Thursday, October 22, 2009

Blue Cheese Souffle:Epic Fail

Confession: I've never made a souffle. You know that fear I have of yeast? I also fear egg whites.

Egg whites are temperamental and high maintenance. If there's even the slightest dribble of yolk or the speckiest speck of dirt in the mixing bowl, the egg whites get cranky and say, "Screw you, lady--I'm not performing." Egg whites are like those bitches in high school who were only nice to you maybe once every two weeks.

Barefoot Bloggers
is intent on tormenting me and making me face my fears. While I'm not going to blame them for picking a souffle recipe, I will admit that I was nervous about this one.

You can find the recipe for Ina's blue cheese soufflehere.

Not only was I nervous about a souffle, I was sort of thinking, "ewww, hot blue cheese?" Blue cheese is okay ice cold in my Cobb Salad, but in a hot, eggy mixture? Not sure about that one, Ina. Have you been into the Vicodin again?

And I thought I'd heard something about egg whites and in, sometimes if it's too damp or cold, the egg whites won't perform. Just like my other nemesis, yeast.

It was a miserable, rainy, dark day when I had to pony up for The Blue Cheese Experiment. Grrrrreat.

I did as Ina said and let the eggs come to room temperature...something I have a few issues with, but I was afraid to deviate from the recipe.

Well, not that afraid, obviously, because I was so dubious about the flavor of this dish that I sauteed up 3 slices of bacon and added them to the souffle. I mean, bacon makes everything better. Bacon deserves it's own cool cape and Batmobile, don't you think?

My husband pretended not to hear me cursing a blue streak as I attempted to scald milk, separate eggs, whip the whites on 3 different speeds and then fold them into warm, cheesy goo...all almost at the same time. I felt like I needed 2 more arms to get this dish into the oven.

Have I ever mentioned that I hate folding egg whites? It's too gentle for me. I wanna just muscle them into the batter and be done with it--but nooooo, you have to go low and slow or else your dish deflates.

By the time I had this sucker ready for the oven, I was truly cranky. In fact, I literally threw it into the oven, sloshing batter up the sides of the souffle dish and onto the floor.

And then, genius that I am, I slammed the oven door shut. Which was the one thing my mother told me not to do when making a souffle. Whoops.

I quickly threw together a simple salad (literally...this KitchenWitch was a bitch by now), warmed some bread and swilled some wine while the souffle baked.

Surprisingly, it hadn't deflated too much--even with all that abuse! I mean, the pan was a wreck from all that sloshing about, but I still had fluffy, brown, eggy stuff lookin' at me.

I plated it, poured wine, we sat down, took a bite. I studied my husband. "It's not bad!" he smiled at me.

"You lying lump of turd," I said to him. "This sucks. It tastes like sweaty gym socks...not that I've eaten gym socks..."

"I was trying to be positive."

"Feel free to lie when I cook something from my recipe files--in fact, I encourage it--but this is Ina's recipe. I don't give a rip if you like it or not."

"Good to know that distinction. Duly we order pizza or something?"

We ended up settling for frozen samosa and the salad. Sorry Ina...even bacon, the superhero of food, couldn't save this one.


  1. Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that this Blue Cheese Souffle didn't work out. I love Blue Cheese, warm or cold! And while I don't share your same fear of egg whites (probably because I've helped my grandmother with many lemon meringue pies) I DO share your fear of yeast. I skip every recipe I stumble upon that has yeast. I just don't have the patience, plus the fear it (me) is going to fail (not rise.)

  2. Is fail the running theme this week for our kitchens? My schlump, your souffle. At least you had bacon. And wine. I had neither.

    Next fail, I'm headed to your house for medicinal pork and booze.

  3. It looks good, but blue cheese is GROSS! I would have subsitituted the blue cheese for grueyere or something.

  4. I have never had a souffle before and I was really wanting to try one. Now not so much. I really wanted to know what they tasted like but now that you have confirmed that they taste like smelly gym socks I shall steer clear!


  5. What a bummer! I find I need to be in the right mood for making a souffle. That much fussiness can seriously cramp my kitchen mojo if I'm not mentally ready for it.

    Jen- Don't give up on souffles! Only the blue cheese ones taste stinky- there are hundreds of other delicious ways to enjoy them!

  6. Gross, TKW. Heinously disgusting.

    Though I have to agree with you on bacon. Bacon is so awesome it doesn't even require a marketing campaign. Those slices of swine sell themselves.

  7. Such a good husband you have! While I am not afraid of yeast, I am afraid of souffles, so I salute you for even attempting it.

  8. That's hilarious. I share the same fear -souffle scares the crap out of me. Maybe I should man up one of these days and try it. Not with blue cheese though. I can see how that could taste like socks.

  9. It looks pretty, though! So I think you should be all Hooray For Me, The Souffle Queen!

  10. Yuck. I'm with you that warm blue cheese is not apetizing. I hate when you put a ton of time into something that doesn't turn out! I had that experience with my piecrust yesterday. Uggh! Tomorrow is another day and another recipe!

  11. I'm laughing to myself, as I read this. I understand your frustration. I finally-- after many years-- conquered my fear of egg whites, only because I have a Kitchen Aid Mixer that does the work. I used a different cheese, becaues I was afraid the blue cheese would be overpowering. Bacon! I think that was a brilliant idea. We liked it, but I'd rather spend my time and ingredients on a dessert souffle. But, the wine was a great idea.

  12. Have you tried Bacon Salt? Bacon Icecream? Bacon Martini? Me neither, but I think I'd like to.

  13. It does look pretty! I love blue cheese, but I feel the same way about egg whites in anything. I just tend to stay away from them.

    I did see this episode when Ina made this. She made it look soooo easy to make.

  14. Sorry about the fail. I always fail in the kitchen so I'm used to it..

    I don't like blue cheese though. It tastes like feet to me.

  15. Add me to the yeast fear list. I have started making homemade pizza dough, however, and it's really hard to screw up. Souffles- don't even get me started.

  16. hi there I have left an award for you on my blog, love yours!


  17. I saw Ina make this, and thought it was v. interesting. Actually, melted blue cheese is great--think of a blue cheese sauce with brisket or blue cheese stuffed inside a hamburger. I swear it's fabbo. The thing is...would it be good in a souffle?

  18. Unconfidential...I thought this recipe was so interesting because, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and Bon Appetit magazine had a back section with reader recipes, I topped a steak with a blue cheese/ other stuff topping and got in there...

    I am missing a lot about those food rags lately...I liked the reader contributions, the 3 page Q and A where readers wrote in about what they loved and eateries supplied the recipes and were honored to do so....

    Shit, I sound nostalgic and old...guilty.

  19. Not my forte' either. I just don't have the patience. Eggs should be simple served with a rasher of bacon. Your comment has me intrigued by the way.

  20. Chow and Chatter: thank you for the award...especially nice after an epic fail.

    I'm off to Sin City early tomorrow, so I can't reciprocate (you know, all the free BAD booze they serve there...will render me helpless, but thank you.)

    And you readers are so awesome for nurturing me through my failures...I think this one is definitely in the top ten...

  21. I'm with A Feast... KitchenAide mixers kick egg white ass. I've never feared a chiffon cake recipe with it. Plus, I always beat them one "stage" beyond recommended, so when I flip them (I don't fold... Big Daddy does the laundry...) into the other batter, a little bubble-loss is ok, plus they're ULTRA TUF bubbles!
    Re: magazines... What about cooks illustrated? I stopped the mags, cuz they're available online with a $15 subscription. Mmm, I LOVE them! And ATK on my PBS is AWESOME on the rare occassion when Lil Daddy is napping in my arms for a Saturday afternoon snooze.

  22. Yep...I've never made a souffle, surprised? But if I would have, I might have tried this one because I LOVE blue cheese. Love, love, love it. Good to know that Ina doesn't always know everything.

  23. Funny you write about souffle - I was thinking last night as I watched Masterchef...hmmm I have never eaten a souffle! I'm intrigued to try one now! It can't be as bad as trying to make pasta ravoli from scratch without a pasta machine and that er...failing dismally when you have guests due for tea any minute...yikes! That was not one of my happier, proud kitchen moments!

  24. So sorry that your souffle didn't work out. I was scared to death all day about making mine. I can say it turned out better than expected. I had a friend help me because it was too many steps for my two hands also. Love your blog!

  25. Love your exchange with your husband. So funny.

    And sorry for the souffle. I have yet to attempt it.

  26. LOL! Ah well...I've had many kitchen escapades that mirror this...

  27. I think I may be an idiot, but I am utterly failing at posting a comment.

    Or I'll have posted three by the time I'm done with this tripe.

    To the point - Your blog kicks ass and takes names.

  28. You did it, J. Harker, and I KNOW you aren't an idiot!

    Thanks for the compliment...I'm stealing that phrase :)