Saturday, September 11, 2010

Classic Sweet Soufflés

Boy can Gordon Ramsey shout. Participation in Hell’s Kitchen might be enjoyable if you didn’t have Gordon cursing in your face all the time. But then again, it wouldn’t be Hell’s Kitchen then would it? Last night, I was watching another one of Ramsey’s cooking shows, MasterChef. One of the challenges on the show was to make a soufflé. It was said that making a soufflé tested a chef’s true capability best.

What has the soufflé done to deserve its reputation of being one of the hardest desserts to make? Making a soufflé does not break nails; in fact, I think that anyone could make one.

With the inspiration from primetime television, I whipped out my cooking books in search of a soufflé recipe. Most recipes online were for chocolate soufflés and as much as I wanted one, my new year’s resolution of not eating chocolate for a year prohibited me from making one. I found the following recipe for a plain sweet soufflé in A Cook’s Bible, a New Zealand cookbook. It uses flour to make what is known as a panade, which the beaten egg whites are then folded into. Some recipes for chocolate soufflés require no flour. Next year when I can eat chocolate again I would like to try out one of those recipes and see how it turns out.

Some say that a soufflé is just an embellished omelet. I couldn’t agree and disagree more. On one hand, with 5 eggs needed for 6 soufflés, the entire dessert is basically a flavored egg. On the other hand, savoring a soufflé brings much more pleasure than eating a morning omelet. The lightness and sweetness in a soufflé balances perfectly on the tip of your tongue.

When you take the soufflé out of the oven, you have 90 seconds to serve it before it sinks. As Gordon Ramsey said: “A soufflé waits for no one @%*&#$!”


2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp flour
½ cup milk
¼ tsp vanilla essence
5 eggs
1 tsp cornflour
icing sugar


1. Cream the butter and sugar, then stir in the flour.
2, Boil the milk and vanilla and whisk it into the creamed mixture to form a panade. Return the panade to a clean pan and stir to boiling point to thicken. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave it to cool a little.
3. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks into the panade, one at a time.
4. Whisk the egg whites to a stiff foam then whisk in the cornflour. Stir a quarter of the foam into the soufflé mixture. Gently fold in the remaining whites.
5. Pour into 6 greased and sugared ramekins.
6. Bake at 410 degrees F for approximately 16 minutes.
7. Serve immediately!!!!

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