Monday, February 11, 2013

Grand Marnier Soufflés – Rising to the Occasion on Valentine’s Day

Presenting this gorgeous Grand Marnier soufflé to your Valentine at the end of a romantic dinner would certainly impress, but imagine actually making this while they watch.

What a golden opportunity to show off your cooking skills, and a flair for the dramatic; not to mention the countless innuendos and double entendres such a scene would afford. Afraid it won’t turn out, and you’ll completely embarrass yourself? Too bad! No guts, no glory, and by “glory” we mean…glory.

The good news is, contrary to popular belief, and many cartoons, soufflés are actually very easy to make. I hope after a few viewings of this video, and maybe a practice run or two, you’ll realize just how simple this really is. Of course, to make things a little exciting you can over-fill these like I did, which can cause some wild and unpredictably shaped soufflé tops.

I think they still look super cool, but if you stop filling a 1/4-inch from the top, they generally will rise a little straighter. Having said that, anyone who’d complain about the shape of a soufflé top has some serious issues, and should probably be asked to leave immediately.

By the way, I do have a Crème Anglaise video recipe in the works, but for now you’ll have to rely on the simple written recipe below. As I mention in the clip, this is an extremely impressive dessert “as is,” but when you pierce the top of that hot, steaming soufflé, and pour in the silky, sexy sauce…well, you saw the video. Let’s just say it’s a very nice touch.

Speaking of nice touches, if you’re still looking for that extra special Valentine’s Day dessert for your extra special Valentine, I hope you’ll put aside your fears and give this a go. You really should get lots of compliments. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 2 Grand Marnier Soufflés:

2 (8-oz) heat-proof ramekins, brushed inside with melted butter and coated with sugar.
Note: Mine were closer to 7-oz, which is why I overfilled them as you saw. This amount of batter should fill two 8-oz ramekins. Amounts may vary depending on volume of your eggs/meringue, so don’t be surprised if you have a little more or less.
2 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons melted butter
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cold milk
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup white sugar
powdered sugar to garnish finished souffles

View the complete souffle recipe

Crème Anglaise Sauce:
(Makes about 1 cup)
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup white sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tbsp Grand Marnier
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Whisk everything together in a small, but heavy saucepan. Place over med-low heat, and cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula being scraped across bottom, until the mixture is hot, and thickens slightly. The mixture should not come to a simmer (but close). The temp should be around 180 degrees F. when it’s done. Remove from heat, strain to remove any over-cooked particles of egg, and let cool.  If you want, you can add some fresh orange zest to the sauce as it cools. Serve ice cold with hot soufflé.

View the complete sauce recipe