Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chilled Lemon Soufflé

sadly only got around to photographing one serving...the next day !!!

So yes, there was Superbowl cooking - and what a spread it was. Buffalo Chili (as in made from ground buffalo) by Alex, some fantastic shrimp steamed up for cocktail by Mark, and just a couple of contributions from me : Frijoles Borrachos (beans to mix with the all-meat chili) and Cheesy Pepperjack Cornbread (see previous blog on NFL cooking here) , some carb friendly fare that I'll put together in another post (I'm working on a collection, for my food crazy and newly diabetic brother-in-law)...and a new dessert, Chilled Lemon Soufflé . I wanted something light but luscious, not chocolate (since that was on the low-carb menu), and most importantly something make ahead. I am a serious foodie, it's true....but a serious NFL junkie as well....and the last thing I want to be doing is cooking when there's a game on. (I also don't want to be : answering the phone, cleaning the house, or on the have been warned ;) )

This dessert was just amazing, and one I'll be making often. It's a bit different, as  soufflés's not baked, just mixed together and chilled. The recipe I adapted this from called for a collar - a fold of parchment paper tied around the rim of the dish - but where you're not baking this one it's not going to rise or anything...just put in in a dish it will fit in and don't bother with making yourself crazy with origami. I used a good old French White Corning casserole dish , but a large glass bowl or trifle dish would be gorgeous. It does involve eggs - so make sure yours are fresh beyond reproach - and a copious amount of lemon zest. Though I like the whole idea of organic foods, I would never presume to tell someone else to buy them...but in the case of lemons that you're going to be zesting, I kind of like to go the extra mile (and $$) and buy organic. I'm always a bit leery of whatever they spray those trees with, and the spray is on the outside, where the zest is. If you do buy conventional lemons (and I've zested many) just make sure to scrub them really, really well. Oh, and if you don't have a zester , just use a peeler...try and peel only the yellow part, and chop it really fine once you get it off.

Garnish with the Almond Topping and fresh berries of your choice...for a true Culinary Orgasm.

Chilled Lemon Soufflé
Adapted from Appetizers, Finger Foods, Buffets & Parties

Zest and juice of four lemons
5 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
1 envelope unflavored gelatin (such as Knox)
2 cups heavy cream

Put lemon zest, egg yolks, and half the sugar in a large bowl. Whisk until mixture is creamy.
Sprinkle gelatin over the lemon juice in a microwave safe bowl, and let sit for 5 minutes. Microwave for 30 seconds, and whisk to make sure gelatin is all dissolved. Let cool a bit, then whisk into egg yolk mixture .
In a separate bowl, lightly whip the cream into soft peaks. Fold into egg yolk mixture.
Whip the whites to stiff peaks, adding the rest of the sugar at the very end. Beat until stiff and glossy, and quickly fold into egg yolk mixture. Pour into dish and chill for 4 - 5 hours.

Almond Topping
(this really makes the whole thing)

1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat broiler, and line a cookie sheet with foil. Spread almonds out on foil and sift sugar over them. Run them under the broiler for about a minute (keep a VERY close eye on them as they burn quickly), until just golden brown. Let cool, and sprinkle over soufflé.

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