Sunday, January 16, 2011

Strawberry souffle

A simple-to-make dessert with wonderful results

It all started with the office cook-out. A tradition that features new joinees cooking for the rest of the office. Yes, the whole freaking office. All 50 of them. So as luck would have it, my turn came. And with it, I was clubbed with 3 fresh-out-of-college boys, who dont cook. I consider myself a novice. I can barely cook for more than 3 people, with confidence. And here I was, with the daunting task of cooking for 50 very hungry people, with very high expectations. That, and the will to generally rag the new joinees.

So the menu was decided. We wanted to keep it simple. Chicken curry, paneer butter masala, jeera rice and green salad. And just as an add-on, I thought Id experiment with a quick-fix idea for souffle, that my super efficient and pro-cook friend Praerna had shared with me a while ago. Shes my ultimate recipe-yellow-pages, and comes to my rescue in my moments of doubt about quantities, recipes, what-to-make-moments and generally anytime I need some home-maker-kind-of-support. And for that I am SO grateful :)

I knew Id have to probably quadruple the quantities, but Id have to make it at home and let it set overnight. When the night in question arrived however, I was faced with a huge power cut and resorted to spending the evening in the office. The "evening" ended at 10 pm. So of course making dessert was out of question, and it promptly got dropped off the menu. But to address my thwarted intention to make souffle, I decided I should make some for myself and the husband this weekend. VC likes fruity desserts (I know that sounds very UNmanly, but he does! And theres no other way to say it!), so this sounded perfect. Besides its simple and so easy-sounding that is would be a crime NOT to try it!

Here's what you need (for about 8 servings):
1 packet jelly, in any flavour you like. I used strawberry, but Praerna tells me it tastes lovely in orange.
1 big box of curd. I used Nestle, but any of the other packaged store-bought curds will do.
200 ml fresh cream

Here's what you need to do:
Prepare the jelly in advance, and set it fully. This takes a few hours. Since I planned the previous night I let it set overnight.

Hang the curd in a muslin cloth for at least 5-6 hours. Again, I left it overnight, and I have to say this gave me a wonderful result. The curd had lost all its water and reduced to less than half its quantity. Which is exactly how you want it to be.

When the jelly is fully set, grab a whisk and break it up, till its nice and scrambled into tiny bits.

Next, add the hung curd and mix it together. If youre using a balloon whisk and dealing with possible CTS like I think I am, this can be quite laborious and takes longer than if you use an electric hand mixer.

When the curd and jelly are slightly mixed up, add in the cream. All 200 ml of it, and continue to whisk, till its nice and smooth.

My souffle turned from a deep magenta pink to a lovely soft and smooth light pink. At this point, simply stick a finger in to this gorgeous velvety mixture, lick it, and taste for sweetness. I added a leeeeetle bit of powdered sugar, because I felt it needed it.

Stick the bowl back in to the fridge and let it set.

Done!

5 comments:

  1. sounds heavenly and simple... a killer combination for sure. Can't wait to try it out!

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  2. Thanks for the lowely credits Reva :)

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  3. thanks for sharing! i tried it out, but wasn't too satisfied with the consistency. did you whip the cream and then add it?

    was good otherwise! :)

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  4. so what happened with the office party. Please finish the rest of the story. How did you feed 50 people. Did you pass. Were you ragged. This does look so simple and good. Im wonering if you could pour it on layer of sliced fresh strawberries. so that when you spoon a bite-there is a surprise in the bottom. And garnish with mint. Lovely simple dessert

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  5. Babushka: no, i only whipped the cream when i added it into the jelly and hung curd. but it worked pretty well :)

    Jyotika: OOH the cook-out story is currently sitting in my drafts, waiting to be completed and published (much like a million other posts on my blog, and a lot like some parts of my life at the moment :S) i shall post it soon!

    and the next time i make this, im going to add chopped strawberries into it. not a layer, but while whipping it up. there's nothing like chunks of fresh fruit in every bite of souffle!

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