Tuesday, February 24, 2009

111. Chocolate Souffle (p. 840)

The seeds of this Project were sown a year ago when I decided to make the Chocolate Souffle recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking for a homemade Valentine's Day dinner with my wife. So, I thought that it was only fitting that I should make this recipe from The Book for this year's Valentine's dinner.

Souffles always fill people with dread and fear. The recipe itself isn't very hard, though. All you do is melt some chocolate and then stir some egg yolks into it, then fold in some beaten, sweetened egg whites and bake. The hard part is dealing with the anxiety. Will it rise? Or even worse, will if fall? Resisting the urge to open the oven door for a peek takes a level of willpower that most of us don't possess. (Seriously, if you want to make 24 minutes feel like an eternity, put a souffle in the oven and try not to check to see if it's collapsed.)

Well, the good news is that my souffle didn't fall. That's probably because it wouldn't have had too far to go since it didn't rise all that much. I'm not quite sure what happened. Maybe I beat the egg whites too much? Not enough? As The Book says, "the trick is to know when to stop beating" the egg whites. No matter, it was still airy, rich and delicious. Maybe I'll just have to make this an annual tradition and keep at it until I get it right.

Date Cooked: February 14, 2009
Degree of Difficulty: Medium
Rating: B+

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