Sometimes it’s easy to figure out what to cook or bake with a given ingredient. Either it’s totally typical of a certain food, or you have your own particular way that you always like to eat it. Basil? That just screams pesto. Potatoes? I loooove them mashed. (French fries don't count for potatoes. They are a food group all their own.)
Eggs? Oh, well, sheesh I could just hard boil a half dozen, peel them open and burn fingers because I have no patience to let them cool, and then just eat them with soy sauce and sesame seeds. Or I could actually restrain myself for five minutes and make hard boiled eggs into an egg salad. Or go for a simple breakfast of two eggs over, sunny, scrambled side up. Or make an omelet. Or get all fancy schmancy and make eggs Benedict. Or a frittata. Or make a quiche. Or...or...or...I found myself with option overload when Seattle Bon Vivant announced eggs as the theme for this month’s Is My Blog Burning? no. 16.
So I made it easy on myself by limiting myself to dessert. Almost all desserts have eggs, but the point of Is My Blog Burning is to showcase a certain theme, not just hint at it. So, since no dessert showcases the art and science of eggs the way a soufflé does, it's Espresso Mocha Soufflé with a Shot of Chocolate Creme Anglaise.
Yes, yes, I think soufflés might become a bit of an addiction soon. What can I say? Sometimes it only takes that first one :)
A soufflé is a soufflé because it relies on the science of stiffly beaten egg whites for its characteristic light, airy puff. The Espresso Mocha Soufflé is made with a basic chocolate souffle base, with less emphasis on the chocolate and the addition of instant espresso powder to the milk (or cream). I don’t know why I thought the souffle batter would be deep dark brown like a cup of espresso, but it wasn’t. It was this sort of pallid, weak, wimpy beige (who uses the word “beige” anymore?!). I was a little disappointed as I slid the filled ramekins into the oven. Oh well. I *sigh*ed, but only after I had safely shut the oven door.
But I forgot my disappointment with something so superficial when I peeked in on them (I know! No peeking!) because the soufflés had deeper, er rather, higher, issues – they had risen to astonishing heights. Does that sound a little like I’m tooting my own soufflé horn? I’m not. They were so high I thought they were going to fall over in the oven and be the ruin of my Sunday afternoon. Thank goodness they didn’t, but for a moment there, they had me by the apron strings.
Soufflés by themselves are awesome – light and airy, sweet. These espresso mocha soufflés had tops and edges that are ever so slightly sticky crisp. Um, okay, so I just halfway admitted that I gobbled one up straight out of the oven. *burn*ed the roof of my mouth, but damn if it didn’t hurt so good.
So though they are good as is, most dessert soufflés I’ve seen are made great, served with an accessory. The top is split steaming open and then either a scoop of ice cream is dropped inside the hot soufflé or a dessert sauce like crème anglaise is drizzled in. Here’s a little secret – it’s the same thing! When ice cream melts, it’s crème anglaise! So I made a chocolate crème anglaise to pour in – made with cream, sugar, chocolate, and very fitting for IMBB, lots of eggs! If I actually hadn’t eaten an entire pint of Haagen Dazs chocolate ice cream out of my freezer (what can I say, it’s been one of those weeks) I could have used that, too.
Thanks, Viv, for hosting this month’s IMBB, and giving me a reason to make another set of soufflés! Can’t wait for the next one...