Saturday, October 31, 2009
Cranberry Soufflé - Pink Saturday
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...A soufflé is a magnificent egg creation that should be served hot from the oven. It can be sweet or savory and, when the planets are in perfect alignment, it will tower above the mold in which it bakes. Soufflés collapse as they cool, so efforts to photograph them can be heroic. My only usable pictures were taken while they were still in the oven. The soufflé was created in the 19th century by chef Antonin Carême, who was arguably the first celebrity chef. While his culinary achievements are legendary, he is also remembered as being a prolific food writer and as the man who created the chef's hat, the toque. I'll wager he'd hate to know that the toque is included in his biography.
Soufflés rise because stiffly beaten egg whites trap air and allow them to expand with the heat of the oven. There are two components to a soufflé; a base which can be a sauce, pastry cream or puree and stiffly beaten egg whites that are used to lighten the base. There are several tricks to making a successful soufflé. A pinch of table salt added to the whites and using a collar to guide the soufflé as it rises are among them. More important still is a can-do attitude. The only hard and fast rule I have to share with you is don't open the door while the soufflé is baking. It will deflate like a balloon.
This cranberry soufflé is the creation of Michel Richard, the executive chef at Citronelle. It actually is very easy to do. It uses a puree of cranberries and sugar as a base and it requires no collar as it bakes. If you want your family or guests to see the soufflé at the height of its glory move it quickly from the oven to the table. This soufflé deflates quickly because there is no flour in it. I used a blender to puree the cranberries, adding small amounts of water only as need to continue processing. The puree should have the consistency of a bechamel sauce or pudding, so use water sparingly. I have everything ready to go before I begin to beat the egg whites. I do add a pinch of table salt to the whites and I make it a point to throw a pinch over my shoulder for luck. This is a wonderfully seasonal recipe. I hope you'll give it a try and enjoy this lovely cranberry creation.
Cranberry Soufflé...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1/2 cup fresh cranberry purée mixed with 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of sugar, plus another 1/2 cup for coating soufflé dishes
2 tablespoons butter, softened
4 egg whites
5 (6-oz.) soufflé dishes
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2) Puree cranberries and mix with 1/2 cup sugar in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
3) Using a pastry brush, generously coat soufflé dishes with butter, then coat them with 1/2 cup sugar. Turn them upside down to remove excess sugar. Set them on a baking sheet.
4) Quickly beat egg whites with a pinch of table salt, adding a 1/2 cup of reserved sugar a teaspoon at a time, until soft peaks are formed.
5) Fold whites into cranberry purée. Spoon batter into soufflé dishes. Bake for 25 minutes. Serve immediately with whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream. Yield: 5 servings.
Recipe courtesy Of Michel Richard.
This post is being linked to:
Pink Saturday, sponsored by Beverly at How Sweet the Sound.