You can’t have a holiday weekend without a TV marathon that attempts to keep you indoors on an otherwise beautiful, sunny day. Normally, I don’t give in, even though I am a complete and total TV whore. I love TV and can always find something to amuse myself. Yesterday, I convinced myself to focus on a few neglected blog projects (i.e. scanning recipes for Recovered Recipes) and turned on the TV to serve as background noise.
The TV had been on for nearly 20 minutes before I noticed it was tuned to TLC and a Jon & Kate Plus 8 marathon. For those of you who haven’t heard of the series, it documents the daily lives of a young couple who have 8 young children. They became famous four years ago when Kate gave birth to sextuplets, and added to their family which already included a set of twins (let this be a warning to couples who decide to try for ‘one more’).
Recently, Jon & Kate have made headlines as there are now rumors flying that the marriage is on the rocks, with cheating allegedly occurring on both sides of the marriage. If you believe the media reports, the marriage is supposedly collapsing, falling quickly and steadily downward. Ironically, I chose yesterday to explore souffle making for the very first time.
Can you guess how my souffles turned out?
I’ve seen the recipes and heard the horror stories, but never attempted a souffle myself. While flipping through old recipes recently, I’ve encountered quite a number of souffle recipes from the middle 20th century and was curious to give souffle making a try. Sadly, this story does not have a completely happy ending.
Although the souffles tasted delicious, they fell before I had the chance to fully document how beautiful they were in the oven. I’ve seen some recipes use a bit of flour in the recipe, and I assume this helps give body and structure to the tender souffle. Next time, I will play with this recipe to add a bit in the hope it will help them retain their shape.
3 1/2 oz. dark chocolate (70%)
2 T butter (plus more for greasing ramekins)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 T strongly brewed coffee
4 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
1. Roughly chop the chocolate and place in a double boiler along with the butter. You can use a glass bowl placed over a pan of boiling water. Stir until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat to cool.
2. In a small bowl, beat together the vanilla, egg yolk and coffee. Then, slowly stir into the cooled chocolate mixture, until combined.
3. In a mixer, beat the egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks form.
4. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until combined.
5. Grease 6 small (1/2 cup) ramekins with butter. Fill each one full and level off the tops with a spatula.
Place ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake at 400F (200C) for 10-15 minutes.
The souffles started a magical rise in the oven, at least a good inch higher than the rim of the ramekin. I turned away to go grab my camera equipment and when I returned to the oven, the souffles had already started to fall. I pulled them from the oven and took the photograph above.
Within minutes, they flattened into the saddest looking things I’ve ever seen.
Once they cooled, you could flip them out of the ramekins and eat them like cookies. Delicious, even though they weren’t light and airy.
I’m not giving up though. I intend to try making a savory souffle today for lunch, followed by a fruit souffle later in the week. I will keep trying until I succeed. In order to keep my hopes up, I tell myself that souffles are like marriage … sometimes you just need to work hard to make it through the difficult times. And sometimes, no matter how hard you try … they just collapse.
As for my new found addiction to Jon and Kate, the 5th season of their show premieres tonight and will address the recent rumors. Are they breaking up? Has the marriage fallen apart? Tune in to find out. We’ve already set it to record so we don’t miss it.
As for my upcoming souffles, you’ll find them here in the coming days.