Monday, August 13, 2007

Inaugurating Souffle Tuesday -- part the first

It was, after all, a five- (maybe six-) inch souffle dish, certainly an adequate portion for two. But the next time I'm in Paris I'm going back to Le Recamier and have a caramel souffle ALL TO MYSELF.
Le Recamier is a delightful little restaurant in the 6th arrondisement, just across the street from the Hotel Lutetia. Souffles are their specialty, which meant that the waiter didn't arch an eyebrow or curl a lip when we ordered savory spinach souffles for a first course and then followed our veal shanks entrees with the aforementioned caramel souffle. Caramel au fleur du sel, to be precise.

Since it may be quite a while before I return to Le Recamier I've decided to explore souffle-making with a tad more intensity than my usual pace of one-souffle-every-other-month and will report back here on my successes and failures each Tuesday.
Tonight I made a very simple dessert souffle ( flavored with honey and lemon zest) to see if two tips I'd learned recently would make any noticeable difference in my quest for souffle success.
First, in rereading an old New York Times article, I found this from Amanda Hesser: "With sweet souffles it is helpful to add a little powdered sugar at the beginning (about a tablespoon for every four egg whites). This helps the whites form tight bonds and for the finished souffles to rise evenly in tall, firm cylinders."
Second, I decided to ignore the usual cookbook advice to fill souffle dishes only to within an inch or so of their tops. A visit to the kitchen at Le Recamier had revealed cooks heaping the souffle dishes to the rims -- even, in some cases, mounding the batter into pyramid-like peaks above the dishes' centers.

I incorporated both suggestions into tonight's individual souffles. Results in the next post--because Computer Guru is still frolicking in Maine, far from any internet service, and I still can't figure out how to incorporate multiple photos in a single post.


Casey said...

And I still can't get rid of that Read More--even though there is no more More there.
But, I did figure out how to wrap the text around the main photo. Baby steps.

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Christine said...

Sounds good, I'll have to add that restaurant onto my list!

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