An interesting challenge. One of us, just doesn't want anything to do with Soufflé, whether it be sweet, savory or something in between. It's certainly a texture thing in the mouth, but also the appearance doesn't help - all wiggly and squiggly and floppy. We said we'd be Daring and at least give everything ago. So we did.
As this is typed up on November 15 we've only had one attempt and the jury is still out as to whether we get to the second. If we do, it will be done this week, and we'll update this post.
We've mumbled about getting a stand mixer for awhile. This challenge got us to pull that trigger. Thank you for getting this valuable piece of kitchen equipment into our kitchen. Thank you for the lower balance in our Checking Account. Thank you for adding to our already too big 'stack' of kitchen equipment we don't really have a home for.
The Instructions are straightforward enough. The Chocolate Custard comes together easily enough with a spoon, a bowl and a small dash of elbow grease. The step where you add in the cocoa looks for a bit like you've done something wrong, but patience and the aforementioned elbow grease sorts that out. Adding in the ganache makes a very rich looking (and hard to keep your fingers out of) custard that we believe looked exactly as it should.
It's a good thing we caved on getting the Stand Mixer, because we definitely would not have been in possession of enough elbow grease to get the egg whites where they need to be. With our machine doing the mixing, no dramas there and we believe (but wouldn't fight to the death over) that we stopped at the right time.
Joining the Custard and Egg Whites may have proved to be our weakest step. Really not sure (and still not) when folding becomes too much volume losing activity. We erred on the side of not enough.
Getting everything into the dishes (easy process to grease) and then into the oven was easy enough. We left the kitchen and put our trust in the timer to minimize any inclination to peek. We didn't.
Looking through the window at the behest of our timer we definitely had rising, but not of the even straight up sides that you would expect to see in a restaurant - but certainly nothing to cry about.
Knowing we probably would only do this once we opted to take the chance and add it into a scheduled fancy dinner. If you discount that part about one of us barely being able to look at the inside, it worked out quite well.
Not quite the rising we hoped for. Perhaps a little undercooked in the middle (knowing that nothing much good can come of returning them to the oven, even before a bite or 3 had been enjoyed we elected to ignore this part), but the sides, top and bottom all had the texture we'd hope to find. Definitely chocolaty and rich to taste. Definitely light and fluffyish in the parts we think were cooked correctly.
Our decision to err on the not quite enough folding step, meant that there were a few good 'chunks' of lonely whites hanging around. Not the end of the world, but obviously not quite technically right.
Next time, the only thing we'd change would be to opt for slightly smaller dishes in the hope that it cooks through and not spoil the good bits that we saw this time.
Recipes & Destructions Instructions
There's nothing complicated in the method, but it clearly takes a practiced eye (and hand) to interpret the correct amount of 'doneness' at various stages (egg white beating; flavor folding in; cooking) of preparation. An eye it's probably not a bad thing to have tucked away, but without we're only a small step away from tears and nothing to eat.
It's hard to say if / when we'll try again, but one friend has already indicated that they'd be willing to let us try again on them.