Fan the Flames with a Passion Fruit Souffle with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce

Monday, February 14, 2011

passionfruit-souffe-1

Whenever I imagine an intimate, candlelit dinner for two, there are certain foods that are always on the menu, like lobster, oysters, decadent dark chocolate and a fluffy, ethereal soufflé – especially the soufflé.   To me, a soufflé is the ultimate indulgence, reserved for only the most special occasions.  Maybe because it’s French, and I find all things French impossibly romantic and luxurious.  There’s a certain mystique about the soufflé.  It has the reputation  of being temperamental, unpredictable and a tad capricious.  There’s no doubt about it.  The soufflé is a diva. And, divas often get away with their bad behavior because they are brilliant and adored.

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Until today, I’d always worshipped the soufflé from afar.  Too fickle for me!  I like a sure thing, and a chocolate cake has never let me down.  But  there comes a time when you have to face your fears and this was my time.  After all, didn’t I overcome my  aversion to dough?  And, what about when I stared my terror of deep frying right in the eye and kicked its butt?  I even survived two Yule Logs and lived to tell about it.  If I could do  all  that, I figured one poufy, phoofy, Valentine’s Day soufflé couldn’t take me down. 

Once I made the decision to go for it, I then had to decide what kind of soufflé to make.  Chocolate was the obvious choice, but If I wanted Mr. SGCC to even taste it,  that wasn’t going to work.   I looked at a lot of different recipes and I finally settled on Daniel Boulud’s version of Passion Fruit Soufflé.  What could be more perfect for Valentine’s Day than a passion fruit dessert?

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Boulud pairs his soufflé with a caramelized pear sauce, which honestly, sounds fantastic.  But, I really wanted to find a way to work some chocolate into the dish.  Even though Mr. SGCC doesn’t like chocolate, I still do, and it wouldn’t be a Valentine’s Day dessert to me without it.   So, we struck a happy compromise and I made David Lebovitz’s luscious bittersweet  chocolate sauce to drizzle on top.

Surprisingly, the process of making the soufflé was not nearly as difficult as I expected it to be.  I whipped some egg whites and sugar into oblivion, and then gently folded them into a mix of egg yolks and passion fruit puree.  Then, I plopped the resulting mixture into small soufflé dishes and popped them into the oven.  To help things along, I made the sign of the cross and prayed like hell that they would rise!

Boulud suggests piping the soufflé mixture into the dishes using a pastry bag.  Don’t do it! That stuff is way too thin and fragile.  I lost almost a whole cup of it as it oozed out of my pastry bag and all over my kitchen counter!  I make these mistakes so you don’t have to.  Do yourself a favor and use a spoon.

souffle-ollage-web

I’m pleased as punch to report that my little soufflés turned out perfectly.  They were brown and crusty on top and soft and pillowy inside.  And, they rose up like they had wings!   I was so excited that I did a little happy dance all the way to my photo set-up.

I’d read that you have to move quickly when trying to photograph soufflés.  There is a very short window of time before they start to fall.  That’s an understatement!  My soufflés began to sink before I could even get them in front of the camera.  You can see the various height differences in the photos.  Forget food styling!   I was frantically snapping shots like a madwoman!  And, still they fell!

Sinking soufflés aside, I am so glad that I took the plunge and made these.   First, because I proved to myself that I could do it.  I will never fear the diva of desserts again!  And second, because they tasted as divine as they looked!     And, I have to give an extra shout out to David for his fabulous chocolate sauce.  He calls it his little black dress of sauces because it goes with everything and never fails to impress.  He is so right!  That sauce took about five minutes to prepare and was just amazing.  Plus, it didn’t have a drop of butter or cream in it.

Please, please, please don’t be afraid to try these soufflés for yourself.  If I can do it, so can you.  And just think how special your sweethearts will feel when they see what a masterpiece you created just for them!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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24 responses to Fan the Flames with a Passion Fruit Souffle with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce

  1. On February 14, 2011 at 6:03am, Rosa said...

    Splendid soufflés! I love passionfruits.

    Lovely clicks.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. On February 14, 2011 at 7:29am, bellini said...

    You have to be quick to shoot a souffle!!!! Happy Valentines’ Day Susan!

  3. On February 14, 2011 at 8:38am, The Blue-Eyed Bakers said...

    Wow. This looks AMAZING. And we’re with you on the chocolate sauce instead of the pear…looks completely gorgeous!

    • On February 17, 2011 at 10:31am, Susan said...

      Oh, yes! The chocolate sauce was the perfect complement to this.

  4. On February 14, 2011 at 11:23am, Nic said...

    Wow, that’s one perfect souffle! Brilliant! xx

    • On February 17, 2011 at 10:31am, Susan said...

      :D

  5. On February 14, 2011 at 12:02pm, Stephanie said...

    Making a souffle is on my to-do list, yours looks delicious!

  6. On February 14, 2011 at 2:31pm, Heather I. said...

    Your souffle pics are awesome, way to go on snapping away! And I especially love the photo of the open passion fruit, I always wondered what one looked like. These sound so delicious, and even more so with that gorgeous chocolate sauce.

  7. On February 14, 2011 at 2:33pm, Karen@Mignardise said...

    Be still my beating heart! The perfect dessert for a happy Valentine’s Day.

  8. On February 14, 2011 at 5:17pm, Rachel (S[d]OC) said...

    They are beautiful.

    I have yet to try a souffle. I’m pretty confident I can do it. I have worked with egg whites before. I think it’s just so hard to time them. I find it inconvenient to make a dessert that has to be served and go into an oven right away. When I see all of these lovely V-day souffles in the blogsphere, I realize I’m being sort of silly.

    I’m trying hard not to call your hubby a freak for having something against chocolate. But if I can hate the tasteof seafood, I guess others can have issues iwth the taste of chocolate.

    • On February 17, 2011 at 10:32am, Susan said...

      Lol! I call him a freak for this all the time. I can’t imagine anyone not liking chocolate! It’s the cross I have to bear. ;)

  9. On February 14, 2011 at 8:14pm, MaryBeth said...

    I have never actually made or eaten a souffle before, I have always wanted to but have always been to scared. I would really love to try this one as my first try, it is so elegant and would make a perfect end to any romantic supper.

  10. On February 15, 2011 at 8:19am, SMITH BITES said...

    i too had avoided making souffles for YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS AND . . . well you get the picture . . . but then i made a simple cheese souffle and was like, ‘what the hell was all that fear about??’ kudos to you for taking this on and can i just say passion fruit was the PERFECT choice!! and David’s chocolate sauce is pretty darn divine too! beautiful pics Susan!!!

    • On February 17, 2011 at 10:34am, Susan said...

      I know! It wasn’t nearly as hard as I’d imagined. Thanks! :)

  11. On February 15, 2011 at 2:58pm, Eliana said...

    You outdid yourself with this one girl. This Soufflé looks stunning! (and of course super delish).

  12. On February 15, 2011 at 6:46pm, JehanP said...

    This is a beautiful souflee, I’m always a bit stumped with using passion fruit in desserts, but this seems to be a great recipe, I must try it…wish me luck!

  13. On February 16, 2011 at 3:11am, Jun said...

    Mmmm… They’re so mouth-watering… Perfectly done.

  14. On February 16, 2011 at 10:17am, Tracey C. said...

    I cut the recipe in half, substituted apple cider reduction for the puree, and served them with pomegranate-caramel sauce I had on hand – these were terrific! My first attempt at souffles, even. Thank you for the inspiration.

    • On February 17, 2011 at 10:35am, Susan said...

      Oh, I’m so glad this worked out for you! An apple cider reduction is a great idea!

  15. On February 16, 2011 at 11:41pm, Renee said...

    We made these on Valentine’s Day too! They were delicious! We did make the Pear Passion Fruit sauce and loved it (would be amazing over ice cream!) We also love David’s chocolate sauce and what a great idea to use it here. Your photos are really beautiful and so jealous you have real passion fruits! Can’t wait until we get them here in NY. Glad I stumbled upon your blog.

    • On February 17, 2011 at 10:36am, Susan said...

      Thanks, Renee! I’m so glad to hear you loved them too. I will have to try them with the pear sauce next.

  16. On February 18, 2011 at 10:58pm, Sheena said...

    I’ve still never tried soufflés yet, partly out of fear. I love the passionfruit and chocolate sauce combo, it sounds beautiful, and they rose so much!

  17. On March 15, 2011 at 1:36pm, Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) said...

    What a gorgeous rise on that one! The souffle looks awesome, I’m off to check whether passion fruits are still in season here, can’t wait to try it. Oh, and thanks for reminding me about the awesome chocolate sauce!

  18. On November 01, 2011 at 6:11am, Linda said...

    Can you tell me where you got the passionfruit puree? I’m having a hard time finding it in my grocery store.

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kiss the cook!

Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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