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!’