So it’s late, very late, and I’m sitting at my computer contemplating my day (past) and the proceeding days events as they unfold during the course of my day. I mull it over one by one and the dreaded work week ahead, when suddenly, I get the brilliant idea to make of all things, a vanilla soufflé (brilliant idea!). Now mind you it’s 2:30 AM and I’m thinking to my self, can I really do this?! “Yes, I can do this”. Also mind you, I haven’t made one of these things in about a years time, and still I decided with no recipe in hand to make one, or two in record time. I had these babies prepped and in the oven, in approximately 13 minutes to be precise and baked off in exactly 9 minutes flat. And the result speaks for its self. It was heavenly and as light as a cloud, with just the right amount or hint of pure vanilla flavor and sweetness. Now mind you, I’m no master chef, but to be able to pull this off at this late hour and in record fashion is no easy feat. I must say though, that I am actually quite proud of my self. I was sipping a cheap no frills but delicious rosé, when suddenly, I had the craving for a soufflé. (Well in truth, I’ve been contemplating a soufflé for days). Now is the time and the timing could not have been any better, to get to work on this (decadent) indulgence. I guess I must be insane or just plain mad or both. At any rate here it is.
2 lg egg yolks
3 egg whites
1 tsp confectioners sugar (icing sugar)
a pinch of salt (kosher)
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp corn starch
1 tbs all purpose flour
1/8 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (Madagascan)
3 tbs plus 1/2 tbs sugar (white)
1 tbs butter for coating the ramekins
1 tbs sugar for coating the ramekins
In a heavy sauce pot (2 quart pot), bring to a simmer the milk and heavy cream, with 1 1/2 tbs of sugar. In a medium bowl, whisk together the 2 egg yolks and the 1 1/2 tbs sugar, the flour and corn starch and the pinch of salt. This is called blooming. Once done and the milk has simmered and formed a slight skin on the surface, pour part of the hot milk and cream into the egg yolk mixture through a small sieve or tea strainer and whisk to temper. Now add the tempered egg yolk and milk-cream mixture, back to the sauce pot and add the vanilla extract and begin to whisk with a balloon whisk on medium heat till the mixture thickens. Once thickened, pour the mixture into a small bowl and refrigerate to cool for at least 10 minutes. This gives you time to work on the egg whites. In another bowl, whisk together the 3 egg whites to a soft peak, then add the 1/2 tbs of sugar to the egg whites and whisk till a stiff peak is reached. (Make sure that the egg whites have no egg yolk or you will have a problem getting them to reach a stiff peak, because of the fat in the yolk). Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the créme patissiere (pastry cream), from the refrigerator and add part of the egg whites to the cream. Whisk in using a rubber spatula using a vigorous motion to combine. At this stage you need not worry about folding in the egg whites. Now add the remaining egg whites and slowly fold in to the mixture. Coat 2 ramekins with butter and sugar. A light coating of butter is all you need to coat the inside of the ramekins. Not pour in the sugar and roll the sugar around the 1st ramekin and pour any remaining sugar into the second ramekin. Now roll the remaining sugar into the other to fully coat the interior. Pour out any remaining sugar. Tap the ramekins on the counter to remove any lose sugar. Wipe the outside of the ramekins with a cloth or paper towel. Pour your soufflé batter into the ramekins and fill till slightly past the top (spilling), and with the back of a butter knife or off set spatula, scrape the rest of the batter from the top of the ramekin to level off the batter. Now with your thumb, run the tip of your thumb along the edge of the inside of the ramekin to form a moat or rim. This will ensure an even lift of the soufflé. Place the soufflés on a baking sheet and place into the oven for 9 minutes till the tops are slightly browned (golden) and the soufflés have risen. Trust me! if your oven is calibrated or you know that your oven is a true 400 degrees despite what your dial says, you only need to bake these off for 9 minutes. Use an oven thermometer to figure out your true oven temp. Once baked, dust with icing sugar and serve at once. Enjoy!