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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Soufflé au citron (Quark and lemon souffle) (French)

Soufflés are something quite intimidating for amateur cooks. I remember we were quite reluctant to try them in our first year of cooking. But now that we've mastered them, thanks to our step-by-step pictures, you'll see they're not hard to make at all. And considering they're so fluffy and airy and sweet you should get to making some right away :).
As to more on their background, they're a traditional French baked good, they can come in various savory or sweet versions and they're usually made with creamier cheeses (or even directly cream). But here we made it using quark which is an almost zero-fat liquid kind of cheese and the result was not only wonderful but also very light.
It's funny that souffle is very often used in movies as a means for humor: either it deflates with an obscene sound when brought to the table after a long anticipation (the sound never happens, by the way), or the annoying person orders it at the restaurant just when everyone at the table was preparing to leave (and these desserts take a while to make). :)
But anyway, the point remains, as always, that it was delicious and easier to make than it looks.
Enjoy. :)
Recipe adapted from here.
P.S: Today is my mom's birthday and a soufflé like this is definitely something she'd like. Her cooking was always very influenced by French cuisine, but I don't remember her making a soufflé. Happy birthday! :)

Last year: Moroccan potato salad (vegan).
Two years ago: Simple tomato gratin (Gratin Provencal).
Three years ago: Stuffed baked avocados (Middle Eastern).

Ingredients (makes 8 small souffles):
  • 15 g butter, melted (1 thick slice)
  • 250 g quark cheese
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 30 g cornflour (not the corn maize used for polenta)
  • 115 g white sugar
  • grated zest from 1 lemon
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 drop of vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.
Prepare 8 small ramekins (about 150 ml capacity). It works with other sizes too, you'll just have more or less servings based on that.

Melt the butter and brush the bottoms and the walls of the ramekins with it. Sprinkle sugar inside each one, rotating them a bit so the sugar will evenly coat the insides of each dish. That will take about 30 g of your total quantity of sugar.

Separate the eggs. Put the yolks, the remaining sugar and the cornflour in a bowl:

Mix well and add vanilla, lemon juice and zest and mix some more. Add the quark:

Mix until even. In another bowl beat the egg whites with an electric mixer. Transfer a bit of the resulting foam in the bowl with the cream:

Gently incorporate it mixing with a spoon, then incorporate the rest of the egg white foam. Be careful not to over mix, as much air as possible must remain in the souffles. Spoon the resulting mix in the prepared ramekins and put them on a large tray in the oven.

Bake them for 15-20 minutes. Take out:

The souffles will start deflating (sinking back into the little bowls) as soon as they hit the cooler air outside the oven. So, transfer to serving plates and serve while hot:

Dig in! :)

P.S: Don't worry if some of them remain for later, even slightly deflated they'll still be airy and delicate and delicious. We couldn't eat all 8 of them right away either :)

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