The Weekend Morning Kitchen Lab

A simple adventure into soufflé.  Sounds like an oxymoron.  Simplicity in soufflé?

Chef Robert Parks at the Oregon Culinary Institute posted a chocolate soufflé on the Food Network website that, in its simplicity, could encourage any cook to take the plunge.  The ingredients are those that any of us has at home so no special shopping is necessary.  One only needs two straight-sided ramekins.  So, as a Sun morning activity, what could be better?

Physics and chemistry are involved in the rise (and possible fall) of soufflé, but baking is nothing if not an experiment.  The kitchen is our lab.

I dutifully executed the directions using mise en place (mEz an plas… everything in place).  [Personal note: I had a chef instructor once who said “mise en place will save your *+#!. ”  He was right.]  I did not, however, have two 8-oz soufflé dishes.  I had only individually-sized 3-oz ramekins so I used what I had.

All went well.  I was thrilled to see the little creations puff up in oven.  I did alter the baking time from 18-20 min because of the size of my dishes, and I did that incrementally.  The exact baking time was approximately 16-17 min.

I did experience a bit of “fall” in the finished product.  As I researched the possible causes, it might have been an inexact cooking time or slightly over-whipped egg whites.  Physics and chemistry.


Nonetheless, they’re easy, beautiful and delicious.  Chocolate soufflé (with chocolate sauce) for Sun morning brunch with a great cup of coffee.  This is my idea of brunch.

It’s an experiment I’ll gladly try again soon in the kitchen lab.

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