Saturday, April 23, 2011

Orange Grand Marnier Soufflé by Xiaolu from 6bittersweets

I'm just so excited about this post and the beautiful blogger that I am introducing with you today that I have no idea where to start. Well, I shouldn't call it an introduction because I'm sure if you are even a little bit familiar with the blogging world then you would should know Xiaolu from 6bittersweets. If you don't know her yet then where have you been?! Xiaolu was someone who was so helping and supporting of me when I was starting as a blogger myself. I remember being always amazed by her photography and hoping to one day take photos like her. I tried to study every shot of hers and wrote emails asking for tips and always got a prompt reply. She might say that she's learning but trust me she's one seasoned photographer/blogger and a person who has so much to learn from. Today is Easter and I know I'm a little late at coming to you with a festive recipe but I'm sure Xiaolu's post will make up for it. Enjoy the recipe and her souffle and wait for me because I'm getting back home soon. Next time I talk to you I'll be doing that sitting on my couch in my living room!Please welcome Xiaolu from 6bittersweets!

Guest Post by Xiaolu 1
Hi there! If you're reading this, you're probably aware of how talented Prerna is...at cooking, blogging, photography...you name it! And not only that. She's also an amazing mother, wife, and a lovely person all-around. I know I'm preachin' to the choir, but preparing this post brought back memories of my 1st encounter with Indian Simmer. I don't recall exactly how I wandered here, but I know the post that started it all for me: her falooda kulfi. Even now I can still feel my excitement growing as I scrolled from one stunning photo to the next. What gorgeous light...and skillful styling! I could practically taste the nutty flavors and feel the cool creamy kulfi melting in my mouth.
Eagerly I turned to her older posts, certain I'd find the hefty archives of a seasoned blogger. But that wasn't the case -- Indian Simmer was just a baby, barely 6 months old! Needless to say I was so impressed I subscribed right then, and every post from Prerna since has made me evermore glad I did. I hope you feel my full sincerity when I tell you what an honor it is to be posting here today for Prerna and for you all. Thanks so much for having me!

Guest Post by Xiaolu 2

The treat I'm sharing today is the love child of my fondness for fresh seasonal fruit (especially citrus) and my obsession with cute, innovative ways to serve food. While these orange soufflés baked right in their shells fit my criteria for blog-worthy desserts perfectly, it's Chef Stephane of Zen Can Cook who deserves all the credit for coming up with such a creative presentation. Never one to leave a good thing alone, I did add some small twists of my own. Most notably, I swapped out a small portion of the orange juice for milk, resulting in a hint of orange creamsicle flavor in the resulting soufflé. For me this was an improvement. But if you prefer to enjoy your orange desserts without the distraction of dairy, feel free to simply use more orange juice instead of milk.

Guest Post by Xiaolu 3

If you're familiar with my blog, you know I like to be honest about my failures and share the lessons I learned from them. So here's the truth: I made these soufflés 5 times over 3 days before I got them right. And it was the same problem each time. The soufflés would rise too quickly then collapse and overflow. Though I knew I'd used too much juice the 1st time, I immediately jumped to trying other batter recipes, batter amounts, and baking temperatures rather than ironing out the kinks in the original. It was only after the 4th failure that I realized I'd been using too large oranges the whole time. So what can did I learn (and what can you learn) from my mistakes? (1) Finding recipes with exact measurements and really following them is usually critical with baking, especially desserts as delicate as soufflés; (2) when a recipe isn't working, try to identify what went wrong before jumping around to other recipes as you may have made a technical error that will sabotage those results as well; and (3) have a sense of humor even if things don't go as planned. My fallen soufflés were still delicious. Tasting them motivated me to get it right, which allowed me to share this with you. Whether you make these to impress your friends or yourself ;p, I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

Orange Grand Marnier Soufflé [Printable Recipe]
Adapted from Zen Can Cook Makes 6 soufflés

Ingredients:
6 medium oranges (about 2 1/2 inches wide)
3 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup sugar PLUS 2 Tbsp sugar, and more for sprinkling
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup milk [not skim]
2 tsp freshly grated orange zest
1 Tbsp Grand Marnier liqueur OR defrosted orange juice concentrate
Pinch of salt
Powdered sugar, to serve

Method:
Cut off the top part of each orange (about 3/4-inch) and a tiny sliver from the bottom so the oranges can stand straight. Using a microplane grater, grate the zest from the top part. Reserve 2 teaspoons for this recipe, then freeze the rest for another use. Empty the orange shells with a grapefruit spoon (making sure not to pierce the skin). Press the orange flesh through a strainer. Measure out 1 cup of juice for this recipe. Set orange shells on a large baking tray.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Dry orange shells if damp and lightly grease the insides with softened butter. Sprinkle bottoms and sides with excess sugar. Shake out extra.

Separate the eggs. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and cornstarch until smooth. Whisk in the orange juice and milk. Place the mixture in a saucepan and heat over medium heat while stirring constantly until it thickens. Remove from the heat and add the zest, Grand Marnier, and salt. Let cool completely.

Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until they hold soft peaks, then gradually add the 2 tablespoons of sugar and keep whisking just to stiff peaks. Fold 1/4 of egg whites into the orange custard to lighten, then add the custard mixture to the egg whites and gently fold in until fully incorporated. Fill the orange skins just to the top with the mixture. Flatten the tops with a spatula. Use your finger or a damp cloth to wipe clean the rim of the orange skins. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until puffy and golden on top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

37 comments:

  1. That is a fabulous dessert! Lovely presentation and wonderful flavors.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. What a lovely presentation for this soufflé. Makes me want to reach out and grab one.

    Have a lovely weekend!

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  3. Xiaolu's food presentation is always amazing, I love her blog too :)!

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  4. I am a silent follower of xiaolu's blog. Loved this recipe and ofcourse her presentation :)

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  5. Lovely looking dessert and wonderful presentation! Congrats on the guest post!

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  6. Thanks for the tips on the mistakes, glad to hear you persevered :) It paid off! (I would add milk too, sounds like a great addition)

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  7. Beautiful as usual Xiaolu. I have mad my share of failures in the kitchen too and you always learn for next time :)

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  8. Wow! THat looks so amazing! So gorgeous! I wouldn't attempt this though, too much work! Lol!

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  9. Gorgeous! love the idea of the orange cups, they look so perfect!

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  10. It's been such a terrible, gloomy day... but this post has just boosted my spirits. Beautiful!

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  11. Thanks so much, everyone, and thanks for inviting me to post on your blog, Prerna! It's been a real honor =D

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  12. What a gorgeous presentation! I'm sure the souffle is delicious, as well :).

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  13. Xiaolu, practice makes perfect and reading thru' your tweets regarding this sensational looking recipe I bow down to your patience and skills. This is something which I am dying to try out as we love souffles and citrus ones has to be the best. Beautiful sunshine photographs!

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  14. Xiaolu,

    This was truly a labor of love ... there are recipes that just become more than a challenge ... the result of your trials looks so fluffy and truly artistic ... I love your likening the inclusion of dairy as introducing a creamsicle element to the experience ... so perfect!

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  15. Great blog. Thanks to Xiaolu for bringing me here! Prerna, you're really good at food photography!

    Oh and yes! Xiaolu, your citrusy souffle is to die for! Bet it makes for a lighter dessert that cuts the richness of a heavy meal ...

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  16. Lovely Xiaolu! Thanks for introducing another lovely blog to me! I really love the first photo too!

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  17. so lovely! Xiaolu, i love your blog (as do we all) and your honesty. a souffle is no laughing matter, so good on you for sticking with it til perfection.

    i once had orange souffle served to me like this in Paris... well done on all acounts!

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  18. What an impressive dessert Xialou. I've had orange sorbet served in a scooped out orange before, but never a souffle!

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  19. Beautiful! Love that these use cornstarch so they are already gluten-free and I don't have to make any adjustments to them :-) Can't wait to try this. I love any citrus flavored desserts!

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  20. can i make a souffle without eggs? would love to try this but am egg-free. hmmm... saving this to my online cookbook til i figure it out (http://cookmarked.com )

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  21. Thanks Prerna, for introducing me to another great baker/blogger/photographer. Very lovely souffles to try. Thanks for sharing, Xialou!

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  22. I love how you made the souffle in the orange! I already have problems with making souffles in the normal ramekins so to make them in the orange - hats off to you xiaolu!

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  23. Oh wow.. love the presentation and the flavours.

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  24. Thanks, my friends (including new friends ^_^)! I'm so pleased you liked my treat. Laura, to be honest the structure of the egg whites are pretty important to souffles, but I did a quick search and there is an eggless chocolate souffle here http://veggiewiz.blogspot.com/2010/11/eggless-chocolate-souffle-flavoured.html Perhaps an orange souffle could be adapted from this one? Let me know if it works out!

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  25. Beautiful photos and the souffles looks gorgeous in their cups!

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  26. Your photography is breathtaking. You take simple objects and turn them in to magic! I will have to try these souffles. You make them look too good not to!

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  27. Wow, what a beautiful site you have! I am following :)

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  28. Oh. My. Goodness.
    The absolute eye candy in every photograph you share is delightful! I'm so glad to have found you on twitter!
    xo,
    Marian

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  29. So happy to see you here Xiaolu. The post is gorgeous, as usual. Love that you baked in oranges :)

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  30. Hello Xialou: Your orange souffles look so appealing.

    But my mission is something else.

    I would love to know where you got your measuring cups that look like beakers.

    Thank you :~))

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  31. Thanks, Charlie! I actually got them from Ebay and Etsy. Search for vintage glass beaker and measuring and you may find some. If not, just keep checking as new things are posted often :).

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  32. Thank you Xialou!

    do I say your name right... zi-ah-lou?

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  33. I've seen this souffle on Stephane's site and your's turned out just as beautifully!

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