Moitié-Moitié “Swiss Fondue” Soufflé

by Jenn on November 13, 2010

in Daring Kitchen,Diabetic Friendly,Gluten Free,Vegetarian

Moitié-Moitié "Swiss Fondue" Soufflé

Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose Soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge! Dave and Linda provided two of their own delicious recipes plus a sinfully decadent chocolate soufflé recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe found at the BBC Good Food website.

Many people think the process of making soufflés is all about the stress and timing of getting them to come out at that perfect moment.  You work out a plan, get your ingredients together, prep your ramekins, fill them up and into the oven they go.  Then you watch this glorious symphony happen as they bake.  Everything the soufflé was ever meant to be starts with a small puff, growing larger and larger reaching for higher and higher heights until it transforms itself into a vertiable masterpiece of art right before your very eyes.

This is the moment that everyone wants to preserve when they serve them – it’s why after this moment everything is an insane rush to get them out on the table.  If you want to get a picture of your perfect soufflé, there’s even more adrenaline flowing throughout the room.  I, the photographer, start running all over the place like a lost chicken every time I have to tweak something, unable to turn back the clock as I slowly watch the soufflé tragically fall.  Its life work now completed entire minutes ago, the comparatively cool air of the room rushes over the dish as it lets out a long and weary sigh, until it has at last crumpled to a mere shell of its former self.

Moitié-Moitié "Swiss Fondue" Soufflé

And that is when the soufflé taught me a lesson.

You see, I thought the point of making the soufflé was to show off its height as it towered above the ramekin doing its best NYC sky scraper impression.  I so desperately wanted to caputure that precise moment that I made not one, but three soufflés to get that first picture above, and even then the center had already fallen in considerably.  Like any good thing that obeys the 2nd law of thermodynamics, the soufflé is happiest when it gets to relax and take a deep breath, forgetting about all the expectations and structure that were forced upon it only moments before.

And you know what? It’s still beautiful. And it’s still tasty.

Moitié-Moitié "Swiss Fondue" Soufflé

Sometimes, we just need a break.  I need a break.  I forget to take that time for myself during the day, and by the end I can feel like the soufflé in the oven, all tense and worked up.  I come home and I don’t shut my brain off, it still rolls around with ideas from work or errands that need to be run.  As a result, I’m grumpy and tired and don’t sleep well, a cycle that perpetuates itself the next day, wearing myself down a little more with each passing pink-hued sunrise, with only a push of the button on the espresso machine able to keep my mind focused.

Making soufflé sparked within me this realization, and I plan to do something about it.  A 15 minute break.  A couple times a day.  Where I don’t look at the computer screen, I don’t plan out everything that needs to be done tomorrow, where I don’t do anything.  How often can you say you truly did nothing for 15 whole minutes?  I think I will spend my 15 minutes going outside for a bit gazing at the mountains across the Lac, and teaching myself to remember what it is like to actually relax, clearing my mind.  I’m going to work on cutting back on my caffeine intake, so that I can drink it for enjoyment only and not for recovering from the crash when the last one wears off.  But mainly, I just want to allow myself to relax for a few minutes each day, to recharge.

One thing about making soufflés over and over again was that with each subsequent one, the stress associated with making them dissolved.  I knew what to expect, I knew how they worked.  That certainly made them no longer intimidating.  I could add personality to my soufflés now.  I chose to use some of the leftover grated mélange from our Swiss moitié-moitié fondue and some chopped sage.  Therapeutic really, making soufflés.  Maybe cooking can be part of my 15 minutes too.

Moitié-Moitié "Swiss Fondue" Soufflé

Also linked to : Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Gluten Free Wednesdays and Friday Foodie Fix

{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosa November 13, 2010 at 11:59 pm

They look delectable! Yes, soufflés are difficult to photograph.

Cheers,

Rosa

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Jenn November 14, 2010 at 12:12 am

Thanks Rosa!

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Yvette November 14, 2010 at 12:49 am

WOW
You’re souffle look amazing!

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Jenn November 14, 2010 at 12:55 am

Thank you!

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Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite November 14, 2010 at 1:14 am

Jenn, it’s absolutely spectacular and I love your thinking outlined in this post. 15 minutes, huh?
My soufflés did not rise as much as yours but I was happy with the taste. that’s the important thing, right?

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Jenn November 14, 2010 at 6:08 am

Thanks Mardi. Well, 15 minutes not counting the bake time :)

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Monkeyshines in the Kitchen November 14, 2010 at 1:14 am

Your souffle looks stunning and I can imagine that the taste was heavenly. We’ll definitely be trying it one of these days. I am glad you came to enjoy making them – I had the same experience: at first there is constant panic, now it is very zen.

Great job on this challenge!

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Jenn November 14, 2010 at 6:10 am

Thanks!! Oh zen is a very accurate word indeed.

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Deanna November 14, 2010 at 1:41 am

Beautiful pictures and beautiful sentiment – exactly the thing we all need to remember as we move into the crazy busy holiday season.

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Jenn November 14, 2010 at 6:11 am

Oh yes, I wasn’t even thinking in terms of the holidays but you are SO right!

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theveggie November 14, 2010 at 1:52 am

This is a beautiful souffle. The deflated picture is just as beautiful as the puffed one. Your souffle turned out amazing. This challenge was intense!!

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Jenn November 14, 2010 at 6:13 am

Thank you! This was an awesome challenge for sure.

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Sara @CaffeIna November 14, 2010 at 2:35 am

Boy I wish I had not one but two of those “relaxed” souffles for dinner! The pictures are beautiful!

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Jenn November 14, 2010 at 6:21 am

Thanks!

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Ruth H. November 14, 2010 at 2:40 am

Your souffles are beutiful at any height! I think you learned (and taught) an amazing lesson with this challenge – relax! The hight might not last, but the beauty and richness will endure!

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Jenn November 14, 2010 at 6:21 am

Thank you! Yes, and it really is all about the taste anyways, right? :)

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Yesim November 14, 2010 at 1:44 pm

it s just WOWOOWOWOWW:D loved it and should give a try very soon;)

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Jenn November 14, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Thanks so much!

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Anne Marie November 14, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Those souffle photos are beautiful especially the crumbled one!

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Jenn November 15, 2010 at 7:59 am

Thanks! I loved eating the crumpled one too :)

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Lisa November 14, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Your souffle looks gorgeous, both risen and deflated – not to mention photographically mouth watering! Beautifully done as always!

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Jenn November 14, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Aww thanks Lisa!

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Miss Nirvana November 14, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Excellent job on this month’s challenge! I think I want to try a savory souffle next, and looking at your photos makes me want to try this recipe.

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Jenn November 14, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Oh great! I’m glad I have inspired you!

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Liz Marr, MS, RD November 14, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Lovely photos…you made a flat souffle look beautiful. I’ve made cakes that have collapsed, cookies that spread too much, and I once torched bruschetta. It’s all about experimenting to learn what works.

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Jenn November 14, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Thanks – they really were pretty, but I had all the doors & windows open to let in enough light to take the pics, so my “room temp” was actually rather chilly – I think that’s what did them in.

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Robert November 14, 2010 at 11:39 pm

Wonderfully photographed. Your blogs always are.

Cooking has always been my way of finding my center and some kind of peace. Not the blogging or the photography, but the simple techniques. Chopping an onion is a zen experience. Searing shanks to a dark golden brown makes me smile and recharges my batteries.

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Jenn November 15, 2010 at 8:00 am

Thanks Robert! Yes, many aspects of cooking can be zen. Glad I’m not the only one!

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Nancy/SpicieFoodie November 14, 2010 at 11:58 pm

Beautiful recipe, photos and words. Looks absolutely scrumptious!

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Jenn November 15, 2010 at 8:00 am

Thanks !!

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Erushi November 15, 2010 at 12:12 am

Oh, where do I start? Firstly, these are truly gorgeous pictures – I’m pretty sure they won’t be out of place in a magazine publication! Next, I totally hear you about how difficult it is to photograph the souffles. And I agree with you about how repeated attempts at tackling the souffle does make it less initimidating. Most of all, though, I love what you’ve said about just taking a break some time. It’s given me much food for thought (pun unintended!), and I think I will be taking this up too. Thank you so much for the beautiful pictures, flavours, and words!

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Jenn November 15, 2010 at 8:01 am

Oh thank you so much for the nice compliments!! Glad you enjoyed my musings :)

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stacy November 15, 2010 at 3:15 am

Hee! I love the souffle lesson! I agree, I also enjoyed becoming less stressed and more contemplative and creative at each souffle attempt this month. And I worried less when each souffle began to sink, knowing the enjoyment each would bring with every spoonful. Your photos are so lovely and the cheese souffles look absolutely delicious.

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Jenn November 15, 2010 at 8:02 am

Thank you! Yay, another calm soufflé baker :) It made the challenge much for fun, didn’t it?

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Mary November 15, 2010 at 4:05 am

Your souffles are so beautiful, and especially the fallen ones–I love the rumpled look. I was by last week to read your fondue post, (okay, to try to guess what you might have planned for your challenge, but I still have no idea) and I thought the fondue sounded delicious, and this even more so.
I am a very relaxed person, but I too found myself trying to get those pictures of the lofty souffles, even resorting to some bad oven ones. I did find that they tasted just as good slumped, so next time, no rush.
:)

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Jenn November 15, 2010 at 8:03 am

Thank you Mary! Haha! You will know soon….

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Kocinera November 15, 2010 at 8:27 am

I like your new philosophy! A quick little break would really help take the edge off of those everyday stresses. So would making lots of these souffles. Yours look delicious!!

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Jenn November 15, 2010 at 9:21 am

Thank you! Yes, I think little breaks are a good thing :)

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Jenny Nguyen November 15, 2010 at 9:38 am

I’m too scared to try making souffle :)

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Jenn November 15, 2010 at 9:57 am

You shouldn’t be scared! Technically it’s not that challenging, it’s just mostly a matter of the timing :)

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InTolerantChef November 15, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Can reading your lovely post and staring at your beautiful photos count as my 15 zen minutes today?

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Jenn November 15, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Aww thanks! and it most certainly can be your 15 minutes :)

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Linn @ Swedish Home Cooking November 15, 2010 at 3:48 pm

I still never tried making a souffle. I should, though. I’m feeling very inspired after reading your post. Maybe I’ll try making one with Swedish Västerbotten cheese, it’s a very strong cheese with a lovely flavor. Mmm.

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Jenn November 15, 2010 at 8:04 pm

I have not had any Swedish cheeses yet – sounds like a great idea!

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Lisa@bakedinmaine.com November 15, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Ohhh, how I LOVE a soufflé. Chocolate or cheese they’re all so fabulous!

Stunning photos Jenn!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Jenn November 15, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Mmm I love chocolate soufflés too – thanks Lisa!

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Lindsay at Kitchen Operas November 16, 2010 at 4:48 am

I see a whole book in this: “101 Things I learned from my Souffle” :)

But seriously, I think the 15 minutes of you time is an especially good idea. You may have inspired me to try it out too!

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Jenn November 16, 2010 at 7:06 am

Oh I love it!!

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Kimba's Kitchen November 16, 2010 at 4:48 am

AMAZING looking souffle.. bet it was very tasty too! Great photos.. truly deserving of today’s FoodBuzz Top 9 :)

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Jenn November 16, 2010 at 7:06 am

Thanks !

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bake in paris November 16, 2010 at 5:21 am

I need those 15 minutes breaks urgently…… too! Thanks for the reminder :-)

You managed capture the peak of your souffles, it is gracious!! Thanks for sharing !

Sawadee from Bangkok,
Kris

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Jenn November 16, 2010 at 7:06 am

Thanks Kris!

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Suz November 16, 2010 at 11:26 pm

Beautiful! Lovely souffles, lovely photo, lovely post. And I agree – a fifteen minute break of nothing is so good for you. I really need to do it more often.

You have a fabulous blog!

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Jenn November 17, 2010 at 6:55 am

Thank you so much! Yes, I think we all could benefit from little breaks in the day :)

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Shannon @ Cozy Home Scenes November 17, 2010 at 5:02 pm

I’ve never made a souffle because everyone says how hard they are. However, yours looks good, both the before and after. I might get up the nerve to try one. Thanks for your recipe.

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Jenn November 17, 2010 at 8:41 pm

Thanks! You def. should try soufflé sometime, it’s not as hard as everyone says :)

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Jamie December 4, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Great post and perfect souffle’s! I love the way you describe the rise and the fall of the soufflé and you are right. We spend so much time trying to be all puffed up and beautiful and perfect that we forget to “collapse”. Great post, great soufflés! And beautiful photos!

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Jenn December 4, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Thanks Jamie!

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Ash December 8, 2010 at 5:23 am

This looks so delicious! I just found your blog through Rebecca at Drunk Literature and I will definitely be returning!

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Jenn December 8, 2010 at 7:14 am

Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy!

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Damaris @Kitchen Corners January 24, 2011 at 9:58 pm

I just posted a link to this on my blog today. This is a wonderful idea. So fun!

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Jenn January 24, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Thanks! I think fondue is fun too :)

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