Friday, February 20, 2009

Going, going gone: passion fruit soufflé

I had a sudden urge to try something I’ve never baked before: a soufflé! I don’t know where the urge came from – it might have been Daniel Boulud’s great-sounding passion fruit soufflé recipe – or perhaps it was the fact that the wonderful Italian store in Chelsea market sells fruit purees that I have been looking for an excuse to try. In any event – I undertook what seemed like an ambitious task to bake a soufflé but it turned out to be rather easy. I had a perfectly tall soufflé out of the oven and then the real challenge – getting a photograph I liked before it was completely deflated. I had thought I might have 5 minutes or more to complete the task but I only had a few minutes – and the walk from my oven to the studio consumed at least one of those. Flicking through the images on my computer was almost like watching a flip book movie of soufflé deflation: going, going, going gone! The funny thing is that the very same week I tried this and posted the results to my flickr food photography group, two others also made soufflés and we had fun comparing results and sharing tips for how to get a good photography. Certainly, baking the soufflés in rounds so I had a number of fresh ones to work with was helpful. I am sure that there are many other tricks to employ. The soufflé discussions also lead me to an article that Helen of Tartelette wrote on soufflés for Desserts Magazine (click here and then see the article that begins on p. 104). Look how gorgeous and tantalizing her photos are! Wouldn't you like to know her mom’s recipe for cheese soufflé?
Passion fruit souffle with caramelized pear-passion sauce (by Daniel Boulud of Daniel)
(makes 4 servings

For the sauce:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup passion fruit purée

For the soufflé:
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup passion fruit purée
3/4 cup egg whites (about 4 large), at room temperature
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

To make the sauce:
1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, stirring after each addition, until it melts. Continue to cook until the sugar syrup turns a light golden brown.

2. Add the pear and continue to cook, while stirring, until the pears are tender and nicely caramelized, about 10 minutes. Stir in the passion fruit purée and heat for a minute or two. Remove from the heat and keep warm while preparing the soufflés.

3. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Generously butter the inside and rims of four 6-ounce soufflé dishes. Dust the insides and rims with sugar, making certain that they are thoroughly coated. Tap out the excess sugar and put the dishes on a baking sheet.

4. Whisk together the egg yolks and passion fruit purée in a large bowl until well blended; set aside.

5. Put the egg whites in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-low speed just until foamy. Increase the speed to medium-high and gradually add the sugar, beating until the whites form glossy medium-stiff peaks. Using a large rubber spatula and a light touch, fold the meringue into the yolk mixture in three additions until well incorporated but not overmixed.

6. Fit a pastry bag with a large plain round tip and fill with the soufflé mixture. Pipe (or if you prefer spoon) the mixture into the dishes up to their rims. Run your thumb along the outside edge of the dishes to remove any excess butter and sugar. Bake the soufflés for 15 to 20 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. If you touch the tops of the soufflés, they should be firm with centers that are still a bit jiggly.

7. Meanwhile, transfer the sauce to a warm sauceboat; keep warm.

8. When the soufflés are done, carefully pull the baking sheet from the oven. Dust the tops of the soufflés with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately with the pear-passion sauce.

Originally appeared in: Daniel's Dish: Entertaining at Home with a Four Star Chef, Daniel Boulud, Filipacchi Publishing, 2003


Ash said...

Love this!! You're pics are amazing!
...just stumbled across you're blog!! Great stuff!

Anonymous said...

Now you have encouraged me to do what I've wanted to do also...make souffle. You always have the most beautiful pictures and are a inspiration.

Shari said...

Your souffle looks amazing! I bet it was tough to photograph, but you did it!

Helene said...

The day I'll shoot pictures as beautiful as you do :)
Thank you for the link Sabra. I hope you get to try again soon because your results are beautiful. After the mad 2 day souffle marathon I did for the article, I think I am done for a long time!!!

Anonymous said...

You still managed to get quite a beautiful photograph! I've never even managed to get one decent photo of a souffle, but then I've only ever made two souffles sofar... They just seem to daunting to me...:)

Laura said...

Oh Buon Italia is the most wonderful store! And what a great idea with regards to what to do with fruit purees. I love that baking dish by the way...gorgeous.

Netts Nook said...

I went to school in Hawaii love passion fruit can't wait to try thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

that's beautiful! hope you're on to savory souffle next?
I think I recognize the sifter!

Anonymous said...

This looks fabulous! Such beautiful photos!!

I love passion fruit, and this sounds simply wonderful. Thank you for sharing! I look forward to trying it.


~ Paula

Anonymous said...

How beautiful.
Looks delicious. What a perfectly light souffle, amazing for a first time. You make light and fluffy souffles sound easily achievable, a must try!

Unknown said...

love both: souffle (though can't it hehehe) and the photos!! WOW!

Anonymous said...

Passion fruit...reminds me of my childhood.

Anonymous said...

Now there's an idea - have just been gifted one of those digi-cameras and now I know how to put it to use. That aside passion fruit souffle sounds great to me -thanks for sharing the recipe.

Sabra said...

Thanks for all the comments - glad this intrigues you. Tartelette - I don't know how you did souffles for two days - that was quite a feat!
Glad you like passion fruit too (and the Italian store in Chelsea market : ) )
Let me know if any of you try these.

Heidi Leon Monges said...

I know without even try it yet, that this recipe is a winner! Just thinking souffle, it's soft consistency combined with the sweet and sour flavor of the passion fruit, it matches so perfectly!

Yvonne said...

what beautiful pics and a great site. i also share a love of food and am learning food photography. Have you posted any information on the topic? i think you've done a wonderful job styling your food- it honestly makes me want to try the recipe even more!

all the best.
editor, my halal kitchen

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