I made my very first soufflé. For you, for Valentine’s Day.
And it’s filled with passion – fruit.
I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to make a soufflé. I have some vague childhood memories of eating cheese soufflés and them not being very nice. Then again, I ate nothing for two years except vegemite sandwiches so my judgement was possibly awry. But those memories and the soufflé’s reputation for being notoriously temperamental might be the reasons I have stayed away. After all, the soufflé come with more rules and regulations than the driving handbook:
- Don’t beat the eggs too little
- Don’t beat the eggs too much
- Don’t fold the egg whites too roughly
- Don’t open the door of the oven
- Don’t make loud noises or sudden movements
- Don’t look it directly in the eyes
What they don’t tell you is this. You can have a decent souffle cooked from scratch and on the table in less than 20 minutes. So let’s get started.
Butter and sugar coat your soufflé dish. When you butter your dish, brush the butter from the middle of the dish to the rim and then up the sides of the dish. This creates tiny channels that helps the soufflé to rise. Seriously this works.
When you are ready to start mix your egg yolk, half the sugar and the passionfruit juice in a bowl until light and creamy.
Then mix your egg white and sugar to soft peaks.
Then fold the yolk into the white. Gently does it here. A little streaky is fine. Then pour into your prepared soufflé dish.
Now, into a preheated oven for 12 minutes. So we’re not tempted to open that door and ruin our “ahem” hard work, let’s talk about romance. After all it is Valentine’s Day.
The last few Valentine’s Days I have given you some horror stories. Not so this year. This year we are talking about two very special romantic moments in my life.
Let’s start with my first ever boyfriend. We started going out when I was 15 and he was 16. There was a local park we used to frequent to get away from prying parental eyes and ears. So, one Sunday afternoon we rode our bikes down to said park and headed towards our favourite bench to have a kiss and a cuddle. We had not been there long when, from down the hill we heard some children screaming “Help, help, Angus has fallen in the lake”.
Well, he took off down that hill, and jumped in, fully clothed to save what we assumed was a drowning child. Turned out Angus was a labrador puppy who had been quite happy paddling around in the shallows and had not even noticed the distress of his young owners. Semi disaster averted and there was a little swoony dripping wet with tight tshirt moment. Made only more adorable by the squirming puppy in his arms!
Young love. My hero. And a puppy. Life did not get much better!
So move forward…..a few
decades years to the fussiest eater in the world. A few weeks ago we were walking the dogs by the lake and noticed that one of the ducks had become entangled in some fishing wire and was only able to move in a tiny circle. And cue the second Mr Darcy moment of my life.
Not only did he jump into the lake (it was only calf deep so no wet shirt here) but he unwound the fishing line from the duck’s leg then we noticed there was also some line knotted around it’s beak and neck. It was really knotted and tight he ended up having to bite through it! It was both amazing and kind of gross. That lake water is pretty dirty and I was expecting him to get sick from swallowing even a little bit of it. (He didn’t).
These moments may not have involved hearts and roses but for me were two of the most generous spirited and selfless acts I have seen. And that is true romance!
OK, our 12 minutes is up and the soufflé is out of the oven. Quickly dust with icing sugar, add a dollop of passionfruit pulp over the top and serve immediately. Your souffé will start to deflate from the time it comes out of the oven so speed is of the essence here.
Have a wonderful Valentine’s day! And don’t forget to spare a moment to moment to say thank you to the everyday heroes in your life, the people saving dogs and ducks and generally making the world a better place. If you have a spare 15 minutes why not make them a soufflé?
And then tell me when the love heart lollies of our childhood took a step into the digital age? Not only are they now using Twitter….
But also Tinder!
Swipe left on that!
- 1 egg, separated
- 21/2 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 can passionfruit in syrup, you will need 1 tbsp of syrup
- icing sugar to dust
- melted butter to grease the souffle dish
- 1 8cm souffle dish
- Preheat your oven to 180C.
- Butter the souffle dish, spreading the butter from the middle of the dish up the sides. Scatter a tablespoon of sugar into the dish tipping it all around the insides until it is entirely covered.
- Strain the passionfruit syrup into a dish, you will need a tablesppon of liquid. Reserve the seeds for later.
- Place the syrup with the egg yolk and half a tablespoon of sugar into a bowl and beat with an electric beater until light and creamy.
- In a separate bowl beat the egg white to soft peaks, then add the remaining sugar, a little at a time until the mixture is glossy and holding it's shape.
- Using a metal spoon, fold the whites into the yolks. A light touch is needed here, you want to keep as much air in the mixture as possible. It is better to have the mixture a bit streaky than to have it over mixed!
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish to just below the rim then run your thumb around the rim to totally clear it of any sugar, souffle mix etc that will prevent rising.
- Pop the dish onto a baking tray and bake for 12 minutes.
- Do not open the oven during this time.
- Remove from oven. They are done when a finger touched lightly on the top comes away clean but there is still a slight wobble in the middle.
- Quickly dust with icing sugar and add a dollop of the reserved passionfruit seeds and some additional syrup.
- Serve immediately.