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Thursday, September 16, 2010
The soufflé is widely considered as the most initmidating dessert to bake. This is the second time I am making the soufflé, the first was a number of years ago when naivete had led me to experiment with my first chocolate soufflé with ignorant fearlessness. Yes, ignorance can be bliss. As eccentric cook James Beard once said : " The only thing that will make a soufflé fall is when it knows you are afraid of it." It could have been beginner's luck or it could have been that the recipe was really good but my first soufflé was quite a success... or perhaps I did not know any better - for when I look at these Lemon,Lime, Orange Soufflés now, I cannot really decide if they are success or failures. The inspiration to revisit the soufflé came from Ellie's post last month. Her fairy-light soufflé has an ethereal quality which brought out the essence of the soufflé.
Ellie's recipe is not your typical soufflé recipe. While all soufflé recipes I have come across use some form of cream base (usually creme Patisserie for sweet soufflé and some form of roux for savoury), this recipe just calls for thickened fruit juice. I had my doubts but Ben O' Donoghue did mention that this recipe is pretty foolproof and yes, I was mesmerised by Ellie's results.
I was elated when I saw the soufflés rise in the oven... elation gave way to concern when they started to lean lopsidedly to one side......more concern when they started to brown leading me to wonder if I should take them out of the oven before they turn cinnamon brown.... I resisted the temptation to open the oven door and when the 12 mins baking time was up and I took them out of the oven, they look really pretty and fairylike.... I quickly dusted the soufflés with powder sugar and struggled to transfer the hot ramekins from the baking tray to my 'tabletop photo studio' .... by which time, I had noted with dismay that the fine pores of the soufflés hase sagged to form aged wrinkles.( painful reminder of the lines on my neck!) My consolation was that they did not collapse on me while I was photographing them. They held their form well for more than 15 mins before I dug into them with my spoon for the 'dig in' shots. The taste was astonishing - devoid of egg yolks and cream, it was light and super refreshing with the tangy flavours of the citrus fruits.
So, is this too high, too low, too dark, too wrinkly ? I really don't know.... Ellie's photos are still haunting me...
Recipe from Almost Bourdain's Lemon, Lime, Orange Souffle