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Recipe Sat Feb 23 2008

Souffizzled

Last Sunday, I attempted something I've never attempted before: making souffles. I went and bought six ramekins and stocked up on all the goodies, including a bar of Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate.

I whisked, melted, whipped and folded my way through the recipe. Thinking they looked pretty good, I put my six sugar-coated ramekins in the oven. Over-eager, I kept peaking through the oven door every five minutes expecting to see six beautifully-risen chocolate souffles.

Except they never rose.

I'm not sure where I failed. Were my stiff peaks not stiff enough? Did I fold with too much fury? Or maybe souffles really are as hard to master as I've been lead to believe.

I'm determined to master the souffle. Maybe it was the recipe that let me down -- or maybe it was my lack of souffle skillz. Either way, check back later for a second souffle attempt.

[Photo from Cooking Light]

 
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Andrew / February 23, 2008 1:30 PM

That's too bad. Maybe you over-beat the eggs?

jennifer / February 24, 2008 12:31 PM

Also, if you were actually opening the oven door when you were looking at them, that could have caused the problem - it would have interrupted the heat enough to prevent proper rising.

Bobbi / February 24, 2008 2:06 PM

Jennifer-as tempting as it was, I made sure not to open the door. So somewhere along the way, my other skills were lacking! :)

adam / February 29, 2008 8:18 AM

I'm voting for overbeating and/or overfolding (especially the latter, which is easy to do), based on what you've said. The egg whites should be beaten to soft peaks only, and it's best to use something like a large rubber spatula for folding, and be very gentle. Don't worry if the mixture isn't completely homogenous.

I assume the recipe called for semi-sweet chocolate; if it called for dark (ie, lower fat content) that might cause the problem as well. Somewhere I have a recipe for flourless chocolate cake (not exactly a choc souffle, but in the ballpark) that is very simple, but once i tried to make it with milk chocolate because that's what I had. Didn't rise at all; the higher fat of the chocolate prevented that. I'll dig that recipe out; it's not hard and will make everyone think you're a dessert genius.

adam / February 29, 2008 8:51 AM

Ah, I see now that the recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate, not semisweet. The Ghirardelli version of the former is 60% cocoa, whereas I would think the semisweet is a lower cocoa product (ie, more fat). I bet that's the problem.

For recipes like this, it would be best if the recipe-maker called for the chocoalte by cocoa content, not name, as that would ensure you got the proper type.

Try it again, and for good measure, try this one too:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/database/foolproofcheesesouff_65612.shtml

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
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Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
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