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Posts tagged ‘eggs’

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

Eggnog- The Quintessential Holiday Beverage

Eggnog

Eggnog

Creamy, sweet, delicious eggnog, I love it and it’s been a part of my holiday repertoire for as long as I can remember. I make it with and without alcohol. I also use a cooked custard because there are children drinking this and don’t want to take any chances with raw egg. The recipe I started out with is Martha Stewarts from quite a few years ago. She did not cook the eggs. The recipe calls for separating the yolks from the whites, using the yolks in the base and whipping the egg whites with some sugar and folding it into the base. It’s frothy and creamy and sweet and really delicious. I have changed it over the years and no longer fold egg whites into my custard, I’ll save those for something else like angel food cake. After cooling the custard before serving I add a pint of vanilla ice cream or Haagen Daz makes an egg nog ice cream which is delicious. This is not a diet drink and it’s loaded with cream and sugar and is very rich. The final presentation is with lightly sweetened whipped cream on  top and a generous grating of nutmeg. I usually make a very large batch using a dozen eggs, divide and add the alcohol to half and leave the other virgin. I like to use rum and cognac or brandy and in the non alcoholic version I add pure rum flavoring which I make myself by simply boiling some rum for 15 minutes to remove almost all of the alcohol. The recipe below makes a quart of egg nog base, add or deduct you really don’t need a recipe.

Makes 1 quart eggnog base

2 cups whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup sugar

6-8 egg yolks (I use 8)

2 tsp vanilla extract

Place egg yolks and sugar in mixing bowl and either whisk or use electric mixer to combine the yolks and sugar until thick and pale yellow. Place milk and cream on stove and heat until scalding (not boiling) add half the hot milk/cream to egg yolks whisking constantly. Pour back into pan with the remaining milk, cook on medium heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. You are making a custard, check frequently when the custard starts to thicken by dipping the spoon in the custard, swipe a line on the back of the spoon and if it stays intact the custard is done. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and transfer to a heat proof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, it should sit directly on the custard and refrigerate at least 4 hours preferably overnight.

custard is done

custard is done

Making the eggnog

1 quart egg nog base

1 pint vanilla or eggnog ice cream (optional)

1 cup heavy cream whipped

fresh nutmeg grated

rum extract to taste

To make boozy egg nog omit rum extract and add rum or I like to add rum and cognac or brandy. You decide how much,  I like to add 1/4 cup rum and 1/4 cup brandy.

Pour the eggnog base into serving container, whip the cream adding just a little sugar. Soften your ice cream and add in scoops to the eggnog, let it melt, it’s ok. Top with whipped cream and generous grating of nutmeg. If you don’t use ice cream divide the whipped cream and fold half into the eggnog base and top with the other half.

Christmas in a bottle

Christmas in a bottle

Baked Egg Casserole

I usually make this on the stovetop but adapted it to bake in the oven primarily because I entered this recipe in a Whole Foods Baked Breakfast contest. I actually like it better baked in the oven so from now on that’s exactly how I am going to make this. I must confess I try to have a healthy smoothie or shake for breakfast every morning but every now and then and I want something filling and warm and well, with runny eggs, cheese and bread.  This certainly satisfies me in every way and its quick and easy to make to boot. It consists of a baguette cut into cubes, cherry tomatoes roasted in the oven, eggs and a quick and easy no fuss cheese sauce.

  • 1 small baguette cut into cubes
  • 10-12 cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • olive oil to drizzle
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 large eggs (preferably organic and pastured)

Preheat oven to 450 Tear off 2 sheets of foil and lay on baking sheet, on one sheet place bread cubes and drizzle with olive oil, on the other sheet place tomatoes drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and bake for 6-8 minutes until bread is lightly browned and tomatoes are soft. Remove from oven. Mix the grated cheese and heavy cream together. Keep oven at 450 degrees. Butter a gratin pan and scatter the bread cubes in the pan so that they cover the bottom. Add the tomatoes next and distribute evenly with the bread, now carefully break the eggs on top nestling them into the bread and tomato, season the eggs with a little salt and pepper, now spoon the cheese and cream on top of the eggs making sure its evenly distributed. Place on baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minute until the egg whites are somewhat set, now turn on broiler and broil for 1- 2 minutes until the cheese is lightly browned, Note: Watch carefully oven temps vary and it make take a little less or more time depending on your oven and the size of the baking pan, I used individual gratin pans and it took 8 minutes to bake and a bit over 1 minute under the broiler.