Telling someone to photograph a souffle is like sending some doofus down to take pictures of the fairies at the bottom of your garden. Like impossible. It's harder than getting a picture of Big Foot taking a dump in the woods.
Just as you get the camera and the lighting just right... pffft the air starts to go out and things sink. I think Alan did a great job however in capturing these chocolate goat cheese souffles before they fell and before they cooled off. Because nobody but nobody wants a to eat a cold souffle.
Goat cheese and souffle may not be the first things that seem destined for each other in your personal Match Game, and I have to admit this was a new one to me. The first time I heard about goat cheese souffles was from David Lebovitz the go to guy on all matters sweet. Not being a big fan of too much overly sweet stuff after a hearty dinner, and a big lover of all things goaty, the idea of an earthy yet sweet souffle appealed to me mightily. I'd enjoyed goat milk ice cream in the past and figured that using goat cheese in a souffle would have to be something special, so I was determined to give it a try.
In my opinion big drawback about making souffles has always been the timing element. After cooking a big Indian company dinner, the last thing I want to do is go all McGiver on my dessert with some kind of crazy ticking clock. In the past, I've always lumped souffle making in with the whole, "We've got ten seconds and the whole place is gonna blow! Do we cut the green wire or the red wire?" Who needs that kind of pressure? After spending the day character-wrangling on a script, certainly not me. That's why the Lebovitz recipe looked so perfect. These souffles could be whipped up super fast, ten minutes in the oven and then onto the plate. Can't beat that.
Of course, after looking at the Lebovitz recipe, I couldn't leave well enough alone. I figured if a sweet goat cheese souffle was good, wouldn't a chocolate goat cheese souffle be even better? I had to find out. So I picked up some Cypress Grove Chevre, creamy and mild, and dipped into my stock of Valhrona Cocoa Powder (if you're making a dessert, you want the best ingredients you can get.) I was on a mission from God as the Blues Brothers used to say. Turns out it was easier than I thought it would be.
Chocolate Goat Cheese Souffles
Here's What You Need:
4 oz of goat cheese
4 eggs separated (They must be at room temperature. This is key in having the souffles rise properly)
3 Tbs of good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
6 Tbs of sugar
A pinch of salt
Butter and sugar to grease the ramekins
Here's What To Do:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Butter Four 4 oz ramekins and then lightly dust them inside with sugar. Set them aside.
In a large bowl, whip together the softened goat cheese and the egg yolks.
Add the cocoa.
When everything is nice and smooth and creamy, set it aside.
In another bowl, beat the eggs whites with the pinch of salt until they're stiff.
Add the sugar 1 Tbs at a time and beat it all in until the whites form mounds and hold their shape.
Gently fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture until it's just mixed together.
If you still see egg whites in the chocolate part, that's okay. You want to use a delicate hand here so these little suckers will rise to the occasion.
Pour the batter into the prepared ramekins.
Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet and slid them into the oven for about 15 minutes.
Bake them until they rise and the tops are a bit brown. The souffle underneath should still have a bit of wiggle.
Dust them with a bit of powdered sugar and serve them up. Serve them hot, in other words make them just before bringing them to the table.
So how were these chocolatey puffy little delights? Great. Yet they got me thinking. How would they have been with the addition of a bit of orange zest? Or maybe a bit of Grand Marnier? How would they be with the addition of some home made ricotta? Or chenna cheese? You get the idea. This is a template for experimentation. Chocolate goat cheese souffles are great but there's always the potential for gilding the lily. I'll be making these again soon, or let me put it this way. I've been requested (strongly) to make these again soon and I will be tarting them up even further. I'm going to turn these babies out till they're Vegas ready.
I know I should have had this posted for Valentines Day when it's the time for all things chocolate, but these little souffles are better than that. They're less guilt-inducing than most desserts, they're lighter, fresher and besides all that I was lazy. So there.
Coming up next, I'm in the mood for more experimentation. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori