S2E14 (Pressure) – Cheese Soufflé

The Blue Team’s loss sent Christian, Jennifer, Derrick and Adrien into the pressure test. The chefs were given 90 minutes to cook their best cheese soufflé.

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While all of the chefs had some minor issues, they all performed well enough that the judges decided to not eliminate anyone.

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I have never even tasted a cheese soufflé before, let alone made one. Needless to say, I was a little nervous about this challenge. I decided to just stick straight to a recipe and I decided on Alton Brown’s version to guide me. The only change I made was to substitute 2 ounces of cheddar for 2 ounces of gruyere to add another layer of flavor. Since I pretty much stuck to the recipe without really putting a new spin on it, I thought I would just take this opportunity to do a picture representation of Alton’s recipe, which is copied below:

1) Use room temperature butter to grease an 8-inch souffle mold. Add the grated parmesan (2 tablespoons) and roll around the mold to cover the sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place into the freezer for 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2) In a small saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of butter. Allow all of the water to cook out. In a separate bowl combine the 3 tablespoons of flour, 1 teaspoon of dry mustard, 1/2 of a teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1/8 of a teaspoon of kosher salt. Whisk this mixture into the melted butter. Cook for 2 minutes.

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3) Whisk in 1 and 1/3 cups of hot milk and turn the heat to high. Once the mixture reaches a boil, remove from the heat.

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4) In a separate bowl, beat the 4 egg yolks to a creamy consistency. Temper the yolks into the milk mixture, constantly whisking. Remove from the heat and add the cheese (in this case, 4 ounces of sharp cheddar and 2 ounces of gruyere). Whisk until incorporated.

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5) In a separate bowl, using a hand mixer, whip 5 egg whites, 1 tablespoon of water, and 1/2 of a teaspoon of cream of tartar until glossy and firm. Add 1/4 of the mixture to the base. Continue to add the whites by thirds, folding very gently.

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6) Pour the mixture into the soufflé. Fill the soufflé to 1/2-inch from the top. Place on an aluminum pie pan. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes.

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For my first stab at a cheese soufflé, I think it turned out great. It rose perfectly and tasted delicious. I don’t really have much of a baseline though, so I don’t have the slightest idea about how it would have compared. But since they didn’t send anyone home, I’m just going to assume that I would have been safe with the rest of them.

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S1E11 (Pressure Test) – Chocolate Soufflé

Employment Status: Had a friend reach out to me about a potential opportunity and refer me to the employer, Am finally getting in the groove at work 

For the final pressure test of the season, Whitney and Sharone had to produce a perfect chocolate soufflé in just 90 minutes.

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Whitney spent all of her time perfecting the batter and only had time to bake one soufflé (which she did with a hint of orange zest). Sharone, however, tinkered with several different recipes, and was pushed to the brink of the time limits. Because of this, his soufflé (which he seasoned with a bit of sea salt) did not cook all the way through, which ended up with him being sent home.

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As I have said before, I AM NOT A BAKER. So this challenge was particularly intimidating. I followed this recipe completely: Chocolate Soufflé. And I also used this helpful tutorial for beating the egg whites: How to Beat Egg Whites. I did not have my stand mixer, a double boiler or a proper ramekin so I had to get very creative when it came to creating this dish. Thankfully, everything worked out decently enough and I was able to turn out a somewhat respectable attempt. (See finished batter and baked soufflé  below).

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For my first try, I’d say it turned out well. I had a hard time getting the egg whites to stiff peaks so I just added the egg whites at the soft peak stage. The soufflé rose well and it was light, airy and delightfully chocolatey. However, it did not look as good as it should have. I’m not sure if it was an egg white problem or my makeshift (way too big) ramekin that caused the issue, but I will definitely try again soon (once I have the right kitchen equipment,  of course). This is definitely a challenge that I could have gone home for, but thankfully, I am not actually in any competition and I will be able to rebound with my next dish.