What a funny – funny as in weird – Sunday! In reality, it all began yesterday, when the weather – after almost two weeks of consecutive sunshine – changed. I have never been meteorosensitive, well, before we moved to Munich that is, so I was curious, if the so much complained about “Föhn” (a local weather phenomena, that causes many headaches and other pains) would hit me, too.
Now after 5 years of living in this beautiful place, I have to admit to this one major drawback. Thank goodness it doesn’t happen very often, but for someone like me, who usually has a headache less than once a year, it is really odd. In the evening I finally surrendered and took a pill. Bad idea. Totally overlooked the fact that they also contained a good deal of caffeine: the headache was gone – so was my sleepiness. I tried hot chocolate at 1 AM, no success. Tried reading a book at 2 AM (I usually fall asleep when reading in bed after the second page…), to no avail. Watched an adorable sleepless Bill Murray in one of my all-time favs – “Lost in Translation” – at 3 AM. A little comfort I found in seeing light at our neighbors (across the street) at finally 5 AM when I was ready to try again falling asleep…
I guess it’s Murphy’s Law that after such a night, you find your door bell ringing its guts out at 9 AM? There was no way I was going to jump out and answer that, O. didn’t even hear the bell, so I simply buried my face in my pillow and ignored it. After was seemed obscenely long, the ringing stopped – ahhh, silence… – just to start afresh! It was a tough battle between a sleepy creature hiding under a pillow and a persistent whoever! I factored in the probability that it could be something serious, so I… made O. get up and answer :) It was our friend Kristin, wanting to drop of a bag of rolls and still warm croissants! Instant reparation, I’d say.
After the croissants I felt brave enough to lay my hands on this month’s IMBB “Soufflés”, hosted by Kitchen Chick. With a deadline set for today, there was no time for any fallback plans in the event they didn’t turn out… I thought about a savory and – of course – a sweet variation. The idea for the sweet one came from a new book “Zimt – Das duftende Juwel aus Tausend und einer Nacht” (Cinnamon…) by Wolfgang Hübner and Michael Wissing. I followed the recipe pretty closely, just added vanilla seeds, more cinnamon and served it with my favorite vanilla sauce and sautéed, caramelized plums. The result was pretty and yummy, I’d say this could be labeled the fool-proof soufflé recipe, it is that simple and really prepared in no time at all.
(With the leftovers I made some mini soufflés. They look a little askew, but tasted just as good)
Did I deserve such a perfect result with my first soufflé attempt? No, probably not. That’s why my second attempt drove me up the pole (and I probably deserved it, too): Firstly, I got a little too self-convident about my cooking skills. I looked up different recipes for savory soufflés and built my own out of them. That’s probably OK for your morning granola or lunch vegetable soup, but soufflés play in a different league, I guess. I was up for a variation with mashed potatoes, truffle or garlic oil and parmesan. I started panicking when in the midst of weighing the ingredients the digital scales battery died. Oh great, now what I thought!? And saw my savory entry going downhill fast. After a few clueless minutes, I remembered, that our body scales had the same battery (size-wise) and I was able to continue…
The outcome was delicious – taste wise, but far from being picture perfect. It had a pretty big crack at the top and I decided to serve it on a bed of sautéed yellow boletuses with oregano. Perhaps the consistency of the potatoes itself is to heavy to rise that much, I don’t know. As I still had Blue Vitelotte leftovers, I also tried some violet soufflé – unfortunately, it tasted bland and looked strange, nope, can’t recommend!
Sweet Cinnamon Soufflé
Thoroughly coat the sides of the ramekins with the molten butter, then with the sugar.
Briefly bring the milk and the vanilla bean (+scraped out seeds) with the butter to a boil, remove from heat, let infuse for five minutes (then remove vanilla pod) and add the flour, cinnamon and the salt. Stir well.
Put the mix back on the stove at medium heat and continue to stir the mass until it begins to detach from the brim. Again remove from stove, add the egg and beat thoroughly. Move the mix to the bowl and add the egg yolks, each by each.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the sugar (and a pinch of salt) until stiff and add one third into the soufflé mass using a whisk. Now fold in the other two-thirds very carefully, the mixture should become very fluffy.
Preheat oven to 225°C (430°F). Pour the soufflé mass into the ramekins (leave about 1 cm = 2/3 of an inch) and place immediately in a deep pan and fill the pan with boiling water about two-thirds high. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve immediately – you only have a few minutes before the soufflé collapses. And even if it does, it will still taste great!
Note: Optionally serve with vanilla sauce and/or sauteéd plums.
Savory Potato Parmesan Soufflé
Boil potatoes in a large pan of water for about 20 minutes (or until done), then drain, peel and mash (while still warm) to a smooth consistency. Add to a large bowl, then stir in the milk, oil, cream, butter, egg yolks, salt, pepper and the Grana Padano (which I used).
Coat the sides of the ramekins with the butter, then with the breadcrumbs.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff, then fold them into the potato mix carefully. Pour the mixture into the ramekins and place immediately in a deep roasting tin (or pan) and fill the tin with boiling water (about two-thirds) high.
Put the tin or pan in the oven and bake for 25 minutes [edit: bake at 200°C (390°F)] and do not disturb soufflé while baking. Soufflé will be browned when done. Serve immediately.
Sweet Cinnamon Soufflé
Recipe source: Adaptation from Zimt (Wolfgang Hübner and Michael Wissing), p.34
Required time: prep. 15 min., baking 20 min., serves: 6
125 ml milk
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 vanilla bean (scraped)
pinch of salt
3 egg yolk
4 egg white
pinch of salt
extra butter and sugar for the ramekins
Savory Potato Soufflé
Recipe source: Own creation
Required time: prep. 20 min., baking 25 min., serves: 6
350g potatoes (cooked and mashed)
a decent pinch of salt
1 tbsp truffel or garlic infused olive oil
50g butter (molten)
80ml heavy cream
25g Grana Padano, grated (parmesan cheese)
2 egg yolk
3 egg white
season lightly with pepper
extra butter for the ramekins