RECIPE: The Great New Year’s Eve Raspberry-Lemon Souffle Disaster!

I thought about not even writing about this recipe because it went so wrong but the fact is that sometimes when we cook things don’t go as we hoped they would. In fact, sometimes they’re a down right disaster! This is one of those instances. This one actually made me cry. I kid you not! There are several reasons for this outburst and a few are obvious – it was New Year’s Eve and I wanted it to be perfect.

Other not so obvious reasons were the fact that I felt deep down that this was going to be the BEST souffle I’ve made all year plus there was the feeling that 2011 was just trying to kick me in the ass just ONE MORE TIME before New Year’s because personally in my family 2011 SUCKED! I am glad it’s gone but I really miss my sister who didn’t make it to 2012 with us all! With all that going through my little brain I think you can see where the outpouring of emotion came from. It wasn’t just a souffle. It was another cheap shot from 2011! At least that’s the way I saw it!

So anyway…on with the recipe. I found this recipe for Raspberry-Lemon Souffles at BonAppetit.com and my heart just started to sing. Man, those sound sooo good! I had to try it and it would be the BEST souffle ever made by moi! I was sure of it. I’ve mastered several different souffles this year so this would be a piece of cake…err…souffle!

So I whipped up the recipe exactly as it read and I cut no corners. I was extra careful to whip the egg whites just right and incorporate them into the raspberry goodness as per proper souffle protocol. Now as is the usual challenge I never have exactly the right size souffle dish any given recipe is asking for. I mean HOW MANY different size souffle dishes are there? I’ve got three sizes already and NONE of them were the right size. The ones that I had closest to the 3/4 cup souffle dishes that they asked for were more like 1 cup souffle dishes. Just a little big so no big deal. I would just cook them a few minutes longer which I’ve done before with my other souffles.

I carefully put them in the oven and awaited the glorious rewards that would be my BEST souffle EVER!! I would show 2011 that I was not going to be beat down once and for all.

As per my usually souffle protocol I quietly turned on the oven light and began to film what was happening in the oven so that I could share my triumph with you all. Matt and I were quietly talking and laughing at the fact that they all appeared to be breathing in the oven. Inflating up with a deep breath and then gentle breathing out a little only to breathe in again and inflate. Oh what fun to watch! Then the horror began (watch the video to see it beginning with your own eyes! Oh the INHUMANITY!)

I told you it was horrible! Immediately after that I opened the oven to rescue what I could of the mangled souffle. As I picked up the cookie sheet with the four souffles on it I lost my grip because it was too heavy to pick up with one hand. Naturally I tried to grab it with my other hand (which was, by the way, NAKED) and proceeded to not only burn myself but also dropped the whole thing in the oven and the apparently practically uncooked souffles spread their guts all over my oven, the floor and anywhere else it could ooze to. Here is another video of the carnage:

And another photo:

There is no more documentation after this because the tears in my eyes were clouding the camera screen and I was in need of a really BIG glass of wine at this point. I shut the oven off and walked away. Matt cleaned up most of the excess and the rest I left for the morning.

What went wrong? I have no idea. I followed the recipe to a tee. I didn’t change anything. I followed the usual process for making souffles. All looked perfectly fine but yet everything was wrong. They collapsed on themselves and they were completely liquid inside still even after the allotted cooking time (which I adjusted a little longer being my dishes were bigger than the recipe called for). I haven’t a clue what went wrong. If any of you have experience in souffles and have an idea of where it all went wrong I am listening.

My mom told me not to cry over spilled souffles and suggested that I could try it again. I told her I thought I might be too scarred to try this recipe again. She admitted to me that a lemon meringue pie had inflicted the same scars on her years ago and she’s never tried to make one again. Maybe I will try this one again but not until I have some idea of what went so terribly wrong. Needless to say I can’t tell you how it tasted but I did lick a spoon before putting it in the oven and it tasted really nice. I can only assume the finished product would have too.

All I have left to say is ‘Goodbye 2011, don’t let the door kick you in the ass!’

Image: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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About Buhl Creative Enterprises

Owner of Buhl Creative Enterprises

Posted on January 9, 2012, in Desserts, Food, Recipes, Souffles and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. OH NO! AWFUL. But some of your souffles have been great, And good for you having a good cry, seems you deserve it.. Sad, sad to lose a sister. Big glass of wine for you honey! c

  2. Ron! I admit I enjoyed laughing at your pain. This is too hilarious…in a sick, desperate sort of way. Thanks for sharing your humanity with us all. Forget souffles for now. Use your ramekins to make some nice puddings. Also, 2012 could be the year of cookies!

    • Thank you for your honesty, Camille! That’s one of the many reasons why I love you! 🙂 It is a bit funny now but at the time I was so F*#@^%* pissed off! You wouldn’t have wanted to be in that kitchen with me unless you were the one delivering the glass of wine to me. 😉 In all honesty I wasn’t going to share this one but then I figured it’s something that every cook goes through at some point so it needs to be documented. Sort of like that Julie & Julia movie/blog. Yes, I think it might be a pudding or a cookie year this year. I haven’t decided yet so stay tuned. Thank you for commenting too.

  3. As self-deprecating as I can be, I do lack the courage to post about my less-than-perfect cooking experiences…so hats off to you! In the past I have had a souffle fail to rise because it never actually made it into the ramekin (something went horribly wrong with the roux). Actually, I do know what went wrong: I tried making a half portion by using 1/2 of the required quantities of all ingredients. Bad idea…

    • You would think that cutting the ingredients in half like you did would be okay as long as the ratios are the same. Thank you for letting me know about that. Honestly I have no idea what went wrong with my souffle. I followed the recipe to a tee…I wasn’t going to post this souffle but it gave me such an emotional push that I just couldn’t. I think it was sort of like self-psycho-therapy for me. I don’t feel the charge from it anymore though I do think about what it might have tasted like. One day maybe I’ll try it again…

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