- Date: Tuesday, March 3, 2009 -- 8pm
- Location: Bloomington, IN
- Kitchen: My Apartment
- Fellow Chef: Matty
- Dining Companion: Mike M, Lars, Teresa, and Andrew
- Recipe Rating: C
I was looking for a reasonably quick dessert to make with dinner a few weeks back, and chose this one. My special gentleman actually did most of the work on this recipe. We started by making the souffle base: cooking together milk, cornstarch, instant coffee, and sugar on the stovetop. Then we added vanilla and cooled. My special gentleman beat egg whites with cream of tartar and salt, then added sugar, beating until they held stiff peaks. These egg whites were carefully folded into the souffle base and then we put the souffle mixture in oiled and sugared ramekins and baked them until puffed. We then dusted them with powdered sugar and served them with a chocolate sauce we made by melted together bittersweet chocolate, water, vanilla, and cinnamon. This dessert was very disappointing. Where to start? Well the souffles were beautiful and rose very nicely, but the flavor was not good. They were borderline bland -- apparently the ratio of base to whites was not high enough. And the flavor that was there... well... was the flavor of instant coffee. I love coffee as much as the next girl, but instant coffee granules are not known to be especially delicious. Most cooking with coffee recipes call for instant espresso, which isn't ideal, but does taste better than instant coffee. Here, though, it specifically noted to used instant coffee and not instant espresso. So the souffle had a mild, but bad, flavor. The chocolate sauce would have helped matters but it seized. So instead of a nice, smooth sauce we had a clumpy mess on our hands. Now, this was partly our fault as we let it get too hot. But it was also a bit of The Book's fault as one thing that is very likely to make chocolate seize is water. So a recipe that calls for melting chocolate in water is just asking for trouble. I love eating dessert (love it!) and I actually left three fourths of my souffle untouched. It wasn't good.
The recipe in The Book (minus the chocolate sauce) is very similar to this recipe.
After traveling for several weeks I am having a difficult time getting back into the swing of things. I was away for 2 weeks (a week in Boston followed by a week in North Carolina) and I flew back Saturday night. I was in town on Sunday, and part of Monday. After I taught my class Monday morning I left town again, returning late Tuesday night so I could teach my class Wednesday morning. I have spent the rest of the week completely disoriented about what day it is. I have been playing catch-up on everything in my life (for instance, my blogging pace has been pretty pathetic the last couple weeks!) so I haven't had any time to cook. In fact, I haven't had any time to go to the grocery store since I got back from being away for several weeks. So I have been eating either Cream of Wheat or Kraft macaroni and cheese for every meal. Not exactly ideal... (although I do love both of those things!). My goal for the weekend is to get back into the swing of things. Go to the grocery store. Get caught up at work. Run. Cook. I will probably have everything back on track just in time for me to leave town again next weekend! I knew the second half of this semester was going to be hectic, and indeed it has been. We only have four more weeks left in the term though, and then my schedule will be more flexible (although maybe no less busy!).