So, Susan of She’s Becoming DoughMessTic (already one of my favorite bloggers) got to choose the TWD recipe this week, and she chose a doozy: Chocolate SoufflÃ©.
Little intimidating, right? I’ve never made a soufflÃ©. I’ve never had a soufflÃ©. Everything I know about soufflÃ©s comes from old TV shows and books, where they were always falling.
But the family made ummy noises when I mentioned that this week’s Dorie was soufflÃ©, and I was stuck.
It was, in fact, really easy.
I cut the recipe in half and baked it in four oval ramekins, for about 20 minutes. My little soufflÃ©s didn’t manage to reach the lovely heights some others did, but they were all very pretty in their own understated fashion.
And I made coconut crÃ¨me anglaise to go with it. I thought: “Vanilla? Good, but plain. Coffee? Good, but done to death. Mint? No.” So I opened the fridge for inspiration, and what should I see but a nice mason jar full of unsweetened coconut. I tossed half a cup in with the half-and-half while it heated, and then strained strained the finished crÃ¨me.
Well, that’s a lie. I poured the finished crÃ¨me into a strainer, where it sat. And sat. And, well, you know. Eventually I squeezed out the coconut, handful by sodden handful. Messy.
And you know what? About 15 seconds after I dumped the coconut into the half-and-half, it occurred to me that I could have just used coconut milk, which for some strange reason (because I was planning to make chocolate coconut sorbet, if you must know) was actually sitting on the shelf next to the unsweetened coconut.
Anyway, I couldn’t taste much coconut in the finished crÃ¨me anglaise, although it smelled lovely, but the family types all said they could (they love to lord their refined palates over me).
Oh, were we talking about soufflÃ©s?
Sorry. It was stunningly, marvelously, magnificently, stupendously good. Warm and light and airy and somehow rich and gooey at the same time. I cannot believe that I’ve wasted 42 years of my life without eating a chocolate soufflÃ©.
The menfolk liked it too:
Husband: The texture was incredible â€” rich chocolate flavor that really benefited from the coconutty crÃ¨me anglaise. It was better with that vanilla and little bit of coconut flavor â€” they really sealed the dish. And for a first-time soufflÃ©, it looked awesome.
#1 Son: [When I finished eating, he looked at me wolfishly and asked, “Are you going to clean your bowl?” I handed it over, managing not to lose a finger in the process.] It was delicious. The chocolate wasn’t too heavy, the texture was beautifully light, and the crÃ¨me anglaise was a perfect accompaniment.
#2 Son: It was pretty good overall. I think it could have used more chocolate. I’d rather the crÃ¨me anglaise had been plain vanilla, rather than coconut. [To be fair, he had a 102-degree fever, and had passed on the amazing hamburgers we had for dinner. I don’t think he was at his best.]
#2 Son had some of his about an hour later, and said it was good cold. I wanted to leave some of mine to try later, but not enough to stop eating it while it was warm.
This was incredible. (Better, I think, in ramekins than in a large dish, if you can manage it.) Make it. Buy Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, or check out Susan’s blog, where she’ll have the recipe and some wonderful photographs. And if you want to see lots of photos of tall, glorious soufflÃ©s, you could do worse than to check out some of the hundreds of other TWD bloggers.
See you next week!