Yield: 6 individual soufflés
“Back to Baking”, pp. 202
Oh my goodness. I don’t know what happened to the time but it has been almost a year that I posted a recipe on this blog. A whole year! That’s a bit absurd, especially since I love baking so much. I have actually been baking more than the previous year since my husband has been eating sugar again and it’s always more fun to bake for more than just myself, but I’ve just been making my favorite recipes that are delicious and that I love, such as the old school blueberry muffins, chocolate peanut pretzel squares, carrot cake and chocolate-dipped orange madeleines.
I had been thinking for a while to do a soufflé. Not sure why, but I just felt like it for many weeks and finally got around to making a caramel soufflé. I had tried doing soufflés twice only in my life, the last of which was the Bailey’s chocolate soufflés 8 years ago. Suffice it to say that both times were unsuccessful. They didn’t much rise and were not very airy or light. I was thus a bit nervous to attempt this recipe, but it seems that I learned a lot in 8 years, and probably gained confidence in my baking skills too, because they turned out great!
- 3 tablespoons water
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 7 egg whites
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
I followed the recipe as is and this time used the proper soufflé baking dishes that are big enough to contain the batter and allow for a good rise, and to my great surprise it was a successful attempt. Third time’s the charm as they say. It was very difficult to resist opening the oven to sneak a peak at my soufflés, but I did quickly turn on the oven light to take a look near the 10-minute mark and they had risen so much! It looked like that had risen by an inch. I was very excited. When I took them out they were still looking perfectly cute and so I quickly served them before they deflated. Indeed, it did not take much time for them to start slowly deflating with the cooler room temperature air. Even with the brief time it took me to snap a picture or two, they were deflating during the process.
What matters is that this soufflé pairs very well with a chocolate sauce, as per Anna’s recommendation. This caramel soufflé tastes and feels as I imagine a soufflé should taste like: airy and light, with a subtle caramel flavour. It’s so airy it feels healthy. I think that should be the soufflé’s motto. The caramel aroma was lovely while eating this dessert. I finally successfully made a soufflé, that’s a personal feat for sure. Perhaps next I will try the raspberry soufflé.
- Pour the water, ⅓ cup of the sugar and the lemon juice into a small saucepot and bring to a boil. Boil uncovered, without stirring and occasionally brushing the sides of the pot with water, until the mixture is amber in colour, about 4 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and carefully whisk in the whipping cream. Watch out for hot steam! Stir until smooth. If needed, you can return the pot to a low heat to melt completely. Cool the caramel to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly butter six 1-cup soufflé or other 1-cup baking dishes and sprinkle the inside with sugar, tapping out any excess. Place the cups on a baking tray.
- Whisk the egg yolks, cornstarch and vanilla together, then whisk this into the room temperature caramel.
- In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed until they are foamy, then slowly pour the remaining ⅓ cup of sugar into the egg whites while whipping. Continue to whip them until they hold a medium peak when the beaters are lifted.
- Pour the yolks into the whipped whites and gently stir in until incorporated. Spoon the soufflé batter into the prepared cups and immediately bake for 9 to 10 minutes, until the soufflés double in volume and the tops are an even, rich brown. Serve immediately. After failing to do soufflés twice before, I scoured the internet for tips leading to success and came across a few tips for the last final part:
- Fill up the soufflé baking dish to the top, and use a knife to even out the top and remove excess, like you would when measuring flour.
- Tap down the the baking dish once or twice to even out the batter.
- Use your thumb to go around the edge of the dish to make an indent on the top of the batter. This should help the soufflé rise nicely.
Notes from Anna:
- Soufflés are mostly about timing. They are light as air and look gorgeous coming out of the oven, but within 10 minutes they can wilt and melt into themselves. Plan to serve them when you have time to bake them right before.
Hi Valerie! I’m so glad you’re still baking from the book…it doesn’t matter how much time passes in between recipes. Your soufflé looks stunning – check that off of your skills-to-master list. Wishing you well – Anna O.
Hi Anna! Thank you for your kind comment, it motivates me to keep going! 🙂 What matters is to keep enjoying it and that I always do. Wishing you the same.
Do you have any good recipes for a caramel soufflé?
Hi Sarah! Right above your comment is a nice recipe for a caramel soufflé. The recipe is from Anna Olson. Please let me know if you have any questions!