Soufflés

30 to 45 minutes.

Ingredients

  • New milk or cream, pint
  • flour of rice, 4 oz.
  • fresh butter, 2 oz.
  • pounded sugar, oz.
  • eggs, 6
  • grain of salt
  • rind, 1 lemon

    Method

    The admirable lightness* and delicacy of a well-made Soufflé render it generally a very favourite dish, and it is now a fashionable one also. It may be greatly varied in its composition, but in all cases must be served the very instant it is taken from the oven; and even in passing to the dining-room it should, if possible, be prevented from sinking by a heated iron or salamander held above it. A common Soufflé-pan may be purchased for four or five shillings, but those of silver or plated metal, which are of the form shown at the commencement of this chapter, are of course expensive; the part in which the Soufflé is baked is placed within the more ornamental dish when it is drawn from the oven. A plain, round, cake-mould, with a strip of writing paper six inches high, placed inside the rim, will answer on an emergency to bake a Soufflé in. The following receipt will serve as a guide for the proper mode of making it: the process is always the same whether the principal ingredient be whole rice boiled very tender in milk and pressed through a sieve, bread-crumbs soaked as for a pudding and worked through a sieve also, arrow-root, potato-flour, or aught else of which light puddings in general are made.

    Take from a pint and a half of new milk or of cream sufficient to mix four ounces of flour of rice to a perfectly smooth batter; put the remainder into a very clean, well-tinned saucepan or stewpan, and when it boils, stir the rice briskly to it; let it simmer, keeping it stirred all the time, for ten minutes, or more should it not be very thick; then mix well with it two ounces of fresh butter, one and a half of pounded sugar, and the grated rind of a fine lemon (or let the sugar which is used for it be well rubbed on the lemon before it is crushed to powder); in two or three minutes take it from the fire, and beat quickly and carefully to it by degrees the yolks of six eggs; whisk the whites to a very firm solid froth, and when the pan is buttered, and all else quite ready for the oven, stir them gently to the other ingredients; pour the Soufflé immediately into the pan and place it in a moderate oven, of which keep the door closed for a quarter of an hour at least. When the Soufflé has risen very high, is of a fine colour, and quite done in the centre, which it will be in from half to three-quarters of an hour, send it instantly to table. The exact time for baking it depends so much on the oven that it cannot be precisely specified. We have known quite a small one not too much baked in forty-five minutes in an iron oven; but generally less time will suffice for them: the heat, however, should always be moderate.

    Obs. 1.—The Soufflé may be flavoured with vanilla, orange-flowere, or aught else that is liked. Chocolate and coffee also may be used for it with soaked bread: a very strong infusion of the last, and an ounce or two of the other, melted with a little water, are to be added to the milk and bread.

    Obs. 2.—A Soufflé is commonly served in a dinner of ceremony as a remove of the second-course roast; but a good plan for this, as for a fondu, is to have it quickly handed round, instead of being placed upon the table.

    * This is given to every description of Soufflé in the same manner as to Savoy or sponge-cakes, by mingling gently with the other ingredients the whites of eggs whisked to a solid mass or snow froth,—that is to say, that no portion of them must remain in a liquid state. For the proper mode of preparing them, see commencement of the chapter of Cakes: Soufflé-puddings are rendered light in the same manner, and steamed instead of being boiled.

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