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 350˚F 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.

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!

 

 

 

Strawberry-Orange Marmalde

This is what happens when I have too much spare time on my hands. I start inventing different foods. I had some strawberries about to go bad bad and I hate wasting food, so with the rest of those and some oranges and lemons I made marmalade.

I wasn’t sure if it was going to taste good but I was in for a good surprise. It was great. I just wish I had more strawberries so I could have made more. I think this is going to go fast.

Strawberry-Orange Marmalade

  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 3 oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions:

  1. Cut up the strawberries into slices and place into a large pot. Zest two oranges and the lemon add to strawberries, cook on medium-high heat. Add water and bring back to a boil.
  2. Remove the peel from the 3 oranges and chopped finely, or use a potato masher. Add to strawberry mixture.
  3. Juice the lemon, (should get 2 oz of juice) and add to pot. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add two cups of sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved.
  5. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasional.
  6. Dip a cool medal spoon in mixture to test to see if it is done. Once the marmalade starts to drip off in sheets then it is done.
  7. Ladle mixture into jars leaving about 1/4 inch head space in each jar. Process in a water bath for 10minutes with lid on. Start counting after the water comes to a boil.
  8. Remove from canner and let rest untouched for 24hrs. Then place in a cool place. Marmalade will be good for one year.

Citrus Herb-Salt Rub

I love coming up with new ideas for food, if you haven’t noticed. Well the other day I was looking through one of my favorite magazines to get ideas and I saw this herb-salt rub that looked great, I just had to try it. The only thing was I missing was rosemary, I had used the rest for Thanksgiving that I just never replaced. So I changed it up a little bit and added oregano instead and added some cinnamon.

It just smelled so good. The lemon zest just brightens it up. I was trying to figure out what this would taste better on chicken with skin or without. I decided to go with having the chicken skin on. We had just bought chicken thighs the day before I thought this would be perfect on them. Added a little butter to help give the skin a little extra crunch.

Citrus Herb-Salt Rub

  • 3/4 coarse salt
  • 2 Tbs finely grated lemon zest
  • 4 Tbs dried Parsley
  • 3 Tbs dried Thyme
  • 3 Tbs dried Oregano
  • 1/2 ts sugar
  • 1/2 ts paprika
  • 1/2 ts red flakes
  • 1/2 ts cinnamon

Directions:

Mix everything together until well blended. Store in an air tight container up to 3 months.

For the Chicken:

Place thighs on baking dish and lightly sprinkle mixture over chicken. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45min-60min or until done.