Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Daring Cooks: Soufflé

Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose Soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge! Dave and Linda provided many of their own delicious recipes plus a sinfully decadent chocolate soufflé recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe found at the BBC Good Food website. You can find the recipes we were given here.

The last daring baker's challenge was doughnuts, which did not actually involve baking. This daring cooks challenge was soufflé, which most definitely does. I'm not sure why I find this amusing, but I do.

One of my friends and I made two varieties of soufflé for this challenge. The first was an adaptation of the watercress soufflé found in the above link and the second was the chocolate soufflé.

Now, we did not actually manage to find watercress, so we used spinach instead. We also used cheddar cheese instead of Parmesan and added some finely chopped onion. As is typical with me, we did not bother carefully measuring these out, but this picture should give you some idea of the ratio. The quantity of onion is half of a small onion.

Mixing spinach into the egg mixture turned it a lovely shade of green. Here we have the soufflés shortly after putting them in the oven and then again when they are almost done.

Here are the finished souffle's right after pulling them out of the oven. They both gorgeous and were absolutely fantastic. It is more work than I am likely to put in a meal often (especially since they do not keep particularly well), but definitely something to keep in mind if I am ever trying to make a "nice" meal for something.

Now the chocolate soufflés on the other hand... Folding the chocolate custardy mixture into into the egg whites made pretty swirls.

It did not hold up as well in the oven though. They started to rise and then a couple of them decided that they should clearly be volcanoes. We were glad they were on a cookie sheet.

The ones that didn't explode ended up pretty enough, but I did not find them as impressive visually as the spinach variety. Furthermore, while they were certainly tasty, I do not think they were any more impressive than many of the other chocolate desserts I make. I might try an interesting variation sometime, but I don't really see myself making basic chocolate soufflés in the future. Brownies are a whole lot less work and at least as tasty.

PS. Taking pictures through the oven door is interesting. Some of my attempts clearly came out better than others. Perhaps I should experiment with this.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tastes like fall :-)

Fall must be here, because I have been being enticed by winter squash, apples and sweet potatoes instead of zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes. Poking around the internet looking for inspiration on what to do with the current set of produce, I have come across a large number of recipes that call for maple syrup and thyme. This is not a combination I would have thought to put together, but it turns out to be quite good.


1 buttercup squash (acorn or butternut would probably work just as well)
2 apples (I used fuji)
1 large sweet onion
~1 lb chicken
2 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp dry thyme
pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 400. Dice squash, apples, onion and chicken and mix together in a 9x13 pan. Melt the butter and mix with the maple syrup, thyme and salt. Drizzle the syrup mixture over the vegetables and chicken, and toss to coat. Bake covered for 45 min, uncover, stir and bake for another 15 or so (until the chicken is cooked and the squash is soft.) I ate it with couscous, though it would also go well with cornbread or biscuits.