Who was up for tackling souffle this week? Leave your links here!
This week we’re amping up the flavor on a souffle with salted caramel. Get out your whisks, posting date is August 14!
- 1½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar, plus more for the soufflé dish
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- ½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons fleur de sel
- 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
- 5 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
- ¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Unsweetened whipped cream (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C) and position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 2-quart (2-L) soufflé dish. Dust the soufflé dish with sugar (so that it adheres to the butter) and knock out the excess.
- In a large saucepan with high sides, combine 1 cup (200 g) sugar, ¼ cup (60 ml) water, and the corn syrup. Stir the mixture gently so you don’t splash any of it up the sides of the pan. Turn the heat to medium-high and continue stirring until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to high, stop stirring, clip on a candy thermometer (making sure the bulb is immersed in the sugar but not touching the pan), and allow the mixture to boil. Once it begins to turn a rich, dark caramel color and the thermometer reads 345°F (175°C), 5 to 8 minutes (don’t worry if it takes longer, the actual time is reliant on so many factors), remove it from the heat; do not overcook. Gently and slowly stream in the heavy cream (it will bubble up, so be careful). Stir in the fleur de sel. Return the mixture to medium-low heat; don’t worry if the caramel mixture begins to harden—it will easily melt again as it reheats. Add the milk and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low. Leave the mixture on the heat while you prep the egg yolks.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and ¼ cup (50 g) sugar. Sprinkle the mixture with the flour, then the cornstarch, and whisk until completely combined. Pour one-third of the caramel mixture into the egg mixture, whisking the egg mixture constantly. Slowly stream in the rest of the caramel while whisking constantly until combined. Set the bowl aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or using a whisk and bowl and a ready arm), whisk the egg whites on high speed for 1 minute. Sprinkle the cream of tartar and salt over the whites and continue whisking on high speed until the egg whites form soft peaks. Slowly stream in the remaining ¼ cup (50 g) sugar, and continue beating until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold one-quarter of the stiff egg-white mixture into the caramel mixture until almost combined. The caramel mixture will begin to lighten. Fold another quarter of the egg-white mixture into the caramel mixture until nearly combined. Finally, add the remaining egg-white mixture to the caramel mixture and fold gently until completely combined.
- Transfer the soufflé batter to the prepared dish. For an even rise, run your thumb around the inside edge of the dish to wipe away any stray batter. Place the soufflé in the oven, and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C). Avoid opening the oven door during the recommended baking time. Bake until the soufflé is puffy and dry to the touch, and the center is just about set but slightly jiggly (that is, slightly jiggly, not crazy ripply), 22 to 30 minutes.
- Transfer the hot soufflé dish to a serving platter and serve immediately as is or with unsweetened whipped cream, if you like.
One rogue baker and lots of finger licking this week!
Leave ’em here, did you like this sweet & salty treat?
We’re going to be continuing with cakes for a while. Last time, a sheet cake; this week it’s a pound cake with a twist! Will you gild the lily, or leave it as a plain pound cake?
Posting date is April 26!
- 1 cup (130 g) all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup (90 g) cake flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 ounces (170 grams) unsalted high-fat/European-style (cultured) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
- 1¼ cups (250 g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- ¾ cup (180 ml) heavy cream
- ½ cup (110 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
- ½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream
- 2½ ounces (5 tablespoons/70 g) high-fat/European-style (cultured) unsalted butter
- 1¾ teaspoons fleur de sel
- ¼ to ½ cup (30 to 55 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and position a rack in the center of the oven. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-5-inch (23-by-12-cm) loaf pan. Place a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up the two long sides of the pan and overhang slightly. (This will make it easy to remove the pound cake from the pan after it is baked.) Butter the parchment paper, dust with flour, and knock out the excess flour.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, and kosher salt.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat again for about 15 seconds to incorporate. Scrape down the sides and bottom and turn the mixer to medium-low. Add the eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl again and beat for 10 seconds.
- Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the cream, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, smooth the top with an offset spatula, and bake until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out with a few moist crumbs, 55 to 65 minutes. (If the top of your cake begins to darken too much before it is done in the middle, tent the pan with aluminum foil and continue baking.)
- Place the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Using a small knife or offset spatula, gently loosen the cake from the sides of the pan, pull up on the parchment paper to lift the cake out of the pan, and place it directly on the cooling rack.
- You can eat the cake the same day it’s baked, but ideally you will want to wait 12 to 24 hours, as it tastes better on the second day. Glaze the cake the same day you plan on serving it. (This cake is also delicious sans glaze.)
- In a medium saucepan over low heat, stir together the brown sugar, cream, and butter. When the butter is half melted, increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Whisking constantly, boil the mixture for 1½ minutes. Remove from the heat, whisk the mixture vigorously for 1 minute to release excess heat, and add ¾ teaspoon fleur de sel. Let cool for 5 minutes.
- Add ¼ cup (30 g) confectioners’ sugar and whisk until combined. Continue adding confectioners’ sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is pourable and slightly thick (it will thicken more as it cools); you may not use all of the confectioners’ sugar.
- Place the cake on a wire rack set over a half sheet pan covered in parchment (to catch the excess caramel and make cleanup easier). Use a bamboo skewer and poke several holes in the cake. Pour the warm caramel glaze over the cake to cover. If you are feeling generous, you can spoon any of the glaze that collected on the parchment below back over the cake one more time. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1 teaspoon fleur de sel. Cut off the very ends of the cake and discard. Slice and serve.
Even our resident banana haters bravely baked this week. And West Side Baker went rogue, although I think baking for a wedding has redefined what it means to go rogue!
We’re now on our last ten recipes in Elements! Leave your links for the tart here.
What did you all think?
Next up, a cool, creamy banana pudding. Posting date is July 20!
Banana Caramel Pudding with Meringue Topping
Yield: 8 servings
For the Caramel Base
1 1⁄2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
For the Banana Pudding
2 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks
4 cups half-and-half, divided
1⁄3 cup cornstarch
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
2 ounces (1⁄2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
5 or 6 bananas, not quite ripe, yet not green
30 vanilla wafer cookies (about 6 ounces), cut or crushed into large chunks
For the Meringue Topping
4 large egg whites
1⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1⁄2 cup sugar
Make the Caramel Base
In a large saucepan with high sides, combine the sugar and 1⁄3 cup of water. Stir the mixture gently so you don’t splash any of it up on the sides of the pan. Turn the heat to medium-high and continue stirring until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to high, stop stirring, and allow the mixture to boil. Once it begins to turn a rich caramel color, remove it from the heat and gently stream in the cream (it will bubble up, so add the cream slowly at first). Stir until combined. Set aside.
Make the Banana Pudding
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolks until pale and blended.
In another medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the half-and-half, the cornstarch, and the salt until the mixture is uniform and the cornstarch has dissolved. Whisk this mixture into the caramel base. Place the caramel mixture over medium-high heat and whisk in the remaining 3 cups of half-and-half. While whisking constantly but gently, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and boil (still whisking) for about 15 seconds. The mixture will thicken. Remove from the heat and continue whisking vigorously for about 15 seconds to release excess heat.
Pour one-third of the caramel mixture into the egg mixture, whisking the egg mixture constantly. Transfer the egg mixture into the saucepan with the caramel mixture and, whisking constantly, bring back to a boil. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the custard is very thick. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, then the vanilla bean paste.
Push the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a separate bowl and allow the custard to come to room temperature, about 1 hour. Stir the custard, cover the bowl, and place in the refrigerator for about 1 hour to chill. (The custard can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time and should be stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered.)
Assemble the pudding
Thirty minutes before the custard is entirely chilled, place eight 6-ounce ramekins or a large 11⁄2-quart soufflé or baking dish on a baking sheet and use one of the following methods for assembling the final dish, then return the pudding, uncovered, to the refrigerator to chill while you make the Meringue Topping.
Layer method: Spread a small amount of pudding on the bottom of each ramekin or of the large dish. Thinly slice the bananas and arrange in a single layer on top. Sprinkle one-third of the cookies on top of the bananas, then cover with one-third of the remaining pudding. Repeat twice more (bananas, cookies, pudding) so that your top layer is pudding.
No-layer method (a.k.a. lazy method): Thinly slice the bananas and sprinkle them over the chilled pudding. Sprinkle the cookies over the bananas. Using a wooden spoon, fold the bananas and cookies into the pudding until completely combined. Divide the mixture equally among the ramekins or pour into the large dish.
Make the Meringue Topping
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and sprinkle them with the cream of tartar. Beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks just begin to form, 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium, slowly stream in the sugar, and continue beating until the whites are glossy and stiff but not dry.
Pile the meringue high and with a little artistic flair directly onto the pudding. Be sure to spread it all the way to the edges.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the meringue turns golden brown. Place the sheet pan with the pudding on a wire rack to cool for 30 to 40 minutes.
Banana pudding tastes great slightly warm (though it will be very runny) and even better thoroughly chilled. It can be stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 3 days; note that the cookies will continue to soften as time goes on.
Excerpted from Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Copyright © 2012 by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Excerpted by permission of Stewart, Tabori & Chang, an imprint of Abrams. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.