Speculating the Soufflé


The idea of a soufflé has always led to thoughts of fluffy delicateness and richness, both in flavour and the bank balances of those indulging.  The reality is that in 26 years I’ve never actually had the opportunity to see if the actual dish at all resembled my romanticised expectations.  That is until now.

How embarrassing, as someone who enjoys a bit of time in the kitchen, I probably should have thought through the idea of blogging about a dish that not only had I never made (all part of the adventure), but something that I had never eaten (not so smart). All this being said Tuesday saw my first attempt at making a soufflé – a Lemon Soufflé.

My review for this particular concoction is, as mentioned, somewhat hindered with nothing to compare my creation to.  Here goes anyways.

My imagining of a soufflé as rich yet light and fluffy turned out to be contrary to the chemistry of the ingredients. Yes, I realised that upon perusing the recipe I should have seen the error of my imagination.  Instead of some sponge cake light consistency which I imagined, I got a meringue like product.  Even upon putting this meringue looking mixture into the oven I still maintained illusions of a more cake like final product.  I did say this was embarrassing!

Well enough about my imagination and my sheer determination that a soufflé should not be the product of the ingredients, but instead that of my imagination.  The final product would have been light and meringue like, however the lemon flavour was weak giving the entire dish a sort of nothingness.  Though beautifully risen and browned on top, ultimately the flavour was a disappointment.  My guess is that this is not due to the recipe (Donna Hay has never led me this far astray before), but instead more likely that the lemons themselves were not particularly strong flavour wise.

If you’re game – give this recipe a go.  I would love to hear your soufflé feedback!

Lemon Soufflé

  • Butter (softened for greasing)
  • Caster (superfine) Sugar for dusting
  • 100ml (3 1/2 fl oz) Lemon Juice
  • 2/3 C Caster (superfine) Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Water
  • 1 Tbsp Cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 2 tsp Water (extra)
  • 5 Egg Whites
  • 1/3 C Caster (superfine) Sugar (extra)
  • Lightly grease 4 3/4 cup capacity ceramic ramekins with butter and dust with sugar
  • Cut non-stick baking paper into strips and tie around the ramekins to make collars that stand 3cm (1 1/4 in) above the rim
  • Place ramekins well apart on a baking tray
  • Place the lemon juice, sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until sugar is dissolved
  • Increase the heat and bring to the boil
  • Combine the cornflour with the extra water and mix to a smooth paste
  • Add to the pan and cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously
  • Refrigerate the mixture until cold
  • Preheat the oven to 180C (350F)
  • Place the egg white in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until soft peaks form
  • add the extra sugar in a thin stream, beating until glossy
  • Place the lemon mixture in a large bowl and gently fold through the egg white mixture
  • spoon into the ramekins and bake for 12-15 minutes or until risen and golden
  • Gently remove the collars and serve immediately

Hope it all works better for you than it did for me!


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