Me: And, how would you like your soufflé to be served? Dans le ramequin ? Sur assiette ? Avec ou sans coulis ? (In the ramekin? On a plate? With or without sauce?)
P: Je peux avoir les 3 ? (Can I have the 3?)
Me: Gourmand ! (Greedy!)
The Best Soufflé Therapy
If there is one dish that is ephemeral, which shape is hard to maintain, it has to be un soufflé.
Know this: Soufflé in French comes from the verb “souffler“, which means to blow. Should I then be surprised? No! But yet, how cruel of him, le soufflé, to rise so tall and proud once it has reached the ultimate cooking point, and yet fall slowly or abruptly as soon as he is taken away from the warm nest created by the oven. He goes up to form a beautiful peak, but falls down as if he had received a shot in the head. Pouf! And when Monsieur le soufflé collapses, he takes me with him: I too feel deflated.
But tell me. There must be a trick to keep him the same. What do I need to do to be able to eat him before he goes down?
So I love to make and eat soufflés, but I can also be frustrated with them. Les soufflés are such whimsical things, don’t you agree? They have a mind of their own. I think however, that I have found a remedy to my problem.
Marinated Strawberries in Lemon Juice and Brown Sugar
Fraises marinées dans du jus de citron et de la cassonade
Le soufflé glacé — Iced Soufflé
This remedy has a name.
To avoid the feeling of deflation involved with this king in our kitchens, I decided to give him a good chill to make him cold. I decided to freeze him! Le soufflé gets stuck. Cannot go down and disappear before I notice it. Il est figé ! Immobile. “Stay! I got you. You cannot go anywhere!” This time, he has no choice but to remain tall and proud. But wait! Too warm in here? It just looks as if he were going to melt now. What is wrong with you, soufflé?
I remembered seeing this recipe a while ago in an old copy of the French cooking magazine Saveur, at a time when eating cold iced foods was not appealing at all. But these days in the Northern hemisphere at least, as we all know, things are slightly different. Cold desserts are actually immensely attractive. Even for people like me who usually get fussy (the waiter thinking
“she is such a pain!”) when she gets too many ice cubes in her glass (“Can I have water without ice, please?”) I thought to give it a try and absolutely loved it. I changed the recipe slightly, mainly due to my grocery limitations since it is practically impossible — or maybe I am looking in the wrong places — to find fromage blanc in the US. Only one Vermont company provides one type that I tried and actually dislike a lot. Of course, I should not be surprised since it is almost fat free (not my cup of tea), nothing like the nice smoothness of what fromage blanc should really be like. Sooooo…I substituted the required fromage blanc with a lovely plain Swiss yogurt I bought and the recipe worked great.
In a few words, if you like lime and the touch of crunchiness provided by poppyseeds, you will love this dessert. I thought of trying different ways to serve it. Casual and eaten plain, or more elegant with marinated strawberries and coulis. I also tried with different fruit sorbet I had made (watermelon and Cantaloupe melon). My favorite remains the strawberry/coulis version. A little more work, but really worth it.
Me: And would you like more coulis on your soufflé?
P: Oui s’il te plaît ! Un peu plus.(Yes, please, a little more.)
Who is a spoiled brat?
Served with strawberries marinated in brown sugar and lemon juice, and a raspberry coulis
Servi avec des fraises marinées dans de la cassonade et du jus de citron, et un coulis de framboises
Either way, you’d better be quick to eat your soufflé!
- 3 eggs
- 1 + 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 gelatin sheets
- 5.5 oz plain yogurt
- 2 limes
- 3 oz fine sugar
- 1 Tbsp poppyseeds
- 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- In a pot, mix together the egg yolks, half of the cream, the yogurt, half of the lime juice, the cornstarch and the poppyseeds.
- Bring to a first boil on low heat while stirring constantly, and remove right away.
- Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water. Squeeze them to remove the excess water and add them to the cream, with the rest of the lime juice and the zest of 1 lime. Mix well
- Beat the egg whites firm. Add 1 Tbsp sugar when you start and just before they start to get firm, add the rest progressively. The cream should be firm and shiny.
- Gently fold this light preparation in the lime cream.
- Whip the remaining heavy cream in chantilly and add it to the lime preparation.
- Take ramekins and place parchment paper around the edges sticking out inside (or use liners). Divide the cream between the molds and place in the freezer for about 4 hours.
- To unmold, run the blade of a sharp knife between the mold and the liner (You can also dip the ramekins in warm water for 30s). Flip over on plates and serve according to your mood, with or without berries.
- 3 oeufs
- 30 cl crème liquide
- 2 feuilles de gélatine
- 150 g yaourt nature
- 2 citrons verts
- 75 g sucre fin
- 1 càs de graines de pavot
- 1/2 càc maïzena
- Mélangez les jaunes d’oeuf, la moitié de la crème, le yaourt, la moitié du jus de citron vert, la maïzena et les graines de pavot dans une casserole.
- Faites chauffer doucement sans cesser de remuer jusqu’à la premiere ébullition, puis retirez tout de suite du feu.
- Faites tremper les feuilles de gélatine dans de l’eau froide pendant 5 mns. Retirez-les et pressez-les pour retirer l’excès de liquide. Ajoutez-les à la crème au citron avec le reste de jus de citron vert et le zeste d’un citron vert. Mélangez bien.
- Montez les blancs en neige ferme. Commencez à ajouter d’abord 1 càs de sucre, puis vers la fin, ajoutez progressivement le reste. La neige doit être brillante et ferme.
- Ajoutez-la délicatement à la crème au citron vert.
- Battez la crème liquide froide en chantilly et ajoutez-la à la préparation précèdente.
- Prenez des ramequins et tapissez-en les bords avec du papier sulfurisé (faites-le dépasser). Divisez la crème entre vos ramequins et mettez au congélateur pour un minimum de 4 heures.
- Pour démouler, passez la lame d’un couteau entre le papier et le bord du ramequin (vous pouvez aussi tremper les ramequins dans de l’eau chaude pendant 30s, pour faciliter le démoulage). Retournez-les sur vos assiettes et servez selon l’humeur du jour, avec ou sans fruits rouges.
Or for un diner plus chic (a dinner more chic), a different ambiance…..
Served plain with fresh strawberries sliced
Servi nature avec des tranches de fraises fraîches