A few weeks ago, my lovely blogger friend Lili over at Lili’s Cakes posted this soufflé challenge. Souffle Challenge¨Uff!¨I thought, upon first glance. ¨No way!¨ I had images of my supposed soufflé losing air and sinking like a balloon.Yep..I could even hear it…pfffffff. I even imagined the look on my face upon witnessing the deflation.
But as I read her post, I began thinking differently. I mean, the important thing is trying something new, having fun and learning, right? And Lili has this way of encouraging you and making you feel like you can do it too! She posts so many lovely photos and accompanies them with her adorable drawings. The woman rocks! And yes Lili, if you are reading this, you DO rock!
So, challenge accepted. Now what kind of soufflé should I make? Being that it is summer, I was thinking of something fruity and a beautiful color. Yes..I am crazy about colours. Mango. Mango is one of my favourite fruits and it is a beautiful rich golden color. The color of summer. So I set out in search of a recipe online. I found one and began to read it carefully. It is called Queen´s Mango Soufflé and I found it on food.com
Then it occured to me. I don´t have ramekins. Yes, Natascha, those would help. So, I bought two sets. One in traditional white and the other in a pretty shade of blue. Too much white drives me nuts and I thought that gold and blue would go well.
Next question: When should I make it? Well, I am on holidays at the moment so that answer was not hard to come up with. I have free time. But I knew it would be while my husband was at work. Why? Because when I try something new in the kitchen, I like to be alone. I can talk to myself. (As my mother would say, “Well, of course I talk to myself. I am talking to an intelligent person! 😂) I can listen to my music…sing..hum….you get my drift. So, which day? Well, living in Spain, I am more aware of patron saints and the 29th of July is the feast day of Saint Martha, who happens to be the patron saint of cooks. Perfect. I could ask her for help! I gathered the ingredients and made it on that day. It was an adventure! Here is the recipe. (I have written my observations in bold and in parentheses.)
Queen’s Mango Souffle
Prep 1 hr 30 mins
Cook 16 mins
Servings 4 Units US
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons sugar (For coating the ramekins)
- 1 1⁄4 cups mango puree (About 2 mangos)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon white rum
- 5 -6 egg whites, depending on size of eggs (I used 5 medium eggs at room temperature)
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 1 lemon, juice of
- confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- Heavily butter four 3 to 4″ souffle ramekins. (I had a lot of mixture so ended up making 5 soufflés)
- Put sugar in the ramekins and roll it around to coat all inner surfaces.
- Set the ramekins aside.
- Bring the mango puree to a boil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Reduce the heat to medium.
- Dissolve the cornstarch in the rum, then stir into the puree.
- Cook 2 minutes, stirring gently, as the mixture thickens.
- Place a bowl in a larger bowl of ice water and strain the puree through a fine-meshed sieve into the inner bowl. (My mixture was so thick that it would not go through a sieve so I skipped that part)
- Stir occasionally to chill quickly and evenly. (I left it there for a good 15 minutes or so to chill well)
- Lift out the bowl and dry the sides; set aside.
- In my opinión, here comes the tricky part!
- Combine the egg whites, sugar, and lemon juice in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering wáter.Heat to 125 F. (I did this but did not know how long to do it for. I did it just until the sugar dissolved)
- Pour into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a balloon whisk and whisk the egg whites to firm peaks. (Ok, I will admit it, I am not sure if I beat them enough. I have my doubts right now as I am waiting for my my soufflés to freeze. They were stiff but not so stiff that they could not run out a bit if I turned the bowl over. No problem. I will learn!)
- Fold a large spoonful of beaten egg white into the mango mixture to lighten it.(Guys, please check out this link that Lii added on how to do it. It is really helpful! How to beat egg into a soufflé )
- Gently fold in the remaining beaten egg white in 3 additions, preserving as much volume as possible.
- Fill each ramekin to the rim with souffle mixture and smooth the tops with the back of a knife. (I should have take a photo of these from a side view so you could see how they rose. They were right at the rim, skimmed with a knife)
- Freeze at least 1 hour. (I froze them for one hour exactly)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Place a rack in a large baking pan and fill the pan half way with hot water.
- Place the frozen souffles on the rack (do not let them touch the water).
- Bake 16 to 17 minutes, until puffed and just set.
This part was an adventure.
Minute 5..No rising. All I could think was that I really need to learn how to beat eggs stiffly better.
At about ten minutes there were signs of rising! WOW!!!!!! I was so excited. Maybe my beating technique is not so questionable after all….
Being that my oven tends to be quite fast, I took my soufflés out at about 14 minutes.
I took a photo and realised, as I was testing the soufflé that it was a bit too liquidy inside. Horrors! Back to the kitchen and into the oven they went again! This time for an extra 10 minutes. Boy these little guys are tricky! At this stage, I was going on a gut feeling because everybody says you can´t put a soufflé in the oven to rise again. However, I had taken them out only 2 to 3 minutes before so everything was still hot. And after 10 minutes I got this!
Can you believe it? Gosh, neither could I! I was so excited!! I then sprinkled on the powdered sugar.
I even had a cute little leaning one! (I will admit, the white ramekin is pretty too.)
Then I tested one. I noticed that it was still a bit gooey inside. Crap! What did I do wrong? Then I learned that that was supposed to to be the consistency of a soufflé! Like a melted marshmallow! Recipes should include that information because frequently they just presume you already know!
And so I proceeded to take photos.
And you know what? I felt pretty proud of myself!
So…the question is, how did they taste? Fantastic! I recommend having them cold. I tried them them when they were warm and they were not the same. Good..but not incredible like when they are chilled!
Would this challenge motivate me to try another soufflé? Frankly, yes! It really is just wonderful to see the soufflé rising and it is true, you feel great when it works out well! Maybe my images of the soufflé deflating within seconds was a bit exaggerated haha!
Thank you, Lili for your soufflé challenge. It was good fun and I learned a lot. You quoted Julia Child when posting this challenge and I have to repost the quote.
This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!
I should also thank Saint Martha for her help and who probably had a good laugh at me as she watched me bolt back to the kitchen in a slight frenzy to put my soufflés back in the oven for a second go! Even I have to laugh about it now.
If any of you try this, I hope you enjoy it too.