It was supposed to rise up in an airy pillow. It was more like a favorite old feather-flattened pillow. (Though hey, it DID deflate so maybe it was better than apparent?)
Sounds like a failure, yes? No way, even if timing and aesthetics were less than ideal.
This broccoli soufflé, my first soufflé ever, was absolutely honest-to-goodness spoon-lickin' delicious and I can't wait for the opportunity to perfect the technique.
Thanks to Kitchen Chick for hosting Is My Blog Burning, another online food event, this one featuring cooks from all over the world worry-watching their ovens for the oh-so-desirable soufflé poof. There are many other first-time soufflérs in the event, most who experienced great success. My thoughts/tips on what might have gone wrong with mine are included below but the other posts are well worth reviewing.
Hands-on time: maybe 45 minutes (but shortcup tips are below)
Time to table: nearly 2 hours (but I suspect this can get down to 45 minutes)
Supposedly serves 8 but in small-ish portions; it's so good, I'd plan on 4
1 cup half 'n' half (or whole milk as the recipe suggests)
1 tablespoon garlic
1 bay leaf
Cooked broccoli, pureed to measure a generous cup (see ALANNA's TIPS)
1 tablespoon snipped fresh sage (or other herbs)
3 ounces good cheddar, grated (or other cheese)
Pinch of pimenton paprika
Generous salt and pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons flour (see ALANNA's TIPS)
3 egg yolks
4 egg whites
Bring a kettle of water to a boil (if you'll be baking right away, otherwise, do this with the egg whites.) Bring the half 'n' half, garlic and bay leaf just to a simmer in the microwave. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Combine the broccoli, sage, cheddar, paprika, salt and pepper in a large bowl. (The recipe suggest 'overseasoning' since the egg whites are so bland.)
(See TIPS.) Melt the butter in a medium sauce over MEDIUM. Add the flour, stirring well to work out all the lumps. Cook for a minute or so. Slowly add the cream, stirring all the while to avoid lumps. (The recipe says that at this point, the mixture will have to cook for a few minutes to thicken to the consistency of custard. Tonight's version was already very thick so I proceeded.) Whisk in the egg yolks one at a time. Stir this mixture into the broccoli mixture.
Butter 4 one-cup ramekins OR 2 two-cup ramekins OR 8 half-cup eight OR 1 4-cup souffle dish. Dust with Parmesan. Arrange in another baking dish that can be filled with water TWO-THIRDS up the sides. (At first, my pan wasn't even close to this full, a possible reason for the long baking time and the disappointing poof. )
(I worked ahead this far.)
(If you haven't boiled the water, do so now.) Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Incorporate a spoonful into the broccoli mixture to loosen a little, then gently fold the remaining egg whites in. Fill the ramekins, smoothing the top. Rub your finger around the inside edge (suppposedly this encourages early rising). Add the boiling water to the baking dish. Bake until the top is puffed and golden but the center is still soft, supposedly (the recipe says) for 20 - 25 minutes for a large souffle and 15 - 25 minutes for the small.
With four servings, Per Serving: 395 Cal (67% from Fat, 19% from Protein, 14% from Carb); 19 g Protein; 29 g Tot Fat; 17 g Sat Fat; 14 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; 295 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 313 mg Sodium; 257 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 10 points
- Broccoli was nearly too much for the food processor attachment to my favorite immersion blender. Next time I'd go for the food processor, even for such a small amount. OR: a bit of liquid might have helped. OR: better yet, how about baby food???
- A quick glance at other savory souffle recipes suggests that tonight's poof might be the result of the proportion of liquid:flour. I'll work on this. It also affected the consistency of the butter/flour/milk which was more like a cream puff choux pastry than the creamy custard the recipe seemed to contemplate.
Adapted from French Food at Home by Laura Calder
IMBB # 20 + Souffle