Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Today is a happy day.
I was downstairs in the laundry when I heard the most unusual bird call, really bell-like and melodious. Intrigued I cautiously ascended the stairs, and from my peripheral I spotted a flash of crimson through the emerald green foliage of our Camellia tree. I swiftly, with as little sharp movements as possible, grabbed the bird seed and poured a cup into one of the bird feeders before I backtracked into the house and hid behind the curtain like a ninja.
Slowly but surely I saw the large Rosella carefully descend closer to the bird food before it timidly began eating. In my excitement I waved my husband over to witness the event. After trying for 1 year to get any bird other than a pigeon, brawler or magpie we finally got a Rosella.
Unfortunately I forgot that my little four legged baby was downstairs doing his business, and sure enough, as he trampled up the stairs to the back door, the beautiful Rosella flew away in a rosy flame. I know the likelihood of it returning is slim, but Ryan and I remain hopeful that he or she will be back, and perhaps a few friends will tag along too.
To commemorate the appearance of a new bird I thought I'd bake something unlike anything I've bake before. What better than a souffle, and a semolina twist on the souffle at that.
I tried googling where this recipe comes from, I thought perhaps Epicurious.com but it hasn't gotten a match so I shall type it out.
Baked apple in semolina souffle with lime butterscotch sauce
Melted butter, for greasing ramekins
caster sugar, for dusting ramekins
1 vanilla beans, split length ways
75g (1/3cup) caster sugar
25g fine semolina
35g (1/4cup) sultanas
2 eggs, separated
Lime segments to serve
4 small golden delicious apples
25g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
55g (1/4cup) caster sugar
Lime Butterscotch sauce
50g caster sugar
100ml thickened cream
25g unsalted butter, chopped
2tsp lime juice
For baked apples, place apples in a small roasting pan, brush all over with melted butter, then coat with sugar and bake at 150C for 1 hour or until soft. Remove from oven and cool.
For lime butterscotch sauce, place sugar and 2 1/2 tbs water in a saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil and cook until syrup caramelises. Add half the cream, being careful as mixture will bubble up, and stir until well combined. Remove from heat and stir in remaining cream, then add butter and lime juice and stir until smooth. Just before serving, heat over low heat until warm.
Brush 4 1cup capacity ramekins with extra melted butter, line sides with baking paper, extending paper 4cm beyond rims, then sprinkles bases with extra sugar.
Place milk, scraped seeds and bean in a saucepan and bring to just below the boil. Add 30g sugar, semolina and sultanas, then, whisking continuously, cook for 2-3mins until thick and smooth. Remove from heat and cool, then remove vanilla bean. Add egg yolks to cooled semolina mixture one at a time, whisking after each addition.
sing an electric mixer, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form, then gradually add remaining sugar and whisk until thick and glossy. Fold one third of the whites into the semolina mixture until just combined, then gently fold in the rest.
Spoon semolina in mixture among prepared moulds to half fill, then gently push a coled baked apple into the centre. Place in oven and bake at 170C for 30mins or until souffles have risen. Carefully remove from moulds, place on warm plates, pour a little lime sauce around and scatter with lime segments. Serve immediately.
ease: 3/5. Time intensive and multiple steps.
prep time: 1 hour & 20mins (includes making the souffle and sauce whilst apple cooks and also cooling time).
cooking time: 30mins.
total: 1 hour & 50mins.
taste: 4/5. Hubby loves baked apples (reminds him of his mama), hence the high score. These were ok, but nothing special for me. I also had issues with the directions. Instead of buttering and sugaring the sides of a ramekin, you put baking paper in so that you can supposedly slide them out. My souffles didn't slide, the stuck stubbornly to the paper and simply tore themselves into tiny pieces, leaving the apples basically naked minus a small souffle collar. I would skip the paper and just eat them out of the ramekin like you would most souffles.
The butterscotch sauce (even though it's caster sugar and water?) is quite bitter with a lime tang, I'd prefer a sweeter caramel. The consistency is lovely though.
The souffles got barely one word in edgewise amongst the bitter caramel and tartly sweet, moist apple. The apples are still quite firm (perhaps because I couldn't find small ones) but are soft enough for a fork, a spoon might be noisy or crack the ramekin. I preferred to eat the apple and the souffle separately so that I could properly taste them, together the apple and caramel wash away the poor souffle. It was ok, but probably not worth the effort and washing up.
would I make it again: No - I'll find another baked apple dish for my sweetie.