Thursday, December 06, 2007

Breathless

Grapefruit Souffles

I love the drama that is the soufflé; one minute they're up there and the next minute you're back where you began.
But what is it about the melodrama that is the soufflé that keeps us going back for more? Like the momentary bliss you get from witnessing a shooting star, so is the transient beauty of the soufflé. Fleeting and short-lived just like the morning dew or a gust of wind, blink and you will almost miss it. And what is soufflé without its puff?

Nonetheless, I love the
soufflé for what it is; it's classic gastronomic theatre. And just like a great play will reel you in, I'm happy to buy into the drama that is soufflé-making. I don't know but perhaps it's their delicate texture and the ethereal way that they seem disappear on your tongue but I'm happy to go through it's ephemeral rise and fall just to enjoy the eating of it.

Grapefruit Souffles

There's one thing to enjoy the eating of a
soufflé and there's another thing to endure the making of one. Most times people pass up the making of a soufflé just to avoid all the frustrations that come with making them succeed. But let me assure you that the rules aren't that difficult and success is more likely than failure. And when they don't rise it really really doesn't matter, after all they become breathless in no time at all. They'll lose their puff and no on will ever know they never rose.

The making of a
soufflé might be seen a difficult, but the added pressure of photographing one is twice and burdensome. But always worth it in the end even when they has sunken by the time you have your best shots.

Sugar Shower

These
soufflés were from a recipe by Shannon Bennet, head chef at the illustrious Vue De Monde in Melbourne. I'd always had great success with his recipes however had always stuck to Matt Moran's basic soufflé recipe and was quite excited to try Bennet's version for a change. It was also quite novel that he chose to use the grapefruit skins as a mould rather than conventional ramekins. However being the skeptic that I was, I decided to go with some ramekins just in case the grapefruit skins didn't work out.

But surprisingly the grapefruit skins faired well in the oven and provided a beautiful rise for the
soufflés. Although as they do not conduct or preserve heat as well as ramekins do, you will find that they loose their puff a lot more easily. So if you are entertaining, you will have to time these desserts quit well and literally serve them as they emerge form the oven.

Grapefruit Souffles

Grapefruit Soufflé
Adapted from a recipe by Shannon Bennet
from the Australian Gourmet Traveller March 2006
Serves 6

Grapefruit Souffles

500ml (about 3 fruit) grapefruit juice
finely grated rind of 1 grapefruit
150g caster sugar
30g cornflour
30g plain all-purpose flour
2 tbsp cold water
4 egg whites
icing (confectioner’s) sugar, for dusting

Combine juice, rind, half of the sugar in a medium saucepan over moderate heat and bring to the boil. (Remember not to discard the grapefruit skins of you want to use them as moulds.)
Then simmer for 10 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half.
Remove from heat.
Combine cornflour and plain flour with cold water and whisk until smooth.
Whisk flour mixture into grapefruit juice and whisk using an electric mixer on high speed.
Refrigerate until cool.

Meanwhile, clean grapefruit skins by spooning out the flesh.
Grease each half with butter and dust with caster sugar.

Reheat oven to 180°C.
Beat egg whites until they form soft peaks and then add the remaining half of sugar.
Continue to whisk until the meringue starts to become glossy.
Using a large wide metal spoon fold in two scoops of meringue into the grapefruit mixture, then fold in the remaining meringue until incorporated.
Fill each grapefruit skin to the brim and scrape off excess with a spatula to flatten the tops.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until edges are golden brown and tops have risen.
Dust with icing sugar and serve.

30 comments:

Orchidea said...

Beautiful!!! They are so cute and I am sure really good!
Ciao.

Habeas said...

Oh, I love this idea! These look great! I adore grapefruit, and these look just so tasty and pretty for serving. It's so tough to get the timing right, but so worth it.

Hillary said...

What an original idea! Looks very refreshing and delicious! How about that for breakfast? :)

Maxine said...

These are gorgeous! I love the presentation! Although part of me wants there to be the grapefruit flesh still inside, under the souffle... :)

Deb said...

Gah. These photos, and that recipe, are above and beyond. Great work! I must make it.

Dana said...

These are absolutely ADORABLE! I'm so impressed :).

Aimée said...

What beautiful photos! It must be quite the challenge to capture the souffle before it falls. Your guest must have been very happy with these.

Liska said...

These pictures are absolutely gorgeous! Yummy!

linda said...

Love the sugar shower!

Bri said...

I can't believe no one has commented on your gorgeous souffles yet! I've never made souffle before, (it always seemed so daunting) but if I do, I will definitely make this recipe. Thanks for the warning about the non-conductive nature of grapefruit. Makes sense, but for a new souffle-er, it could be something I wouldn't think of until it was too late. Thanks for the inspiration!

JEP said...

Breathless is absolutely correct...amazing photos!

Nan said...

Using the grapefruit skins as the mold is just so cool. I hope these were as delicious as they look.

The E Home Maker said...

i like your logo. beautiful! creative!

Patricia Scarpin said...

These are wonderful, Jenjen!! Love the idea!
The shots with the sugar are amazing!

Suzana said...

These are gorgeous, not to mention adorable! It’s really original! Great job.

said...

These look WONDERFUL! I can't wait to give this a try. I adore grapefruit!

VeggieGirl said...

Wow, I never knew a soufflé experience could be so dramatic/exhilarating!! This grapefruit version is so innovative!

Tartelette said...

Just stunning and breath taking...that showers of sugar is just eye catching!

Tea ( http://teacia.blog.hr/ ) said...

Wow, what an imagination. I am impressed ;)

Sylvia said...

For me souffle is a drama too. Yours are so cute and refreshing , I love grapefruit and made it with citric is a good idea

Anonymous said...

Aw, they look so adorable!
Btw, what does cornflour do ?
Can I substitute all purpose flour ?

Kevin said...

Your soufflés look excellent. I like the ones in the grapefruits. I have yet to try making a soufflé...

ames said...

And I thought I needed to buy some ramekins, brilliant! Your photography is magnificent.

Also, I have an award for you at my site (sorry I'm a bit of a lurker, I've been an avid reader for months!).

chipima said...

Those soufflés look absolutely stunning Jen! It's such a wonderful feeling when they emerge from the oven all high and mighty, isn't it. The photography can be difficult - when I did my passion fruit ones, I did the entire set up with empty ramekins first and marked the exact spots in pencil so I could snap them straight from the oven.

maybahay said...

these look so sweet and fresh.
i love your pix and creations.

Aria said...

i'm speechless and breathless. these are right up my alley exactly the kind of thing i lier to make. yum yum yum!

Brilynn said...

Though perhaps not as practical as ramekins, the grapefruit make a wonderful presentation!

Marcia said...

What a terrific idea: the soufles are lovely!

Syrie said...

These souffles are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I am so jealous as mine always fail! Thanks for sharing such a gorge recipe.

Jason said...

Oh my, those souffles look delicious and I just tried to make them...except I'm in the USA and I thought cornflour was the same thing as cornstarch. Oops. And after doing more research I still don't know what "cornflour" in Australia is! Nice pics though; I wish I could've made it!