A Study of Soufflés

I have always thought of soufflés as a dessert that only the truly seasoned pastry chef can make. The perfectly light as air texture seemed unattainable to me and in the past I stayed away. In fact, soufflés are probably one of the easiest desserts out there. They require only a few ingredients and take only a short time to prepare. They’re perfect for a dinner party since I can pretty much guarantee anyone you serve them to with be incredibly impressed.

Although perfect for impressing guests, that’s not the reason I made them. This year I’m taking an advanced studio art class. At the beginning of the year we were instructed to come up with a concentration that we would incorporate into all of our projects for the rest of the year. My choice of a concentration in food photography received a fair amount of skepticism from my peers and teacher. Although my teacher supported my choice, I knew that she wasn’t completely sure how I would pull my idea off. I’ve always believed that food photography hasn’t gotten the appreciation it deserves. People don’t always see it as an art form, or the effort the photographer puts in to their work. These soufflés are one of my many projects that I’m working on this year. I wanted to create a series of black and white photographs that are actually kept in color. With these two soufflés, Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt and Dark Chocolate, I was able to successfully transform these simple desserts into a work of art.

 

 

Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt Soufflé

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3 Tbsp All Purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tarter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Butter and sugar for ramekins
  • Preheat oven to 375 F
  • Butter six 6oz ramekins.  Coat inside ramekin with sugar and knock out excess.  Set on baking sheet.
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together yogurt, egg yolks, flour, salt, vanilla bean, and vanilla.  In a medium bowl or in your stand mixture, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy…then gradually pour in the sugar and whisk until firm, but soft peaks form…just don’t whip so hard you break the whites.
  • Add 1/3 of egg white mixture to the yogurt mixture and incorporate well.  Then carefully fold in another 1/3…then the remaining.  you want to keep as much volume as possible.
  • Divide evenly into ramekins.
  • Bake on tray for about 15 minutes, until evenly risen and lightly browned around the edges.

Dark Chocolate Soufflé

Ingredients (make 4 soufflés):

·         140g dark chocolate, chopped (I used Lindt 70%)
·         3 tbsp. sugar
·         90 ml double cream (1 tsp = 5 ml)
·         3 eggs at room temperature (separated)
·         1 tbsp. vanilla extract
·         Pinch of cream of tartar
·         Butter at room temperature for greasing ramekins
·         Sugar for coating ramekins (about 1 tbsp.)
Preparation:
·         Butter 4 ramekins and coat inside with sugar. Preheat oven to 350F.
·         Combine cream, sugar, chocolate and vanilla extract in a heavy, medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and cool down a bit.
·         Whisk egg yolks into chocolate mixture.
·         Using electric mixer beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form.
·         Fold whites into chocolate mixture in 3 additions. Remember to do it gently and slowly. Do not overdo it.
·         Pour the mixture into ramekins filling them nearly to the top (leave about half centimetre). Bake for about 15 minutes.
·         Serve immediately

 

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