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Vanilla Souffle

February 9th, 2009
Vanilla Souffle     Vanilla Souffle

Whenever I set a souffle on the dining room table, the room gets quiet, guests hold their breath, and for a brief moment there is complete silence. Secretly, this always amuses me, because there have been many things that I have completely annilated in the kitchen, but knock on wood, a souffle is not one of them. At least not yet…

Now yes, I will admit that once upon a time, anytime I saw a souffle recipe in a magazine or cookbook, I would quickly flip the page. I had absolutely no intention of making one in this lifetime and suffering through the humiliation of serving something that resembled a flat soggy pancake in a souffle dish. However, a few years ago, I discovered that souffles were very simple to make, using ingredients that I almost always have on hand. A basic souffle does not cost a fortune to make, require you to slave in the kitchen for hours, or disastrously explode without warning. Instead it can be the most inexpensive, yet most impressive desserts you have ever made.

 

If you have never made a souffle before, I encourage you to try it! They are always memorable, deeply satisfying, and your guests will rave about eating it for years to come.

Vanilla Souffle

1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons of sugar
1/4 cup of flour
1 cup of milk
4 egg yolks at room-temperature
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
5 egg whites at room temperature
pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

sifted confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Make a souffle collar by cutting a long sheet of parchment paper; long enough to wrap around the outside circumference of the souffle dish. Neatly fold this sheet in half lengthwise, so you will have a double think, semi-long, six inch wide strip of parchment. Fit the outside of the dish with the collar and secure with a piece of cooking string. Use a piece of tape to secure the top. Ultimately the collar should extend 2 inches above the rim of the souffle dish.

Butter the souffle dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter, sprinkle it with sugar, (coating all of the butter evenly) and knock out any of the excess.

In a bowl, combine the 1/3 cup of sugar, flour, and 1/4 a cup of the milk. Whisk until smooth.

In a heavy saucepan, bring the remaining 3/4 Cup milk to a simmer; stirring constantly.

Slowly pour the steaming milk into the flour mixture, whisking it in as you do so.

Return this mixture back into the saucepan and whisk constantly as you bring it back up to a gently simmer. As soon as it begins to bubble, lower the heat to low and whisk constantly for 2 minutes.

Temper the egg yolks, by spooning a little bit of the simmered mixture in to the eggs, whisking no more then a spoonful at a time. (Rushing this step along will cause the eggs to scramble.)
Using a silicone scraper, transfer this mixture to a bowl, whisk in the vanilla, and dot the top with the remaining 1 TBS of butter.

This recipe may be partially made ahead up till this point. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for up to 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Adjust oven racks so that the souffe can be set on the lower middle rack with no racks above it to interfere with the way it will raise.

Using the whisk attachment and a mixer, beat the egg whites with the salt until frothy.
Add the cream of tartar and beat until the whites hold fairly stiff peaks.
1 tablespoon at a time, add the sugar to the egg whites until they hold perfect stiff peaks. (Be very careful at this point you do not want to tap or knock the bowl and burst any of the bubbles that were formed while whipping the egg whites. These bubbles are what will help the souffle rise.)

Gently stir 1/4 of the egg whites into the yolk mixture, blending well.

Very carefully fold the remaining egg whites into the mixture and spoon into the prepared souffle dish.

Very carefully, place souffle on the lower middle rack of the oven, carefully close oven door, and lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees.

Souffle will need to bake for 30-35 with no major vibrations anywhere near the oven or it may fall prematurely.

The souffle is done when the top is puffed and golden.

Remove the collar carefully, dust the top of the souffle with confectioner’s sugar and serve IMMEDIATELY! You can eagerly wait for a souffle all day long, but it can never wait for you!

Variations:

Grand Marnier Souffle
Reduce the amount of vanilla to 1 1/2 teaspoons, add 1 1/2 tablespoons of grated orange zest, and add 3-4 tablespoons of Grand Marnier to the base.

Chocolate Souffle
Add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder to finished. Be sure to still use the vanilla.

*If you still have questions concerning making a souffle collar, follow this link.

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12 Responses to “Vanilla Souffle”

  1. Ramya says:

    Wow.. The souffle looks super cool and yummy. Will definitely give it a try!!

  2. DAMN does that look so good – I have not been brave enough to make a souffle at home BUT I have been inspired to get off my backside and give it a try!!

  3. ingrid says:

    Okay, I’ve yet to even taste a souffle let alone try & make one!!! Yours looks amazing & I’m starving. I’m gonna print out the recipe & give it a try!! No more scaredy cat baker!
    ~ingrid

  4. Kate says:

    I love souffle, but haven’t made a simple vanilla one like this before. It looks like the ultimate in winter comfort.

  5. Eunice says:

    Oh my this looks amazing!!! How could you! You have made me yearn for a good souffle, since I have a virgin-souffle-mouth. ;) I’m getting those ramekin cups & conquering my sooflay fears!

    Thank you or the recipe!

  6. finsmom says:

    This sounds heavenly! Ive never had a vanilla souffle before! Looks incredible! Great pics!

  7. Ceres says:

    Thank you! If you have never even taken a bite of a souffle, then you are in for a sweet surprise. The outer edges are slightly crisp, sugary, and airy, but as you get closer to the center, you will encounter a rich buttery custard. The only bad thing about a souffle is that they are devoured way too fast.

    The good thing it is easy to whip up another one. ;-) Just make sure that all of the bowls and utensils you use, are squeaky clean. As with any time you whip egg whites, the slightest bit of oil can be your worst enemy. Good, amazing, bad, horrific, or otherwise, I would love to hear how your souffles came out. :-)

    Best of luck to everyone!

  8. Linda says:

    This could be the perfect dessert … I can’t wait to make this. It looks delicious! Thank you for posting the recipe.

  9. Hayley says:

    I love your souffle, it looks like artwork. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Ceres says:

    Thank you! I hope you both enjoy it every bit as much as we did. :-)

  11. Leah says:

    Is that castor sugar or brown sugar in the recipe?

  12. Noah says:

    the yolk mixture is a pastry cream. the recipe can be simplified if you just add the original sugar and flour right to the yolks. then pour all the simmering milk into that. there is no need to temper it because the flour changes the physical properties of the proteins in the yolk. follow the rest of the recipe as written

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