Monday, March 15, 2010

Soufflé Day

After a weekend of snot, tears, sleep deprivation, rain and more rain, I had been feeling like a woman on the verge. Nothing like everyone in your family being sick to make you realise the power of adrenaline. So, I did what any reasonable wife and mother would do in my situation: I attempted to make a soufflé.

I think that one should never say that they are 'going' to make a soufflé, as this may tempt the soufflé gods to make your soufflé thick and rubbery. They look for any excuse, so best not to give them one. Say you are going to 'attempt' one, and you will avert the evil eye. It was a cheese soufflé from Julia Child's cook book (of course), which I modified to add mustard seed. My first instinct was to double the recipe, because the soufflé dish I have is giant, and a good soufflé is all popped over the edge and messy and ridiculous. It is a dish of excess, chaotic beauty. I didn't double it, as it was my first soufflé, and I didn't really want to be left with a mess of inedible egg and cheese. But as in all baking, one should trust their first instinct. It rose, but not over the edge. My carefully crafted aluminum foil collar went unused. Still, it tasted fantastic. For those of you who haven't had a soufflé before, I would describe it as a mixture between angel food cake and an omlette. Properly made, it is moist, airy and a perfect brunch served with blackened pudding (or sausages) and broiled tomato halves.

I encourage everyone to try and make a soufflé. If I can do it, you can too. It seems the souffle is going the way of the Dodo. As soon as Mike tried it, he remembered that his grandmother used to serve something similar. You'll be filled with a sense of accomplishment, as well as personal history. I can almost guarantee your female ancestors once hovered next to their ovens, nervously watching this miracle of expansion.

I think I'll try a chocolate one next.

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