Hello and welcome to Romance Recipes where I am happy to introduce you to a new author and a new recipe! Two of my favorite things! Today I am bringing you author, Merritt Kelly, and her recipe for Souffle along with an introduction to her foodie romance, Culinary Seduction. Please join me in welcoming Merritt and savor her recipe for Souffle as you read about her new book!
Souffle`s are feared by culinary professionals. It takes and a certain amount of skill to produce an airy, cloud-like souffle`. Loosely translated souffle` means to blow-up The beaten egg whites puff up in the oven and begin to deflate almost immediately after it’s removed from the oven. There are even eateries that make nothing but souffle`s. There’s much debate about the kind of bowl that should be used to beat the egg whites. Should it be copper? It’s said a copper bowl yields the best results or even a cold glass bowl or stainless steel also yield good results. I don’t have a copper bowl so glass or stainless steel will do. Souffle`s are egg whites whipped into stiff peaks and added to either sweet or savory ingredients. I’ve decided to make a chocolate souffle`. Even if it deflates how bad can it be if it has chocolate in it?
After some research I settled on a recipe. It seems pretty straight forward, even easy. But if that were really the case why does it have a reputation of being hard to master? I was about to find out. Here’s the recipe:
2 tsp butter
4 oz of semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 seedless strawberry jam (I used a sugar-free one)
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
4 egg whites
1) Grease the sides and the bottom of 4 ramekins or 4 one cup size stainless stain measuring cups with butter. Lightly coat the bottom and sides with sugar shaking off excess
2) Microwave chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl at medium power(50 %) for 1 ½ minutes stirring at 30 second intervals until melted. Stir in vanilla. Set aside.
Beat egg whites at high speed with electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Stir about one third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture Fold in remaining egg whites Spoon evening into ramekins or cups if you are using separate containers, otherwise gently pour into prepared container. Run your thumb around the edge of the container making sure it’s clean and to make an indent around the outside edge of the egg mixture
3) Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, until souffle` begins to brown on top.
I placed it in the oven and fretted for 18 minutes afraid to turn the light on for fear it wasn’t puffing up. When I it took it out it wasn’t perfect. I should have messed with the egg whites a little less when I was placing it in the container. I only used four egg whites and the container was large so I tried to put the mixture in the center of the dish. I didn’t have a souffle` pan. I was tempted to use a set of earthenware four ramekins that hand handles. I was concerned that they weren’t deep enough or oven-proof (.Maybe I should invest in some souffle` ramekins.) The egg whites and the chocolate aren’t mixed together as smoothly as I would like. I was too mindful of overworking the egg whites and causing them to deflate that the chocolate and egg whites weren’t mixed uniformly all the way through. As you can see from the pan I didn’t wipe the sides, so it’s not neat. Again, I was afraid of the egg whites sitting too long and deflating. Would I try it again? Sure! And next time it’ll be better. We can’t learn if we let fear keep us from trying. It may not have been perfect, but for eating purposes it was close enough. Light fluffy and delicious! What’s the lesson? It’s just food, don’t be afraid.
Food is the new sex and cheftestants Andrea Claire and Danny Miller are battling it out to see who becomes the new high priest or priestess. The two face off in a contest for hosting duties of new show called Culinary Seduction.
Chef Andrea Claire is a woman who knows what she wants, and what she wants is to build her own culinary empire. Hosting the show would give her the injection of cash she needs to finally get a store front for her catering business and give her the credibility she seeks. Her food is infused with her warmth and passion.
Bad boy chef Danny Miller’s bold flavors and state-of-the-art techniques in molecular gastronomy set him apart from the pack. Hosting the show would raise the profile of his restaurant and he could pay what he owes the bank and his grandmother.
Will his talent be enough to garner him the win? Or will Andre’s seductive on camera personality and obvious passion for cooking win out? Their on air chemistry is undeniable. The test kitchens at Cuisine Channel have never been so hot!
Danny began his segment. Things were going well. He decided to do two small plates. He didn’t have the time to do anything too complicated. Halfway through his explanation of the process used to create his oyster and pearl appetizers the background music began to blare. He smiled and allowed the camera close to show his hands adding sugar to champagne to make a chemical reaction. Once the music had faded he began to explain, and then his microphone cut out.
“Cut. Okay, Danny, we’re having some problems so we’re going to change sets. Follow me.” Greg walked off set to the right and down the hall.
Danny followed. He found himself on Andrea’s set. As he began to protest, Finch appeared. “You’ve handled your tests and challenges quite well up to now. We have one final test for you. You’re going to do the rest of your segment together.”
Inside, Andrea was screaming. Are you kidding me? It’s not enough to disable a grill and get rid of my teleprompter and now I have to figure out how to navigate the kitchen with one more person whose goal is to beat me in this competition? Great! Just great! All she could do was smile and welcome the new challenge.
Danny was aghast. He wanted to protest, but this was the challenge that would decide the winner. If he wanted to win, he’d have to suck it up and figure out how to get it done.
All the preparation that he had done was out the window. Now all that was left was for them to improvise. What followed was a funny, charming instructional segment on how to make an exciting dinner for a date at home. They served Danny’s oysters and champagne pearls, Andrea’s rosemary shrimp scampi and couscous, then worked together to create a bittersweet chocolate pudding with raspberries.
“Cut. Anyone else here think we’ve witnessed the Cuisine Channel equivalent of Tracy and Hepburn, raise your hand. Kids, that was fantastic!” Finch and the crew applauded. So did Eileen and Ed. Danny hadn’t noticed them on set, he’d been too busy trying to save his career. “It’s been fun. Right now I need the crew on set three. Yes, I did say right now. Danny, Andrea, good show! Go relax for a while. We’ll gather everyone together once we’ve taped Sharon’s show and watched them all.”
The crew hurried off to tape Sharon’s segment followed by Ed, Eileen, and Finch. Danny sat on a bar stool next to the counter and slid Andrea onto his lap.
“God, you are so sexy in the kitchen. I wanted to throw you down on the counter in front of everyone,” he murmured, nuzzling her neck.
“I thought I was going to die laughing when you were trying to find a spatula to stir the pudding, then you got chocolate on your nose when you were trying to take a taste.” She slipped off his lap when she heard the distinct click-click of Eileen’s heels in the hallway. She entered the room followed by Sharon, Ed, and Finch.
“First let me say that it has been a privilege to watch all of you cook. You are all skilled chefs and wonderful personalities who have been able to handle everything we’ve thrown at you with grace and wit. Even with the accelerated schedule. We expected it to take the better part of a week but we pushed you to your limits, and after four days, we have our winners. I applaud your ability to be original and think outside the box.”
Buy the Book:
Merritt Kelly has been in love with the written word as long as she can remember. She’s a freelance writer, author, and columnist whose articles have appeared in the Colfax Gazette, Palouse Journal, and the Moscow/Daily News. Her work on the web can be seen on Paperdriods, DigiYoo, LexiYoga and HaveHeart Magazine websites under her real name Carol Traulsen. She has written on a variety of topics including the war in Kosovo, the death penalty, grief, coping with a cozy kitchen and cooking.
Merritt Kelly is a pen name she chose to honor her late mother who always believed in her writing ability. When she’s not writing she’s cooking, walking or reading. She resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, her son and her cat.
She loves to laugh, all the music in the Guardians Of The Galaxy, trying new foods, a good glass of wine and almost anything chocolate. Her first novel, Culinary Seduction, a foodie/Chick lit romance is set for release in February of 2015.
Connect with Merritt:
Thank you for joining us for another Romance Recipes! I hope you’ll stop by next week to meet another author, try a new recipe and pick up a new book!