Over my 23 years of serving Soufflés at the Inn, I had over 40 flavor combinations that I would rotate through. Grand Marnier was always a guest favorite, and to be perfectly honest, it was one of the easiest and most reliable of the flavors I served. The more ingredients you add to the soufflé base, the heavier the base becomes, and the less rise you get from the egg whites. The egg whites are the leavening in this recipe, and the harder you work them, the less they can physically lift. So when you add other ingredients to a soufflé, make sure that they are chopped finely (nuts, berries), free of excess moisture (think frozen raspberries) and be careful not to over-do it.
Grand Marnier SouffléCourse: DessertCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Medium
Soufflés were my signature dessert at the Inn and guests often asked me for the recipe or a cooking lesson on soufflés. Making them can be tricky, so follow the instructions carefully. Whipping the egg whites to stiff peaks is also another key to getting the proper “rise” in your soufflé. When egg whites are over whipped, they become dry and almost granular. The goal is to get them stiff, keep them moist and soft. It is better to under-whip than over-whip. Timing is the key to successful soufflé serving, as they wait for no one. When they are ready to be served, they must be hastily escorted to the table and consumed immediately or they will become, as Mary Jo puts it, “flat tires.”
2 cups whole milk
1/4 pound unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
9 large eggs, separated
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup Grand Marnier liqueur
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
flavored Crème Anglaise
- Heat the milk, over medium heat, in a 2-quart saucepan. In another 2-quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. When the butter is melted, stir in the flour and mix until combined well. Reduce heat to low, and stir frequently.
- When the milk comes to a simmer, stir in the sugar. Continue to stir, dissolving the sugar for 2 minutes. Pour the milk mixture into the butter mixture and stir with a whisk to combine, cooking over medium heat until a ball forms and the mixture releases from the sides of the pan.
- Immediately place the mixture in a mixing bowl and stir (using the flat paddle) on medium-low speed with an electric mixer for 10 minutes.
- One by one, stir in the egg yolks, allowing each to be completely incorporated before adding the next. When all of the egg yolks are incorporated, set the mixture (soufflé base) aside and allow it to cool. This base will keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
- Generously butter ten 1 1/2 cup soufflé dishes, covering the entire surface area on the inside of the cups, including the rim. Coat the buttered cups with granulated sugar, rotating the cups to coat them evenly. Tap out any excess sugar. Set the prepared cups aside.
- Stir the Grand Marnier into the base, mixing well.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In an electric mixer fitted with a whisk, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar to stiff peaks. With a large rubber spatula, gently fold half of the egg whites into the base. Continue folding in the remaining egg whites. Gently pour the batter into the prepared soufflé dishes, filling them 4/5 of the way full. Be careful not to drip the batter on the rims, or the soufflés may not rise evenly.
- Bake in the center of a 350-degree oven for 35 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Remove from the oven, place on a small serving plate and dust with powdered sugar. Hurry the soufflés to the table. The soufflés can be further garnished with candied orange peel. Serve the soufflés with a side of Grand Marnier Crème Anglaise. Pour the Crème Anglaise into a hole you poke in the top of the soufflé at the table. Eat immediately.
Alternate Soufflé Flavors
Alternative flavor options to the Grand Marnier Soufflé. Simply omit the Grand Marnier liqueur from the recipe above, and stir the ingredients into the base, mixing well.
Chocolate-Amaretto: 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/4 cup Amaretto and 2 Tablespoons finely ground almonds
Raspberry-Chambord: 1/2 cup fresh or individually quick frozen (IQF) raspberries (thaw and strain off excess liquid) and 1/4 cup Chambord
Cappuccino: 2 Tablespoons strong coffee or espresso and 1/4 cup Kahlua
Blueberry-Hazelnut: 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, 1/4 cup Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) and 2 Tablespoons finely ground hazelnuts
Pistachio: 1/4 cup finely ground pistachios and 2 Tablespoons Amaretto (I like to add 1/4 cup finely grated white chocolate too)
Final Presentation and Sauce
The soufflés can be further garnished with the ingredients used to flavor the base (chopped nuts, cocoa powder, chocolate-covered coffee beans, etc.). I often serve the Grand Marnier soufflé with candied orange peel, see photo below. I will include a recipe for that in the dessert recipe section. Serve the soufflés with a side of Crème Anglaise, flavored to accompany your soufflé.