Do you feel as though you learn something new every day? I often look for something new and try to pick up a new word, or try a new thing at work, or a new idea through my cooking. Joining a few blogging events groups has helped me learn new things in the kitchen. Thinking back, I was really pleased to learn how to make different nut butters, sweet potato falafel, and tiramisu through the Daring Cooks and Daring Bakers. And souffle is surely a challenging new thing, so I was thrilled when Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge!
As it turns out, souffle is not that hard to make. It does deflate quickly after baking, but getting it tall and fluffy in the first place was not too difficult. So the toughest part of this month's challenge was photographing it quickly!
Watercress and Chive Souffle
adapted from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen
1 T butter, plus more for greasing the ramekins
1/4 c (45 g) grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling in the ramekins
5 t plain flour
1/2 c (125 ml) milk
1/2 c (about 25 g) chopped watercress leaves
2 chives, finely chopped
salt and pepper
2 eggs, separated
1/2 t lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).
Use some butter to grease the ramekins thoroughly, including the rims. Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese inside and shake out any excess. Place the ramekins in the fridge until you are ready to use them.
Melt the 1 T butter in a small saucepan. Add the flour and whisk until combined and cook for about 1 minute. Add the milk gradually, whisking to make a smooth sauce. Allow to cook for a minute until the sauce is thickened.
Remove from the heat and add the 1/4 c Parmesan cheese, watercress, chives, salt, and pepper.
Fill another saucepan with water and bring just to a simmer. Place the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl and place over the saucepan. Whisk constantly, not allowing the water below to boil so the egg yolks don't cook. Heat for 4-6 minutes until the yolks are lighter in colour and creamy.
Remove from the heat and add to the watercress mixture.
Put the egg whites in clean bowl with the lemon juice and peak until glossy, stiff peaks form.
Add to the watercress mixture in three stages, folding gently to combine without losing too much air.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared ramekins and place on a baking tray.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or up to 40 minutes if you are using (a) larger ramekin(s). The souffle should be golden and puffed up.