Friday, 3 March 2017

French Vanilla Soufflé

Soufflé – the sound from the lip and tongue is  so classically romantic, like everything French. An Indian woman (that’s me ), trying to type a French letter é in the US keyboard of a laptop made in China. And if I intend to write a book, seriously I need to be as perfect as I can.  My only known French literate person is my son who studies French as a second language.  So, an opportunity for me to test his knowledge and increase mine.  The word soufflé is the past participle of the French verb souffler which means "to blow up" or  "puff up".  And seriously, the magic puff up will last only 1-2 minutes, the time gap from the oven to the table.  As  French says: Le soufflé n’attend pas, on attend le soufflé. Meaning le soufflé doesn’t wait, we (the guests) wait.  The real secret of soufflé-making is it's not that hard. Trust me, and follow the recipe, you will get the same sweet results. Lets not wait for le soufflé, but make the soufflé.

Ingredients : For 4 servings
Flour  – 1 tbsp
Unsalted butter  – 1 tbsp 
Warm milk - ½ cup 
Vanilla extract – ½ tbsp
Caster sugar -  2 tbsp 
Eggs -  2 nos 
Salt – pinch 
Icing sugar  to serve
Butter and sugar to prepare the Ramekins


1. Take melted unsalted butter to brush the inside of ramekins well from bottom upwards. This helps an even rise of the soufflé. Sprinkle sugar to coat the ramekins with sugar. Shake out any excess and then keep in refrigerator to chill.
2. Preheat a pan in medium heat. Add butter and melt it. Add in the flour and cook for 1 minute stirring with a wooden spoon.
3. Remove the pan from oven, add warm milk, and keep stirring  until homogenous and smooth. Put the pan to medium heat, stir continuously till it boil. The sauce should form ribbons. Pour the mixture onto a pan at normal temperature to prevent dehydration. 
Take egg yolks, add caster sugar and vanilla extracts. Start beating till it becomes a thick paste. This is white sauce.
4. Take the egg white in a dry bowl, add sugar gradually and whisk slowly till it looks foamy, creamy and peaks form. Be careful not to crush this. This is French Meringue. 
( set the oven to preheat at 200° C.)
5. Then, pour about half of white sauce into meringue and mix by fold inside with a spoon while rotating the bowl. Add balance of white sauce. Keep lifting with a spoon to mix and combined. Be careful not to crush the delicate meringue.
6. Pour the mixture into ramekins using a laddle. Run thumb around inside of rim to help the soufflé to rise straight. 
7. Put the ramekins in the oven preheated at 200° C and allow to bake  for 12 to 15 minutes, or until well risen.
Imagine when it emerges from the oven puffed up like a pillow with a golden surface and soft, yielding middle 
8. Sprinkle icing  sugar and serve immediately out of oven.

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