".... I've got a beautiful feeling everything's going my way." Today is our 46th wedding anniversary and our youngest daughter's birthday. My baby girl has just told us that we're to be grandparents again and thrilled doesn't begin to describe our elation. News doesn't get much better than that. We'll be out for the day but I did want to have something special for tonight's dinner. Bob loves rabbit - as a matter of fact he brought this one home. Could this have been a subtle hint? I've never made rabbit, so tonight's dinner will be an adventure. If it works, I'll talk about it later in the week. In case things go pear-shaped I've made another of his favorites - a cold lime souffle. The souffle is very easy to do; it does, however, require time to stiffen and must be made early in the day. Also, make sure the paper collars used to extend the souffle dishes are well-buttered so you'll have a smooth release. I had to fight to release mine - yet another proof that "we grow too soon old and too late smart." I have to learn to listen to myself. The real caution here regards the eggs you use to make this dish. For safety's sake, use only pasteurized eggs. Dishes like cold souffles and chiffons all but disappeared from the American table in the 1980's due to an outbreak of salmonella associated with raw eggs. Fortunately, the use of pasteurized eggs have given these desserts a new lease on life. Pasteurized eggs have been treated to prevent contamination from salmonella and other avian viruses. If you like tart citrus desserts, you'll love this one. Just be careful to capture only the green zest. This dessert will be unpleasantly bitter if the pith is included. If I haven't scared you away, it's time for us to get started.
Cold Lime Souffle
5 large eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar + sugar for coating extensions
2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest + additional zest for garnish
3/4 cup lime juice, strained
1 tablespoon (1 envelope) powdered gelatin
1-1/4 cups heavy cream, lightly whipped
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1) Cut four strips of parchment paper or aluminum foil to fit around four 8-ounce baking cups. Fold each strip in half lengthwise. Tie strips around souffle cups to extend the height of each by 1-1/2 inch. Brush extensions generously with melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar to coat, tapping out excess. Set aside
2) Combine egg yolks, 1 cup sugar and lime zest in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until the mixture is thick and pale, about 3 minutes.
3) Heat lime juice in a small pan until warm. Slowly beat into yolk mixture.
4) Pour 1/4 cup water into a small cup. Sprinkle with gelatin and let sit until gelatin softens. Fill a small skillet with water; bring to a boil. Lower gelatin bowl into water; stir unti gelatin is dissolved and clear. Cool slightly. Add to lime mixture, beating on low speed until combined. Transfer to a large bowl, cover and refrigerate until thickened but not set. The mixture should have the consistency of a light cream sauce. Fold whipped cream into lime mixture with a spoon.
5) In a separate bowl beat egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold whites into lime mixture until just combined. Spoon into prepare souffle dishes. Refrigerate and chill until set.
6) When ready to serve, combine 1 cup whipping cream and confectioners' sugar in a 1-quart bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Remove collars and top with whipped cream. Sprinkle with lime zest. Yield: 4 servings.