Taste Tester said the whole thing was good and not too lemony, but I think he was just being gentle since he knew I forgot some lemon juice as amateur bakers sometimes do.

The souffle (under the strange skin) was actually nice. Light and airy with a softly sweet lemon flavor. Not too shabby for my first souffle, minus the lemon curd.

Also, my love of ramekins has increased for their divided egg holding capacity. I mean, they are really perfect for all the little things you have to measure out ahead of time.

All in all, the lemon souffle was not a complete fail. I should know better than to rush through a recipe just to get something on the table. Lesson (hopefully) learned.

No comments:

Post a Comment