A Day of Souffles

I bought several different sizes of soufflé dishes years ago which have languished unused in our cupboards until recently.

OK – I didn’t really eat soufflés all in one day – Hello cholesterol!  I just want to share some soufflés (some sweet and some savory) that can be served and eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as dessert.

The only one I had ever made in the past is a lovely chocolate one, I found in Gourmet Magazine.

I decided to experiment and make a Chocolate Kahlua Soufflé based on this recipe (I got two huge bottles of Kahlua while on our cruise this past summer!)

Chocolate Kahlua Soufflé

Soufflés are characterized by their top crown that rises up from a straight edged dish.  Their texture is light and fluffy due to egg whites which have been beaten and folded into an egg yolk based batter.  They are best eaten immediately out of the oven when they are still tall and crusty on the outside and creamy and light inside.

The basic technique is to preheat an oven (it should be at the correct temperature when you put the soufflé in), butter a soufflé dish or individual ramekins,

This one is dusted with sugar after coated with butter

flavor beaten yolks,

for Chocolate Kahlua Soufflé I chopped chocolate and melted it and mixed this with Kahlua and the yolks

melted chocolate mixed with Kahlua and egg yolks

then fold in the whites,

Beat until they are just stiff – I added espresso powder and sugar to these, so they are tan instead of white.

pour mixture into prepared dishes, and then bake.

Ooops, dish was way too big!

My dish was too big – I should have used a smaller one.  Ideally the unbaked soufflé mixture should come about 1-inch ABOVE the rim of the dish.  Then when it bakes, it expands straight up, creating a crown.  I’ve also read that before you put it in the oven, if you run your thumb along the inside rim of the dish making a little well, it will make the crown shape better.

When filled, the unbaked soufflé mixture should come to about 1-inch above the rim of the dish.

I like using the little ramekins because they are fun to eat and look so nice.

Soufflés don’t have to be sweet.  I came across a recipe for Zucchini Soufflé in the New York Times earlier this month.  I loved the idea of a savory soufflé, and even better — it has veggies in it.  Mark Bittman featured a simple savory souffle recipe that cut out the traditional bechamel base (a sauce of flour and butter with hot milk) he called a “Mock Souffle“.   I adapted Mark Bittman’s recipe a bit.  I reduced the cheese and made 2/3 of the recipe since there are only three of us, and I didn’t know if everyone would be eating it.  Lol .

The result was mixed – the flavor and texture were great, but I had forgotten to butter the dishes – a huge mistake in Making Soufflé 101!  The butter allows the batter to rise up in the dish.  Also it allows you to remove it easily.   I will make this again though.  You can substitute different vegetables as well.  He suggests using spinach in place of the zucchini.

I was hooked.  I love frittatas and this mock soufflé is very similar in terms of ingredients.  Both have eggs, some cheese and, and some kind of added filling.  While frittatas are dense and compact, these soufflés are light and airy due to the different cooking method.

One evening last week I had some leftover grilled chicken, but not enough of it for the three of us.  So I decided to be adventurous and use it in a soufflé rather than a frittata.  We love caramelized sautéd onions, so I included those as well.  The chicken was already seasoned with thyme and garlic salt.  I added it, the caramelized onions and some grated Gruyere to the egg yolk mixture, and folded the beaten egg whites into it.

The result was a light, cheesy, onion-y treat with bits of chicken incorporated throughout.  My husband loved it so much, he had two full servings – always a good indicator for repeating the recipe in the future.

It would be fun to experiment some more and make different flavored soufflés.  I’m dreaming of a smoked salmon, dill, cream cheese one… a roasted tomato, basil, Parmesan one – there are so many possibilities!  These mock  soufflés can be a simple weeknight dinner if you have the fillings ready.

Finally, I saw a blog post the other day of an oatmeal soufflé and thought, “OK, I must make this!”

I love oatmeal and I love eggs for breakfast.  This is a great dish for a weekend brunch.  I substituted my whipped cottage cheese for the cream cheese (mascarpone cheese would be heavenly…) and reduced the amount of brown sugar because I like my oatmeal sweetened with banana.

Like a lot of other bloggers who have a love affair with oatmeal, I eat my oatmeal flavored a variety of ways:  topped with different seeds and nuts, dried coconut, granola, cinnamon, pureed pumpkin, peanut butter, with pumpkin butter, preserves, cottage cheese, berries, Nutella – oatmeal doesn’t have to be boring!  My favorite is oatmeal with blueberries, toasted pecans, and a pinch of sweetened coconut.  It tastes like a coconut blueberry pecan pudding dream.  So I decided to recreate it as a soufflé!

It is more labor intensive than oatmeal, but I love the texture more.  It was very light and fluffy and tasted like a dessert.  I drizzled a bit of maple syrup on top.  🙂

If you come up with any fun soufflé recipes, please share them with me!

Chocolate Kahlua Soufflé

adapted from Gourmet

3 tablespoons sugar plus additional for sprinkling

½ teaspoon espresso powder

2 ½ oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon Kahlua

1 ½ egg yolks at room temperature

3 large egg whites

  1. Preheat oven to 375.  Butter soufflé dish and dust with a pinch of sugar, knocking out the excess.  Mix 3 tablespoons of sugar in a small bowl with espresso powder.  Set aside.
  2. Melt chocolate in a bowl set over simmering water.  Remove from heat and stir in Kahlua.  Then stir in egg yolks.
  3. Beat whites with a pinch of salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until they just hold soft peaks.  Add sugar mixture a little at a time, beating at medium speed.until whites just hold stiff peaks.  Stir about 1/2 cup of whites into chocolate mixture to lighten, then add mixture to remaining whites, folding gently but thoroughly.
  4. Spoon soufflé into dish and run the end of your thumb around inside edge of soufflé dish, (this will help soufflé to rise evenly).  Bake in middle of oven until puffed and crusted on top but still jiggly in center, 15-20 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Souffle can be assembled up to 30 mintues before baking.  Keep, covered with an inverted large bowl (do not let bowl touch soufflé), at room temperature.

Zucchini Soufflé

adapted from Mark Bittman (I halved his recipe, reduced the oil and cheese and omitted the parsley)

1 tablespoon butter

2 teaspoons olive oil

½ medium onion, chopped

½ teaspoon minced garlic

2 small zucchini, grated (about 13 oz.)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

5 eggs, separated

2 ½ oz. Gruyere cheese, grated

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter four 1 1/2 -cup ramekins or one 6-cup soufflé dish.

2.  Heat oil in a large skill over medium high heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until very tender, another 10 minutes or so.  You can substitute a 10-oz. bag of spinach, chopped and cooked the same way.  Drain the vegetables if there is extra liquid and let cool.

3.  In a large bowl, beat egg yolks and add cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the vegetables and stir.  In a clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until they just hold soft peaks.  Stir a third of the whites into the yolk mixture to lighten it, then gently fold in the remaining whites.

4.  Pour into ramekins or soufflé dish.  Bake until golden and puffy, 30 to 35 minutes, and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings.

Chicken, Gruyere, Caramelized Onion

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon butter

1 medium onion, sliced thinly lengthwise

about 1 cup cooked chicken, diced

1 ¼ oz. of grated gruyere (about 1/3 cup)

4 eggs, separated

2 servings of egg whites (I used Quick Whites)

Non-stick spray or melted butter

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium low heat.  Saute onions in pan until softened and caramelized, about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, separate eggs so that yolks are in one bowl and whites are in a cold mixing bowl of stand mixer.
  4. Beat egg whites until they hold soft peaks.
  5. Beat egg yolks with a whisk until smooth.  Stir in chicken, cheese, and caramelized onions.  Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites until combined.  Then slowly fold in the rest of egg whites into mixture.
  6. Spray a large soufflé dish with spray or brush with melted butter.  Pour egg mixture into dish.  Bake for about 30-35 minutes in middle of oven.
  7. To serve, run a knife around edges to loosen, cut into fourths, and spoon onto serving plates.

Blueberry Coconut Oatmeal Souffle with Toasted Pecans

adapted from Persnickety Palate

Butter for preparing the dishes

Pinch of granulated sugar for dusting

½ cup milk

½ cup water

1 ½ oz. oats

½ medium banana, sliced thinly (optional-if omitting, use more brown sugar to sweeten oatmeal)

1/3 cup whipped cottage cheese, cream cheese or ricotta

2 teaspoons brown sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of salt

2 egg yolks

¼ cup thawed frozen blue berries

2 tablespoons sweetened coconut

1 tablespoon toasted, chopped pecans

3 egg whites

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Butter 5 ramekin dishes and dust with sugar, knocking excess out.
  3. Heat milk and water in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add oatmeal and banana.  Cook, stirring occasionally until oatmeal thickens, about five minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir in whipped cottage cheese, ricotta, or cream cheese.  Then stir in brown sugar, cinnamon and pinch of salt.
  4. Separate egg yolks and whites in two large bowls.  I use Quick Whites for the extra white.  Add a bit of oatmeal mixture to bowl with yolks to temper it.  Then add yolks to saucepan and stir to incorporate.
  5. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks just form.  Fold in about 1/3 cup whites into oatmeal mixture to lighten.  Then fold oatmeal mixture and rest of whites together gently, so that the whites don’t deflate.
  6. Transfer to prepared dishes. Bake for about 30 minutes.
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7 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, chicken, Desserts, Dinner, Lunch, Sides, Vegetables

7 responses to “A Day of Souffles

  1. Those souffles look delicious! Souffles are one of the things I would like to tackle this year. Thanks for the recipes.

  2. O love the chocolate one. It most be delicious.

    Have a great weekend 🙂

  3. I am quite intrigued by souffles but never dare to make one for fear of a flat, fallen down one….good for you! These look amazing and if i get my courage up, I might try one of these 🙂 Esp. the chocolate one….hmmmm…

  4. magicofspice

    These are all delicious, but the Chocolate Kahlua…wow!

  5. All of those recipes look so good! The oatmeal one has to be my favorite. They can be tricky to pull off, you should be proud yours came out so good.

  6. I’d love to try the savory souffle. I’ve never made a souffle before (too intimidated) but definitely I’m inspired by your chocolate and chicken w/ carmelized onion souffles and will try my hand at souffle making. Thanks for the inspiration! Hope you are staying warm and that the snow flurries are settling down. 🙂

  7. Dani

    Your chocolate soufflé looks heavenly! I’ve never made a souffle before but you have inspired me to give it a shot.
    Also, I entered to win the Soup Day Book Giveaway @ Familylicious Reviews! Stop by and enter at http://familylicious.com/

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