December 12, 2009

Adventures in French Cooking

It was after we had enjoyed my first French cooking endeavor, Boeuf Bourguignon, that Mom declared she expected Chocolate Soufflé for Thanksgiving. She wasn't joking. Mom was so serious about it that she bought a soufflé dish and looked up soufflé recipes and taped an episode of Good Eats about soufflés(very helpful) that we watched together. She even ate a chocolate soufflé at a fancy-pants restaurant nearby so she would know what it was supposed to taste like. She called it research. Suuuure.

This was my first taste of chocolate soufflé but I am a big fan now. It was just so delicious.
We used Julia's recipe with one exception: I substituted hot cocoa for the strong coffee that it called for. We knew from this experience that the coffee flavor comes through too strongly for our discerning palettes.

We didn't get away without learning a couple of lessons. It was a first try after all. It wasn't perfect. We didn't have the right sized soufflé dish because we couldn't find one that was 2-2.5 quarts so we used a 1.5 quart dish which worked alright, but the dish was small enough that it needed extra time to cook in the middle while the outside got a touch too much heat. It made not a bit of difference to the taste. You can see a little of the black edges in this photo.

Isn't she beautiful?

That fancy-pants restaurant I mentioned earlier? We went there a few days later where I sampled the Grand Marnier Soufflé. OMG, Heaven! They serve their soufflés with warm sauce that gets poured over the top and into the center, chocolate for the chocolate and vanilla for the Grand Marnier. I will be doing that next time because Mom already declared that Soufflé is now a family tradition for the holidays. :)


bermudaonion said...

I've never had souffle either but I understand they're not easy to make. I'm so impressed with your success on your first try!

Petunia said...

It wasn't too hard, just several steps and an hour prep time. Julia doesn't do fast food. :)

Beth F said...

I love souffle! And this sounds yummy. If your souffle falls, just serve it in small dishes with whipped cream and call it something else (it will still taste great).

Thanks for linking up this week.

dolcebellezza said...

You are really getting me in the mood to cook from Julia's book! Yesterday I was invited to a Christmas lunch where we were served her boeuf bourginon (everyone made me say it a thousand times, because I can ;) with all of it's thirty steps. It was truly worthy! Now, I see you post on this...I'm starving! What a great success you had!

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

That looks like a great first time try. So pretty with the flower sprinkled over it. Your mom is too funny, but she got what she wanted.

Heather said...

oops, I bought a soufle dish when I got married and in the following 22 years not yet used it. Guess I really should. good idea.

Ti said...

Your souffle looks wonderful!! It's all light and puffy. Just as it should be. YUM!

Meg said...

I'm totally salivating just reading your descriptions... but the photo! My goodness! I'm in love :) haha. Great job!

Petunia said...

Aw, shucks.

Beth, that Good Eats show explained why a souffle might fall so we could avoid it.

Dolce, it is worth it. We loved it.

Nicole, that's powdered sugar on top, which got kinda clumped. I need to work on my presentation.

Heather, I'd be glad to take it off your hands and put it to good use. ;)

Ti, I didn't get a picture of the inside that was so airy and steamy. Next time.

Meg, as usual, the picture doesn't do it justice.

Zibilee said...

Oh my! This looks heavenly! I have never tried a souffle, but I'm sure I would just love it, and it looks like yours turned out perfectly. Kudos to you on your success!