I made my first ever souffle. I think I had always avoided making them as they are notoriously difficult. It was however a great option for an impromptu dessert (we hadn’t planned on having any for lunch) mostly because I had all the ingredients in the pantry. I decided on it as it didn’t require cream (common to most desserts) which I don’t usually keep on hand. The recipe preamble in my favourite cookbook (Curtis & Campion In The Kitchen) said not to be put off by it’s reputation assuring me that it was the same recipe taught to one of the authors as a 17 year old apprentice. I thought that if some young punk can do it I should dominate it, and I did!
The difficulty with souffles, I discovered, is in the timing. Preparation, combining, cooking and serving must occur in rapid sequence for the dish to succeed. For instance you can’t leave the custard to cool, the mixture to deflate or the finished product to sit. The annoying thing about this (especially for a dessert) is that “here’s one I made earlier” isn’t in the souffle chef’s vocab ie. one must leave the table, step into the kitchen to then create the masterpiece while your guests wait in eager anticipation (or retire from the table to the lounge to watch the cricket). This creates a fair amount of pressure for success which, of course, was no worries.