Sunday, 30 June 2013

Will I rise the occasion?

"The difficult can be done at once, the impossible merely takes a little longer"

Pushing me towards achieving my goal of mastering the basics, Fanny urges me that both the extremely difficult and the impossible CAN be transformed into easy success. She thrills in telling me that failure only happens when recipes are written by people who do NOT cook or read by people who do NOT follow every word faithfully throughout. I think she's trying to reassure my that her Simple Soufflé, the next recipe in my basic training, will work out well - but of course she is also trying to terrify me into following every word... Keep calm Fanny, I am with you...

This simple sweet soufflé uses four eggs and a little caster sugar, that's it. Fanny tells me it's not the most elaborate soufflé in the world, I get it, but it is good enough to eat. Well, that's good. Fanny also allows me to vary the basic recipe a little, and here suggests using some "dull old properly cooked fruit" as a base. I have some gorgeous gooseberries, perfect, but not dull. she wont know. The cooking to proper standard is all down to me, but I am sure I can manage.

I add the properly cooked fruit to my properly buttered soufflé dish (6 inch for a 4 egg soufflé). All good so far...

Following Fanny's word to the letter, of course, I separate my four not-too-fresh eggs and whip up the whites until they are stiff enough to hold them over my head without falling out. Ordinarily I'd just guess they would not fall out, but fearing failure if I don't follow Fanny, upside down they go!

Sneaky Fanny is checking that I am really working my way through these basic Golden Threads without cheating - she asks me to now whip my egg yolks with four tablespoons of caster sugar until they are a thick creamy batter that resemble mayonnaise... It's ok Fanny I made the mayonnaise, I am learning and I know just what to look for. How chuffed am I at myself?

Adding the mayonnaise-like yolks to the whipped whites, gently and with a rubber spatula (details, details...) I fold them in and cover the (hopefully) properly cooked gooseberries.

I can feel my nerves starting to jangle as I pop it in the hot oven... I am warned that it must cook for 13 or 13 and a half minutes (is it an option?) - any longer and it will be a PUDDEN and not a soufflé. I must remember this for future, Fanny adds. Noted. I am sure there will be a test soon.

Thirteen minutes is up, will it be the first-class show-off that Fanny promises, or a terrible flop? I am doubting myself and not Fanny here... Did I really follow every single written word by the cook who really does cook? Should I have taken a little longer to study the impossible? I think Fanny would be pleased...


  1. I love Fanny and her copy style - I'm sure she would have approved of this souffle :)