Sunday, August 28, 2011
Two recent indulgences: raspberry souffles (for no reason or special occasion) and the New Yorker Fiction podcast. Wow, that last sentence came out sounding way more, umm . . . pretentious than I meant it to. Really, I'm not a snob. But I am a bit of a nerd. I can explain. Let's start with the podcast. I don't have as much time to read as I'd like to now that I have kids and when I do get a chance to run, I need to be distracted or I'll stop. The New Yorker Fiction podcast is fun because famous writers read something that was written by one of their favorite writers. It's usually about 20-30 minutes - perfect for a run (or a sit or a drive). I'll put a link below to a favorite that I recently re-listened to. It's hilarious and you can just listen to it on the internet without having to download / use an ipod.
The souffles . . . around my birthday, a friend and I took a cooking class at Chez Cherie. Remember Cherie? A class I took there originally inspired me to start this blog. Well, the class we took this past year was on souffles and since then, I've made souffles exactly twice. I remember her saying that you barely need any ingredients or time to pull together these raspberry ones and for once we got the girls to bed early, the dishes done and sort of wanted some dessert. So, I literally whipped these up :) Try them - they're not that hard and they're even gf.
My one tip for beating egg whites is to use the whisk attachment of the hand blender if you have one. I did this for the souffles and also for the flourless chocolate cupcakes I recently posted and it's super fast and easy to control how stiff or dry your egg whites get.
Here's the link for the podcast and it's especially for you, my friends who love language (Mom, Margaret, Lee, Karen, Lisa - too many to name, but you know who you are!)
And, Cherie Twohy's recipe for Raspberry Souffles (2 servings)
*Used by permission
2 egg whites
2 T good quality raspberry jam
1 T water
2 tsp Chambord or other raspberry liquer (optional - left it out this time)
1 T sugar (plus more for preparing the ramekins)
softened butter and sugar for preparing the ramekins
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare two individual souffle dishes by buttering them well and shaking some sugar around the inside to coat the sides. In a small saute pan, heat the raspberry jam with the water until the jam melts and most of the water evaporates, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Add the Chambord (the mixture will thicken a bit more as it cools).
When the raspberry mixture is cooled sufficiently, whisk the egg whites, adding sugar, a teaspoonful of or so at a time, until the whites are glossy and hold nearly stiff peaks. Add about 1/3 of the whites to the base mixture, stirring to lighten the texture. Add another 1/3, folding more carefully, turning the bowl as you scoop and turn the mixture from the bottom of the bowl. When these whites are combined, add the final 1/3 of the whites, folding very gently to preserve their lightness. A streak or two of white is preferable to overmixing at this point, as the whites will deflate if they are stirred with great vigor.
Gently pour the souffle batter into the prepared dishes, and place in the preheated oven. Bake 12-15 minutes, until the souffles are puffed and glorious. As a result of the higher sugar content, these souffles will brown significantly on top as they cook.