I’ve been bedridden for most of the week with the dreaded lurgy that’s been floating around my office.
So being the geek that I am, I’ve plotted out my Project Pastry curriculum for the rest of the year.
The first group I’m broadly banding together as “Desserts” and will include dishes like soufflé, fondants, crème caramel and panna cotta.
I’ll then move onto “Fruit desserts” and explore baking, poaching and roasting of fruits.
Next is the big kahuna – BREAD!! At the moment, according to my list, this will take me around 4 months of posts which is daunting but also very exciting J
And last, but not least, I’m going to finish up the year with “Entrements” which will hopefully combine all of my learning and show off some amazing celebration desserts in the lead up to Christmas.
I’ve also done a list for Flashback Fridays which will keep my very busy mid-week. Phew!!
So, first up I want to look at the much feared soufflé. I’ve made a couple in the past, both sweet and savoury, and they’ve magically worked out pretty well but I’ve never known how or why.
Julia Child devotes a lot of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” to soufflés in both the entrée and dessert sections.
She talks about three methods for making a soufflé base:
- A béchamel with its cooked roux
- A crème pâtissière with its cooked egg yolks
- A bouille which is milk, sugar and starch boiled for several seconds until thickened.
The bouille is her preferred method for sweet soufflés, and she suggests letting the base cool before adding the flavourings, and then the egg whites. This seems to be the method I used for my soufflé crêpes a few weeks back without realising.
Interestingly she mentions that you can make a soufflé without starch or flour, but says that it lacks something in texture and tenderness.
I had planned making Neil Perry’s famous Rockpool Passionfruit Soufflé which is legendary is Australia, but doesn’t follow any of these formulae. He sticks with egg yolks beaten with sugar until dissolved and creamy, then adding the flavouring added before the egg whites.
He talks in his video about his take on three methods of making soufflés and only one has common ground with Julia – the crème pâtissière. He also talks about making an Italian meringue base, and then this recipe which is just juice and eggs.
I guess I’m just going to have to try out the other methods and recipes in future Flashback Fridays!
Neil Perry’s Passionfruit Soufflé (makes 1)
2 egg yolks
25g+ 25g sugar
30ml strained passionfruit juice
2 egg whites
Pinch of salt
In a bowl, cream the egg yolks with the first 25g sugar, until pale and the sugar has dissolved. Add the passionfruit juice, mix and set aside.
In a separate clean bowl (copper, if you have), whisk the egg whites with a tiny pinch of salt. When you are ½ way to peaks forming, add ½ the remaining sugar, followed by the rest shortly after. Whisk to firm peaks but be careful not to overbeat them.
Whisk 1/3 of the whites into the yolks then carefully fold through the remaining.
Spoon the mixture into a buttered and sugared soufflé mould (this could also be a tea cup or ramekin).
Bake at 190C for 12 minutes.
Serve immediately with ice cream.