Chocolate Souffle

chocolatesouffle

When you hear the word souffle, what do you think of? Something tall, elegant and sinfully tasty or does it make you cringe at the thought cause it sounds fancy. I hear challenge excepted! I have been watching way to much How I Met Your Mother. 🙂

I made a triple berry souffle once to keep my kids happy during one of their school vacations last year and it didn’t seem hard. I had never made a chocolate one though. And given my love for chocolate seemed to me a little weird. I mean I LOVE chocolate. If there was a chocolate anonymous meetings I would be the spokes person.

So I knew that I had to change that. I had to make one and so I did. Plus I love using my ramekins for things other then dips! I looked at tons of different recipes trying to figure out what I should do. Again no two recipes were the same but the how you made them was close. So I took several different recipes and smashed them together into one yummy tasting chocolate souffle. 🙂

I started to have my kids taste everything as it was being made, I got responses like, “Needs more chocolate” or my favorite from my husband, “Less chocolate more vodka.” You would think that is an odd response but not in my house. I use real vanilla extract. But that is a recipe for a different day. 🙂

Chocolate Souffle

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup sugar, plus more for baking dish
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven 350ËšF degrees. Lightly butter or spray a 1 1/2-quart tall-sided baking dish or 4 10oz ramekins. Coat with sugar, tapping out excess. Set dish on a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. In a large glass bowl set over a pot of simmering water, combine chocolate, vanilla, and 1/4 cup water. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Stir egg yolks into cooled chocolate mixture until well combined. Set souffle base aside.
  4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer or a stand mixer, beat egg whites and lemon juice on medium-high until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes (do not over beat).
  5. With a rubber spatula, gently cut fold in half of the egg white mixture. Down through center and lift up some base from bottom of bowl. Turning bowl, steadily continue to cut down and lift up base until just combined. Add in the second half and repeat.
  6. Transfer mixture to dish or ramekins, taking care not to get batter on top edge of dish; smooth top. Bake souffle until puffed and set, 30 to 35 minutes. Do not open oven during first 25 minutes of baking. Serve immediately.

Note: The souffle will start to loose it’s height as it starts to cool off.

Serving Tip: You can dust the top with powder sugar or pop the center and fill it with either chocolate or vanilla sauce. Either way you can’t go wrong.

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When Life gives you Lemons..A lemonade Story

lemonade

Simple Lemonade

We all know the old say “When life gives you lemons make lemonade.” I will admit it I use to make the lemonade that came in the powder, and there is nothing wrong with that if you want to add more than lemons to your drink. I mean yellow food coloring, lemons are yellow why do I need to add food coloring? So I stopped using the powdered stuff and started making my own.

There is nothing fancy to this and takes no time at all to make and the money you save is amazing. Sometimes when I am feeling adventurous or my kids are asking for something different I add some pureed strawberries into the mix and make strawberry lemonade.

I buy my lemons in bulk for about $3 and that give me 12 lemons, which turns into making 12 very full pitchers of lemonade or strawberry-lemonade. Or I can go to the store and buy the powdered stuff for about $4 and only get 8 (maybe) pitchers.

Lemonade

  • 1 lemons
  • 10 cups water
  • 3/4 cup sugar

 

Directions:

  1. Take one lemon and finely zest. Then cut in half and juice the entire lemon. Set to the side.
  2. Fill a pot with 10 cups of water. Heat on medium- high heat and pour in sugar. Keep stirring until all the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add is zest and lemon juice and stir. Taste for sweetness/tartness. You can remove the zest after a few minutes if you want but it really helps add more lemon flavor. 
  4. Pour into a pitcher and let cool down. Or enjoy now with a glass poured over ice. 🙂

Note: To make strawberry-lemonade add 1/4 cup strawberry puree to step two before adding sugar. Since Strawberries are naturally sweet you may end up using less sugar.

I know it sounds weird to heat the water but by doing that step you are dissolving more of the sugar, so you can still make it sweet without using all that sugar. 🙂 I want my kids to be refreshed after drinking it not hyper.

Buying lemons in bulk does have it’s own set of problems. And that is using the lemons before they go bad. My simple solution is to zest, juice and slice everything a head of time and freeze in serving sizes. That way it is ready when you are and no wasted lemons.

Tips: The lemon that was used for zesting and juicing you can toss that rind into the garbage disposal and give those pipes a degreasing. Lemons have many uses, not just for lemonades!

 

 

 

Power of Citrus and Honey

We all know powers of citrus. Oranges were historically used for their high content of vitamin C, which prevents scurvy. Citrus fruit juices, such as orange, lime and lemon, maybe have been useful for lowering the risk factors for specific types of kidney stones. Grapefruit is another fruit juice that can be used to lower blood pressure because it interferes with the metabolism of calcium channel blockers. Lemons have the highest concentration of citrate of any citrus fruit, and daily consumption of lemonade has been shown to decrease the rate of stone formation.

And there is honey. Sweet, smooth tasting honey. Historically, honey has been used by humans both orally and topically to treat various ailments including gastric disturbances, ulcers, wounds, and burns. However, it is only recently that the mechanisms underlying the antiseptic and antibacterial properties of honey have come to be understood. Honey has also been used for centuries as a treatment for sore throats and coughs and, according to recent research, may be an effective soothing agent for coughs.

Knowing all this just made making citrus and honey drops make sense. I get to eat something that is good for me and tastes like candy. Yeah I call that a win win. I had everything already in the house so it didn’t cost me anything to make except my time, which was only about 30 minutes of doing something. The hardest part is waiting the 12 hours while it is in the dehydrator. I have never tried them in the oven yet. Maybe I will make that my next experiment in the kitchen.

Sorry for the bad picture. I had to hurry up and take it before the kids ate everything!

Citrus & Honey Gummy Drops

Ingredients

  • 1/4 c  + 2 TB clear jel
  • 1 1/3 cup fresh fruit juices ( I used a combo of orange, lemon, and grapefruit)
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • 1/2 c honey

Directions:

  1. In a medium sauce pan combine clear jel and honey. Mix until completely combined. Boil on medium for one minute.
  2. Slowly add in the citrus juices. Mix until smooth. Boil on medium for one minute or until think.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool for 15-20 minutes. Trust me on this, this is a must! You don’t want to burn your hands like I did. Once cooled place in a piping bag or a large zip lock bag.
  4. Pipe even size drops on to the fruit roll up tray that works with your dehydrator or on a parchment sheet.
  5. Let them ‘cook’ in the dehydrator for about 12 hours. That is the hard part waiting! They are done when they pull apart like a gummy worm/bear.
  6. Once done place them in the refrigerator and let cool.
  7. Take about 1/2 of sugar, paper or plastic bag and place the gummies in. Shake until well coated. You don’t have to do this step but it will help with keeping the gummies from sticking together. 

Orange Marmalade

According to my husband this is the best thing that I have ever made, orange marmalade. I don’t eat marmalade, never have but I love the smell of the oranges and lemons cooking on the stove. I am telling you canning is the easiest thing in the world to do.  He was so mad that I dumped some out to take the picture, oh well the price you pay for creating art. And look only four ingredients for this and I am betting that you probably already have these in your house. I mean for $4 you can either go and buy the fruit need and make 3 jars or go to the store and spend $4 on 1 jar of marmalade. I don’t know about you but I rather make it and save money.

Orange Marmalade

Ingredients

  • 3 oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water

Directions:

  1. Remove peels from oranges and slice thinly. Place in a small stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Remove thin outer rind from lemon with a vegetable peeler and cut into fine strips with scissors or a sharp knife, using a zester is easier. Add rind and water to saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, cover and boil gently for 20 minutes.
  2. Remove and discard white rind and seeds from lemon. Chop orange and lemon pulp finely in a food processor or with a sharp knife. Add to saucepan, return to a boil, cover and boil gently for 20 minutes.
  3. Add sugar, return to a boil and boil rapidly, uncovered, until mixture will form a gel, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
  4. Ladle into hot jars and process for 10 minutes in a water bath. Make sure to start timer once water starts to boil with the lid on the canner.