Friday, October 1, 2004

SHF:ISTBE # 1: White Chocolate - White Chocolate Soufflées

The natural progression of the IMBB?-events for those among us with a sweet tooth had to come - Sugar High Fridays! I mean, how could we not? Cleverly thought by Jennifer, who also judged that white chocolate had to be our starting off point.

I'm a big fan of these events. It makes me look at my cookbooks - and food and cooking in general - with all new eyes, simply because I have something in mind, an ingredient or a subject, to which I have to succumb. I don't think that's a bad idea - it is somewhat of a restriction, but not necessarily one that's bad. It's a challenge, and boy, do I like a challenge, especially when it's in the kitchen!

The one thing that troubles me about IMBB/SHF/WWWBW and the likes is the demand on being creative - which I guess is not actually true, 'cause noone demands you to go out of your way to satisfy them - you only have to satisfy yourself. But I, for one, would really like what I come up with to be groundbreakingly fresh, new and innovative - or, at least, something that noone else has thought of!

But, alas - I'm not Adrian Ferran (El Bulli -and try reading this! Fantastic blog about Louisa's adventure there) I'm a homey, comfy person, and still very dependent on my cookbooks. I like to eat stuff that I can actually tell what was from the beginning - well, at least when I'm in my own home. I'd love to try the restaurant though... But I realized, that cooking - and eating for that matter - is about what you want, what you feel like, your desires! And, to some extent, what's in your cookbooks or your head!

So all the images of creative/starstruck/WILD stuff was pushed aside, and then ideas started rolling in: Blondies. White chocolate rum custard - to go with a cake of course. Cookies. White chocolate mousse. Bavaroise. And I settled for this one because - 1) I've never done a souffle, hence it fit the "challenge"-bit nicely. 2) They sound nice! 3) It's getting colder here - wind, rain, ugh! - I need something from the oven! And so I present:

White Chocolate Soufflées - from Morten Heiberg: Dessertcirkus
Makes 6-8

225 g. white chocolate, finely chopped (I used Valrhona, but any nice brand will do of course)
100 g. unsalted butter
100 g. egg yolk (about 5)
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons almond flour
3½ tablespoon flour
160 g. egg whites (about 5)
Optional - Zest of 1 organic orange
Cold butter and sugar for greasing the ramekins
Blackberry compote for serving

Grease the ramekins and coat them with sugar.

In a bain marie or the microwave, melt the white chocolate with the butter, taking care not to scorch it. Take of the heat. Stir in the egg yolks - at this point it will look like everything has split and will never amalgamate - it will, just keep stirring gently until a shiny concoction reveals itself.
In a different bowl - maybe in your Kitchen Aid if your lucky enough to possess one of these wonderful creatures! - whip the egg whites with the confectioners' sugar till stiff. Gently fold the egg whites in with the chocolate, together with the flour, almond flour and zest, if using. Fill the ramekins till about 1 cm. from the edge. At this point you can choose to either freeze the soufflées for 18 hours (or more, I guess?) or bake them straight away - I chose the latter!

My brave little soldiers...

Can you stand the HEAT!?

- oh yes we can....

So you've proved yourselves...

And we shall eat you!

Not bad, not bad at all! In fact, my stepmom declared it to be one of the nicest desserts she's ever had - she'd not into stuff that's too sweet, but this fit her rightly. The white chocolate taste wasn't smack-in-your-face, just nice and subtle, and it worked really well with the blackberry compote. I also really liked the fact that the recipe wasn't too intimidating, considering it was soufflées.

YAY! Great first SHF:ISTBE event! What did YOU do?? and what's up next? ;o)


Anonymous said...

Zarah, can I say "yum"? I have been putting of attempting a souffle for so long now and seeing yours makes me want to run home and make one for dessert tonight. Alas I have too many of my own white chocolate desserts to eat tonight so perhaps this weekend. Your white chocolate souffles look perfect and utterly scrumptious!

Thank you so much for joining in on Sugar High Fridays and as well for sharing this great recipe!


{m} said...

oh boy, you guys are too much! Sugar-high Fridays! those soufflees look very yummy! maybe I will surprise the family with some this weekend :)

Emily said...

those look awesome, zarah! :) not only are they souffles.. but WHITE CHOCOLATE souffles! you had quite the little army of souffles! it must've been a shame to have to eat all of them.. :)

Cathy said...

These look wonderful! I've never tried a soufflé and had no idea you could freeze them before cooking. How great that you can pull one out of the freezer, bake it off and have your very own fresh pooffy soufflé! said...

Hi, how long do you cook the white chocolate souffles for and at what temperature? They look so delicious. Thanks

Zarah Maria said...

Oh dear, Laurel, I'm so sorry I missed that one! If they've been frozen then it's 20 minutes at 200 degress Celsius (400 Fahrenheit, I believe) if they haven't been frozen, it's just 15 minutes. Good luck with them!

Anonymous said...

I think that you will find, that if you kept a pan in the oven with enough water to come about 1/2 - 2/3 of the way up the side of the ramekins, that your soufflés will get quite a lot more lift. The eggs act like a balloon in soufflés, until they get cooked enough on the outside to coagulate and lose their elasticity. By preventing the outside from cooking too fast you want to moderate their heat in the waterbath.