Recipe Number Ninety Six: Page 368.
Standing in a hot kitchen with the oven banging out heat is not the best place to be on a glorious day; it was only a few days before that I'd pulled out my winter wardrobe! Fortunately it didn't appear that I would need to be in the hot kitchen for long. The recipe looked surprisingly quick to make.
I have to admit, I was worried about making a soufflé. I have heard how temperamental they can be! However, after reading Mary's introduction to the recipe, I didn't feel sure that this was a soufflé as I know it. Mary mentions that she often makes it ahead of time and reheats it. This didn't sound very soufflé like to me. The one thing I know about them is that you have to eat them immediately as they rapidly collapse in a heap!
To make the soufflé I required two lemons so, after a long walk in the sunshine, I popped into our local shop. There had just been a delivery of fresh stock so the shop was even more crammed than usual. Large boxes littered the tiny aisles! I couldn't get the pushchair anywhere close to where I needed to be. One of the assistants actually threw me the lemons as I couldn't get to them!
First of all I beat a relatively small amount of butter with a lot of sugar. Once smooth, I could beat in several egg yolks. I was pleased that on this occasion I would be making use of the egg whites; they would be needed later. I added a little flour, grated lemon zest and also the juice. No waste in this recipe! I used the tip of warming the lemons first. Apparently this helps get more of the juice out. I popped them into the microwave for about 15 seconds. I overdid it a bit as one lemon was so hot that I dropped it! However, it is a good tip as I managed to squeeze almost every last drop out! I also needed to add a lot of milk; this made the mixture very runny. Neil said it looked like wallpaper paste - how rude! Mary says not to worry if the mixture looks curdled. Apparently this is perfectly normal, how reassuring! The last task was to whisk the egg whites until they reached the soft peak stage. I then folded the whites into the lemony runny paste! I scooped the mixture into the greased ovenproof dish before placing the dish into a large roasting tin. The most tricky part of this bake was filling the roasting tin with boiling water and then getting the whole thing into the oven without sloshing too much hot water over my bare feet – ouchy! Mary says it should take around an hour in the oven. I didn't feel it was necessary to check it until 40 minutes of cooking time had passed. I couldn't see very well through the oven door, so couldn't tell how golden the top was. However, I could smell burning. That can never be a good sign! I felt I had no choice but to open the oven door and pray the soufflé wouldn't collapse. I was horrified to see that the top of the soufflé was a very dark brown; it was well past the golden stage, sob!
I carefully took the roasting tin along with the singed pudding out of the oven and spooned out some of the soufflé, my camera poised ready for action. I have to admit I thought it looked rather unappealing. It certainly didn't look appetising! With some hesitation we had a taste. To our amazement we found the pudding to be rather delicious. Surprisingly the top didn't taste burnt at all! It was like eating a hot mousse. The flavour was wonderfully lemony and light. I liked the fact that this recipe was not full of fat; I didn't feel it immediately add another inch to my thighs - unlike most of the other recipes!! I was just surprised by the fact it is called a soufflé pudding; it didn't really rise and thus never collapsed. I can quite understand why Mary can make it ahead of time. It is more like a self saucing pudding. What ever you consider it to be, it was lovely nevertheless. Just a shame I burnt it!
|Don't judge on looks alone!!! ;-)|