The Sweet Potato Souffle

img_8626The word souffle is French and means ‘to breathe’ or ‘to puff’.  This sweet and savory ramekin filled beauty has been around since the 18th century.  The margin for error when making is well slim to none.  In my opinion.  This isn’t my first time making a souffle, in my kitchen, yes; but, I have made souffle in baking class.  Lately, I haven’t really felt like baking.  Sometimes, I think, what is the point?  This, “what is the point” attitude is also applicable in my language learning.  Does it really matter if I can speak and understand Hindi, French and Italian.  Sometimes, I wonder if I even speak English.  Good for my brain and somewhat spiritual, I suppose; baking and language learning. Despite the calendar words and numbers, it doesn’t fell like Autumn in Los Angeles.  However, reading recipes posted by Martha Stewart somehow propel me to get myself out of “what’s the point?”  and it doesn’t feel like Autumn mentality and bake.  Souffle is now on the menu for my Halloween this year.  Sweet potato souffle (sorry pumpkin).  Practice round.  Martha Stewart’s show stopping sweet potato souffle.  I am no Martha Stewart, but if Master Chef Juniors can make it, so can I?  Here’s how I did recreating this expert’s dish.

The ingredients needed:

1 tablespoon butter, plus more for souffle dish
Sugar, for souffle dish
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup Mashed Sweet Potatoes
3 large eggs, room temperature, separated
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt
Whipped cream, (optional)

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 1 1/2-quart souffle dish; dust with sugar.
In a medium saucepan, heat butter over medium. Add flour, and cook, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk; simmer, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; mix in sweet potatoes and egg yolks. Stir in maple syrup and nutmeg, and set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Whisk 1/4 of whites into sweet potato mixture; using a rubber spatula, gently fold in remaining whites. Pour mixture into prepared dish; place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until puffed, 35 to 45 minutes. Serve immediately, with whipped cream, if desired.

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butter and sugar the entire interior of the ramiken.. shuffle will crawl up the top to reach height, in theory
butter and sugar the entire interior of the ramiken.. shuffle will crawl up the top to reach height, in theory

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flour and butter whisked and browning
mix butter and flour
mix butter and flour
add milk and whisk
add milk and whisk
playing with light here.. wanted a Halloween feel..
Cup of sweet potatoes mashed..playing with light here.. wanted a Halloween feel..
stir in sweet potatoes
stir in sweet potatoes

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add maple syrup and nutmeg
add maple syrup and nutmeg
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pinch of salt for egg whites
set aside and make egg white peaks
set aside and make egg white peaks
again, playing with light
again, playing with light.. adding some egg whites to sweet potatoes mixture

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blend and add remaining egg whites
start to fold after first whisk is blended
start to fold after first whisk is blended

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pour into ramekins
pour into ramekins
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bake in oven at 375 degrees F
clean up mess
clean up mess

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this one didn’t rise
so, the first couple didn't come out that great..
so, the first couple didn’t come out that great..

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My souffle doesn’t rise as high as I want.  It certainly tastes delicious though!  I also use a white oak bourbon maple syrup, which adds an elevated flavor profile and is a personal preference.  So, may you now feel compelled to get in the autumn baking spirit and have a go at this classic.  I know my apartment smells like the holidays and I am certainly anticipating Thanksgiving all the while eating my souffle and listening to my languages..écoute et répète!  Namaste (/ˈnɑːməsteɪ/, nah-məs-tay)! Ladakee!  लड़की Molto bene! Arancione e grigio sono color.  Grazie!

Until Next Time…

..may Autumn be cool, Halloween pumpkins (or pineapples) glow and souffles rise!

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time to dry dishes, bake sweet potatoes and start again..

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