Okay campers -I have worked on this recipe harder than anything I have posted so far. Multiple attempts- First attempt was the original recipe that lacked a really “spicy” flavor, next attempt failed because I had to run to the hospital for a family member having emergency bypass surgery. Final attempt- this recipe- is perfect. So here we are: Gingerbread Soufflé. Not for a novice, but I really hope you try this recipe. It is so fantastic: warm, rich, spicy, it just says “the holidays are here.” I have a recipe which I think, for the host/hostess that really has their act together, you could serve for Thanksgiving or a big holiday dinner. Just takes planning and a bit of timing.
This recipe is based off the Gingerbread Soufflé from the 1985 Edition of the Silver Palate Cookbook. Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins, the authors, taught me how to cook. Despite having no photographs and not too much in the way of instruction, this cookbook has become a classic and every home cook should have a copy in their culinary library.
While experimenting with the original recipe, I found a few items needed updating for my personal tastes. First of all,you really have to add cream of tartar to the egg whites to get stiff peaks – just a tiny bit is all you need.
The crystallized ginger in the original recipe didn’t add much flavor, but it did add grainy lumps to the otherwise smooth custard of the soufflé. The oven temp was too high and I burnt my first attempt. For the spices, I added white pepper which adds fantastic heat to the pastry cream, two massive tablespoons of fresh ginger and I doubled the amount of cloves. I also added molasses. It adds great color and even more moisture which I felt the soufflé really needed.
Then to the whipped cream. Of course, you don’t have to flavor to the whipped cream, but hey- you are making a dang soufflé- time to go all in folks. At first I added Grand Marnier because it pretty much makes anything taste better, but the liqueur overwhelmed the soufflé and all I could taste was orange. So sort of by accident, I squeezed fresh “milk” from the ground ginger into the whipped cream and added another heaping teaspoon of ginger as well. This was pure heaven. Honestly, I could eat the gingered whipped cream alone. I then saved a bit of crystalized ginger for a garnish. FRESH ginger root is SO important in this recipe. Peel it with a spoon just to get the brown skin off and start grating away.
You can make the whipped cream early in the day and let the flavors blend- ideal actually. Then make the pastry cream and let it come to room temperture. Finally, just have your prepped soufflé dish ready, whip up the egg whites into shiny stiff peaks and fold everything together. Do NOT open the oven door for any reason. This will ruin your soufflé. I’m posting this recipe on my Instagram and my Facebook accounts, so be sure to write in any questions or comments. I’d love to hear from anyone who makes this recipe. I hope you and your guests enjoy it.
6 TBSP unsalted butter
6 TBSP all purpose flour, sifted to remove lumps
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
5 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar, remove lumps
1 TBSP ground ginger
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 TBSP molasses
2 TBSP freshly grated ginger
1/4 tsp cream of tartar, pinch of salt
7 egg whites at room temperature
1 TBSP crystallized ginger, chopped fine
softened butter and white sugar for prepping the soufflé dish
for Garnish: gingered whipped cream- see recipe below.
Method, prep time 1 hour, baking time- 50 minutes Serves 8-10
- In a heavy medium size saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute. Slowly stir in 1 cup of milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream. Cook stirring constantly, until smooth and thick and bubbling. Remove from the heat.
- Place egg yolks in a small bowl. To the bowl, slowly add 1/2 cup of the custard to temper the eggs. Blend until smooth. Then slowly add the egg mixture into the cream in the saucepan whisking to ensure a smooth base for the soufflé -free of any lumps. Stir in brown sugar. Stir in ground ginger and all spices, finally adding in freshly grated ginger and molasses. Set aside to come to room temperature.
- Pre heat oven to 400 degrees.
In a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, on low speed beat egg whites until frothy about 1-2 minutes (make certain your mixer whisk and bowl are clean- free of any oils or residue).
Add cream of tartar and pinch of salt.
Increase speed to medium and beat eggs white another 1- 3 minutes until white. Finally, increase to highest speed and whip whites until shiny and they hold a stiff peak. Note-It is important to slowly add air to the eggs whites. This helps to stabilize them and by adding air slowly it creates a better meringue foundation for the soufflé.
- Prep a 2 quart soufflé dish by buttering the sides and bottom well and then coat with white sugar. Set aside.
- With a scraper, move pastry cream/base that is now at room temperature to a large bowl, Whisk the base lightly to loosen and check that it is free of lumps. Take one third of the beaten egg whites and slowly fold the egg whites into the base using a spatula. Now gently fold in remaining egg whites. Cut through the base and whites and “lift” and fold the mixture up and over itself with your spatula until all the streaks of color are well blended. Do not over mix.
- Pour mixture into the prepared soufflé dish. Take your thumb and gently go around the edge of the dish to create a “lip”. This will help the soufflé to rise and not fall. Bake until puffed, golden brown and fragrant. About 50-55 minutes. Do not open the oven door while baking.
Serve immediately with the ginger whipped cream and garnish with crystallized ginger.
Ginger Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 TBSP super fine sugar
3 TBSP freshly ground ginger root
1 tsp ground ginger
- In a bowl lined with cheese cloth, grate the ginger root.
Squeeze the cheese cloth to release the “milk” from the ginger into the bowl. Set aside.
- In a mixer with a whisk attachment, whip on low speed, heavy cream, ginger “milk”and ground ginger. Once frothy, increase speed to high and slowly add sugar until cream is thick and fully whipped. Cover and chill until needed- up to 8 hours. Serve with soufflé.