With soufflés, it seems that timing is everything. You’ve got to be ready with the rest of the meal an instant BEFORE the soufflés come out of the oven. They don’t scare me, but I’ll admit that it all seems a little fussy to me. Going into this challenge, I wasn’t 100% convinced about the magic of a soufflé, but I was open-minded.
This week’s recipe for Cook the Book Fridays is for cheese, bacon, and arugula soufflés. We thrive on leftovers here, so the fact that leftover soufflé is just not a thing means that I needed to make only enough for one meal. I opted to halve the recipe and hope that eating two soufflés each wasn’t too much. Plus I needed to find an evening when I had time to make the recipe. In fact, I didn’t get around to it until tonight even though I was running around all day getting ready for the garden club’s big plant sale tomorrow.
Making soufflé isn’t that hard, but there are a lot of steps. Cooking the bacon, wilting the greens, grating the cheeses, making the roux, separating eggs, and so on. I worked my way through it methodically, and things came together without a hitch. The twice-baked twist on this recipe was interesting but added to my feeling that the recipe was fussy.
We ate two personalized soufflés each with a big green salad for a satisfying meal. The flavors were nice, but we both felt that it was too much like a quiche without its advantages (like more flexible timing on serving and leftovers). My takeaway from this recipe is a new inspiration for a quiche or frittata filling.
So I’m still not convinced that a soufflé is worth the effort.
Madeleines. Little French cakes, that I’ve made just twice before, using Dorie Greenspan’s recipes. The perfect accompaniment to tea. The first time I made madeleines, they were honey-spiced. The second time they were brown butter-vanilla.
The recipe challenge for Cook the Book Fridays this week is sort of combination of these predecessors. David Lebovitz’s Buckwheat Madeleines has the distinct flavors of brown butter (love the nuttiness) and dark honey (I used buckwheat). These ingredients are layered on a buckwheat batter, adding to the earthiness. Finally, cocoa nibs provide a little crunch and a hint of chocolate flavor. What a lovely package!
I liked that David’s recipe used all egg whites. I looked at other madeleine recipes, and they all called for whole eggs. I’m always looking for delicious ways to use up egg whites. I suspect that I could use egg whites in place of whole eggs in other madeleine recipes. That’s a trick I’ll remember.
This recipe made A LOT of madeleines. I have a regular pan and a mini-madeleine pan. I unintentionally overfilled the molds, but there was lots of batter left over after filling both pans. Certainly, I could have made half the batter and had plenty of madeleines.
My madeleines didn’t have the ideal shape because I overfilled them, but they still tasted good.
I brought them to a garden club activity to share with the ladies. They were a hit.
You should try these. They are so simple to fix up. You can find the recipe here. It’s also on page 270 of David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen. See what my blogging friends thought by following their links.