I have been meaning to make souffle for a while. A few days ago my mom and I started talking about our favorite desserts from our childhoods. She mentioned a souffle she used to eat at Restaurante El Cojo, the fine dining restaurant we have in our little town and that has been around for over 70 years. This was the place we used to always go to for any birthday, wedding, anniversary… Hours and hours were spent around the table. We used to sit down to eat at 2pm and wouldn’t leave the place until 6 or 7pm. My grandmother Miren and my uncle Jose would sing and sign and play cards… Those are some of the fondest memories I have, around food and surrounded by my family.
My mom was describing this special souffle they used to make there which is a little bit different than what I am making here. I love listening to her talk about her memories. I wish I could sit in front of a big screen in a dark movie theater and watch her life as she grew up with 7 brothers and sisters in my grandparents’ patisserie. My mom was the oldest of the 8 children and she remembers so many stories about everybody… It’s a pleasure to listen to her speak.
This version of souffle that she remembers so fondly had a thin layer of cake on the bottom with some fruit on top and a meringue souffle on top. She also remembers how they used to serve all the creams, fruit compotes and liquers tableside.
So after talking about this souffle and some of our other favorites, we decided it was time to get hands on and “bake it already!”. My mom is not a big fan of peanut butter but I saw it in my pantry yesterday and thought I had to use it for something soon. Today was a cloudy day and for some reason peanut butter and jelly sounded good. Just like grilled cheese sounded good. So she gave in and we made it and she really enjoyed it!
My souffle is a bit different since it’s a roux base souffle. I have tried different recipes throughout the years, some of them pastry cream based, some are meringues, but none of them have the texture and density of this one. It’s light and cakey and creamy at the same time. Just perfect! I’m really not a big fan of meringue souffles. I feel like I’m being cheated when I get a chocolate souffle that disappears in my mouth. And one final thing about this souffle I love so much is that I like to underbake it by a tiny, tiny bit… maybe 2 minute or so. This makes the center so creamy…
So here it is:
Peanut Butter and Jelly Souffle
Makes 6-8 large ramekins
4 oz (114 grams or 1 stick of butter) organic unsalted butter
4.75 oz (135 grams) unbleached bread flour
1 pint (500 ml) organic whole milk
5 organic egg yolks
5 organic egg whites
4 oz (114 grams) sugar
5 oz (142 grams) organic creamy peanut butter
2 Tbs raspberry liquor
Creme anglaise or vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. With a pastry brush, butter the inside of your ramekins. Pour some granulated sugar in the ramekin and spread it all over while moving the ramekin around. Pour out any excess sugar.
In a small saucepan bring the milk to a boil. Set it aside and keep it warm.
In a medium saucepan, add the butter and the flour and make a roux. Cook for a couple of minutes to make a paste. Add the hot milk and whisk the mixture together until it boils and turns into a homogeneous paste. Transfer this paste into a large bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until it cools down a little bit, about one minute. Add the egg yolks one at a time and mix them into the paste. Add the peanut butter and stir until well incorporated and most of the lumps have disappeared. Finally add the raspberry liquer to the base.
Make a meringue with the egg whites and the sugar. Fold a third of the meringue into the base and stir. You can be as vigorous as you want now. Fold in the rest of the meringue but be careful not to deflate it too much at this point.
Spoon the souflle mix ito the ramekins and spoon a teaspoon of raspberry jam in the middle. Cover it with some more mix. We want to fill the ramekins almost to the top, about 3/4 of the way.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve right away.
I just ordered some gianduja paste from L’Epicerie a few days ago so I can’t wait to make gianduja souffle. Maybe accompanied by some frangelico anglaise…. Hmm….