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Valentines Day – Part 2 – The Basics: Dessert, A Vanilla Souffle

Deflated a bit

Deflated a bit

I hit the publish button by accident this was supposed to be published on Friday but here it is today.  The posts will now be out of order, sorry!!

The Souffle, it can strike fear in the heart of almost every cook (including me) truth be told I have never made a souffle. I have eaten my fair share and really love them but have never actually made one. This is Julia’s base Vanilla Souffle recipe that I varied slightly, she does give several different variations and I took creative license and added what I wanted. The variation is minor, instead of vanilla extract I used vanilla paste that has the beans in it and I added cognac. Served with chocolate salted caramel ice cream. Well, they did not turn out as I hoped they would, the rise was not sufficient, they tasted great though. This was my first attempt at a souffle and I did it with a bit of a handicap, I whisked with my injured hand and I probably did not whisk well enough. Also note if you make individual souffle’s reduce baking time to 12 – 15 minutes. They deflated pretty quickly and I was not able to get photo’s fast enough, although the rise was a bit higher it still was not as I imagined a souffle to be. I also did not use a collar because I could not attach because of my hand. 

Vanilla Bean Cognac Souffle

Makes a 6 cup souffle or 3 individual 8 oz and one 4 oz souffle’s

3 tbs flour

1/4 cup milk

1/3 cup + 2 tbs sugar

4 egg yolks

2 tbs butter softened (optional)

5 egg whites

2 tsp vanilla paste

3 tbs cognac or brandy

Note: The original recipe calls for 1 tbs of vanilla extract.

Preparing the souffle dish: Choose a straight sided baking dish or a charolotte mold. Smear a light coating of soft butter over the inside of the dish, covering bottom and sides. Dust with granulated sugar covering the bottom and sides, shake out excess.

The collar: If you are using a collar cut a length of parchment paper or aluminum foil long enough to wrap around the dish with a 2 inch overlap. Fold in half lengthwise and butter one side. Wrap the collar around the dish buttered side in. Secure in place with butchers twine or straight pins.

Prepare your souffle dish as directed. Slide the oven rack into the lower third of the oven and pre heat to 400 degree’s.

Whisk the flour and milk in a saucepan and add 1/3 cup sugar, whisk until well blended and lump free. Bring to a boil and slowly boil whisking constantly for 30 seconds. This is now a bouillie.  Remove from heat, let cool for a moment, then, one by one beat in the egg yolks and the optional butter.

Whip the egg whites to soft peaks sprinkle in the 2 tbs of sugar and beat until stiff shiny peaks form. Whisk the vanilla and cognac into the sauce base then whisk in a quarter of the whites to lighten it. Delicately fold in the remaining whites and turn the mixture into the prepared dish or dishes, filling all the way to the top of the dish. Using the tip of a paring  knife or even a scrupulously clean fingernail run the knife or finger along the side around the circumference of the dish, not all the way down the sides just around the top, this will create the slight well around the souffle. NOTE: I forgot to do this and this could possibly be a reason why my souffle did not rise as well as it should have.

Set in oven and immediately reduce heat to 375 degree’s and bake until the souffle has begun to puff and brown  – about 20 minutes for a large souffle and 12-15 minutes for individual. Rapidly slide out rack and dust with confectioners sugar. Continue baking until it has puffed high into the collar. Tips for when your souffle is done. If it has a collar, rapidly release it just a bit to check – if the puff sags re-fasten the collar and bake a few more minutes. When a skewer is plunged down in the side of the puff and comes out with a few particles clinging, the souffle will be deliciously creamy inside but will not hold up long. If the skewer comes out clean, it will hold up a little longer. The souffle should rise about 3 inches above the rim.

Serve immediately.

With ice cream

With ice cream

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82 Comments Post a comment
  1. I love your posts – such refreshing honesty! I’d love to make this but probably would goof a bit – vanilla is my absolute favorite flavor. Hope that your hand is finally getting better – yikes!

    February 12, 2014
    • LOL, well I debated pitching it and starting over but thought, not everything always turns out perfectly. So here it is in all of its imperfection and then I publish 2 days early. I’m on a roll. Thanks so much Liz!

      February 12, 2014
  2. Oh mercy. You can’t possibly eat this well all the time! That looks amazing, Suzanne!

    February 12, 2014
    • Oh geez, no. I see what you make and think the same thing but I do think that you really do eat that good every day. Thanks so much.

      February 12, 2014
      • Yes that is the thing about food blogging – you tend to be surrounded by good food all the time. Or so it appears. I actually eat a surprising amount of salads in between. Try to anyways.

        February 12, 2014
      • Salads are good and I never would have thought you to be a big salad eater. Good for you, I need to eat more salads.

        February 12, 2014
  3. Great recipe- love going back to the basics and soufflé is always hard to get right- but your’s look perfect. Love it served with the ice-cream, very delicious! :)

    February 12, 2014
    • Thanks Jessica, thats very kind of you. Although not perfect it tasted great. Happy Valentines Day!

      February 12, 2014
  4. shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com #

    Souffles are something I struggle with – but mine have deflated way way more than yours – yours looks awesome Suzanne!
    I am sorry to hear your finger is still bothering you – hoping for pain free healing soon

    February 12, 2014
    • Since it’s my first I guess it’s not too bad. My first attempt at Macaron’s was way worse. Thanks so much for the kind words.

      February 12, 2014
  5. We were so lucky that you hit the publish button! I also fear soufflé making, though I have done savoury ones. I´m saving this recipe and will give it a try this weekend, the touch of cognac makes it so tempting.

    February 12, 2014
    • I would be so interested to hear how yours turns out. Thank you, the cognac and vanilla was wonderful.

      February 12, 2014
  6. Thanks for the tutorial!

    February 12, 2014
  7. talkavino #

    Beautiful! Looks very tasty. Can’t wait for the entree : )

    February 12, 2014
  8. Thank you, I did a wine pairing with the entree, you will have to tell me what you think of my pairing.

    February 12, 2014
  9. What a fabulous- looking soufflé and I love the idea of serving it with icecream. I bet it was sooo delicious. Anyway, looks pretty impressive to me, injured finger or no injured finger…. How is it by the way?

    February 12, 2014
    • Thank you so much, it didn’t rise enough but tasted nice. The ice cream is wonderful with it!!
      Well, the finger is bad, seeing a specialist next week Friday. It is still dislocated, won’t heal, is very painful. I guess you can just say it’s a hot mess.

      February 12, 2014
      • I’m sorry to hear that.:-( I hope that the specialist is able to give you reassuring news. Sometimes surgery is the answer.

        February 12, 2014
  10. I think I have made a souffle twice in my life but it’s so long ago that I cannot remember how they turned out! Well done your mini versions look good even though you say they are not well risen. ;)

    February 12, 2014
    • Thank you, no they are not risen properly but now that I have done it once I will definitely try again and hopefully will get it right next time. Thanks so much.

      February 12, 2014
  11. Looks fantastic! I would love to try the soufflé someday soon….thanks for sharing and Happy Valentine’s to you!

    February 12, 2014
    • They are not as laborious as I thought they would be so I will definitely try again. Thanks and Happy Valentines Day!

      February 12, 2014
  12. I can never manage a souffle! Yours look pretty great!

    February 12, 2014
    • Thank you, I am hoping souffle’s are not like my biscuits, I can never get it quite right. Gonna try again sometime soon.

      February 12, 2014
  13. A great tutorial, soufflés are such an elegant dessert :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    February 12, 2014
    • Thanks Uru, these are definitely something I want to master, they are elegant and light.

      February 12, 2014
  14. I think this looks great! I would never know you did it with an injured hand. Can you believe I’ve never made a souffle? Not at home, not in culinary school, never! I need to correct this soon, I think. I have a million ramekins for it…

    February 12, 2014
    • You’re right I can’t believe you have never made a souffle. Same here, years of cooking and not one souffle. It’s not so difficult really, a little finicky but I imagine if it turns out well there is a real sense of accomplishment given they are known to be difficult. I am sure yours will be amazing. Thank you!

      February 12, 2014
  15. hcwsblog #

    The soufflé looks delicious. You are going to have a great Valentine’s dinner at your house.

    February 12, 2014
    • Thank you, the pugs and I will have a nice dinner by candlelight. LOL! Hope you have a nice Valentines Day.

      February 12, 2014
  16. Suzanne, this looks perfect to me…injured hand and all! I think it looks beautiful. You know I have never eaten souffle or made one…I’d be a bit intimidated too. You managed to make it look easy though :)

    February 12, 2014
    • Thanks Brandi between trying to work around my hand injury and caring for the pugs a souffle was probably not the best dessert I could have undertaken, It did taste really good though.

      February 12, 2014
  17. Oh how beautiful! It looks delicious!

    February 12, 2014
  18. Oh, they look fabulous Suzanne! Can’t say I’ve been game enough to make soufflés before either, but you’ve certainly inspired me to give it a go sometime soon!
    I’ve worried about hitting the ‘Publish’ button too early as well – it’s bound to happen to us all at some stage! :) Can’t wait to see what’s on the menu for mains tomorrow!

    February 12, 2014
    • I am usually pretty careful but my finger had a mind of it’s own this morning, oh well, as a child I always wanted to have dessert before my meal. A souffle is something I always wanted to make, now I have made it but need to do it again and see if I can get it right. Thanks so much and Happy Valentines Day!

      February 12, 2014
  19. Happy Early Heart Day Lady! Nothing says I love you more (and dont touch mine) than individual desserts! Yum!

    February 12, 2014
    • LOL, me too love individual desserts are the best! Thanks Pamela.

      February 12, 2014
  20. Liz #

    I am upgrading my Like to a Love! Am nuts about souffles and nuts about vanilla. You totally have me here :-) And there’s something especially lovely about serving dessert first! (well, second, but you know what I’m trying to do ;-) )

    February 12, 2014
    • Thank you, me too I love vanilla. I always swore when I grew up I was going to have dessert for dinner.

      February 12, 2014
  21. They not only look great I’d happily tuck into one (or two!) of those. I’ve never made any type of soufflé before. But I do remember being horribly disappointed with my Kentish cherry batter. In that it rose beautifully in the oven, then sank! But that’s how they are. I think!
    Sorry to read about your finger (in comments). Hoping it all goes well with the specialist.

    February 12, 2014
    • Oh, forgot to add. Really like the look of the new format.

      February 12, 2014
    • I remember the Kentish Cherry and thought it looked nice, I do think it is similar to a souffle, easily deflates but does taste really good, thanks Johnny.

      February 12, 2014
  22. I heard soufflé is difficult to get right, Yours are beautiful, and I guess I have to religiously follow your instruction. Yummy beautiful!

    February 13, 2014
    • I think if you follow the instructions carefully it will turn out just fine. Thanks Fae.

      February 13, 2014
  23. Wow, can you save me for me, please!
    I love soufflé, but I haven’t make one before, maybe it’s worry me I’ll make it wrong.
    I think I need a second thought from you. :)

    February 13, 2014
    • I felt the same way Mochi, sometimes I hold myself back because of fear of failure, My souffle is not perfect but I feel good about making it and will definitely do it again, Thanks so much.

      February 13, 2014
  24. Mmm love the soufflé !

    February 13, 2014
  25. First of all — there is NOTHING wrong with having dessert out of order. :-) In fact, I kinda like this. Soup, dessert, and then main course.

    The souffle looks wonderful! Still something that I am building up courage to make in the future.
    Jessica

    February 13, 2014
    • I threw caution to the wind and gave it a shot, I wish it had turned out better but it’s not too bad all things considered. Thanks so much Jessica.

      February 13, 2014
  26. You made these with an injured hand? Well, then, it’s a 10, maybe more! Soufflés can never come too early. And I find them to be perfectly delicious even when they don’t rise as they should. How do I know that? My soufflés always fail miserably. Yours are 10 times better. Maybe more! :-)

    February 13, 2014
    • You are so kind, thank you so much. When/if I can use my hand again fully I am going to make these again and see if it was a result of not being able to whisk properly. You are right though even without a proper rise they still tasted great. Thank you so much.

      February 13, 2014
  27. How many times have I almost clicked the publish button instead of the update…whew! Good timing though, this is wonderful and allows us to get the ingredients we need to prepare for tomorrow’s dessert! :) Oh and nice work getting the photo quickly…I remember my dutchbaby! post and my those do fall pretty quickly. I had my camera at the ready for that post. The things we for blogging. Ha! Happy V Day Suzanne! Looks wonderful with the ice cream.

    February 13, 2014
    • I couldn’t stop my finger, I knew it while doing it and it just happened. I got the photo as quickly as I could, there was a slight deflation but the one with the ice cream is hopelessly deflated. Thank you, and a very happy valentines day to you and yours.

      February 14, 2014
      • Thank you, the souffle is such a wonderful, light and elegant dessert It’s a bit finicky but not too difficult.

        February 14, 2014
  28. Good for you making such a beautiful soufflé with your handicap!! It looks and sounds incredibly delicious, Suzanne! I’m sure your next one will be perfect, and just the way you’d hoped! Hope your hand is better soon! It’s been a long time!

    February 13, 2014
    • Thanks Christina, it was really delicious even though it was not what I hoped it would look like.

      February 14, 2014
  29. what a stunning creation. Have never attempted a dessert this decadent but you make it look so easy :)

    February 14, 2014
    • Thank you so much, it’s not that hard just have to get the technique down.

      February 15, 2014
  30. we have never made a souffle ourselves and are definitely bookmarking this recipe!

    February 14, 2014
  31. Amazing. What a perfect souffle, Suzanne. Cannot believe that you whipped this up with your injured hand, such an achievement! Hope that it heals soon though, I’ve been thinking of you. I’ve never made a souffle. Points off as a food blogger, methinks! I might have to try your recipe with the extra tutorial notes, thanks for the thorough instructions! x

    February 15, 2014
    • LOL, I know I felt I had to try making the souffle. Thanks, I know your souffle will be a rousing success! Thanks so much Laura.

      February 15, 2014
  32. I’ve pushed that publish button by mistake a few times as well. So frustrating! But once the cat is out of the bag, it’s out of the bag. Souffle is something that totally strikes fear in my heart as you said – and not sure I can ever rise to the occasion – but I’d like to give it a try with your recipe and tutorials as well.

    ps Love these series!

    February 15, 2014
    • Oh yes you should try it, I think every cook should at least give it a go once just to say you made one. Thanks Azita!

      February 15, 2014
  33. I’ve never attempted a soufflé. It seems so daunting but beautiful

    February 15, 2014
    • It’s not really that bad, I thought it would be more difficult, mine is not perfect but I think I know what to do different next time. Thanks Melissa.

      February 15, 2014
  34. I cannot believe you have your posts ready two days in advance. All by itself that is fantastic. An entirely new concept for me! And the souffles look wonderful. I’ve never made a sweet souffle – only a savoury and it’s been years since I did that. I’m really enjoying your basic -or rather – classic cooking posts.

    February 16, 2014
    • When I think of something I think I would like to post I add as a draft even if just one line or a title and build on it. Thank you so much, I am so glad that you are enjoying the classics.

      February 16, 2014
  35. Wow Suzanne! You’re encouraging me to step up to some real cooking! This looks so fun to serve. thanks.

    February 17, 2014
    • You really cook all the time I am inspired by what you make. Thank you so much!

      February 17, 2014
  36. Jo @ The Contented Baker #

    These look wonderful Suzanne!! And I know that they tasted fabulous!! There really is something special about soufflés – super!

    February 17, 2014
  37. I’ve never attempted a souffle, and will have to return to this when I get the nerve to do so. Yours look beautiful! What a treat. You have a wonderful way of presenting classic recipes in an approachable and enticing way that I really enjoy. I hope your finger is getting better, Suzanne! Best, -Laura

    March 9, 2014
    • Thanks Laura, they tasted nice but did not rise properly so I look at them as a bit of a failure. It’s ok though, I tried and it was my first attempt. The second time I am going to do chocolate and learn from my mistakes.

      March 9, 2014
      • I would gladly devour any and all of your “failures.” Seriously, these look wonderful – they look like they rose just fine to me. But I look forward to seeing your chocolate ones too!

        March 9, 2014
      • You are so kind, thank you. Properly done they should have risen about 3 inches or more from the rim of the mine were maybe an inch. I should have used my stand mixer, didn’t and I think thats the reason I didn’t get a good rise.

        March 9, 2014
  38. Ooooh, Suzanne: I love your re-designed blog and I absolutely adore vanilla souffle! Yum!

    March 19, 2014
    • Thanks much Stefano, I love the pug logo Azita made for me and the new theme is really nice, still working on it but I like it much better. A big yes to Vanilla souffle, or any flavor for that matter love a souffle.

      March 20, 2014
  39. Wow, perfect! :) I’m always scared of making soufflés but thinking of trying it soon enough!

    July 24, 2014
    • Well my souffle was not perfect but it tasted good, it did not rise like it should have. Thank you so much.

      July 24, 2014

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