15-34: White Chocolate Strawberry Soufflé

Happy New Years’ Eve! 2021 has not been my favorite year (probably not yours either), and so I’m not sad to see it go–in fact, we’re going to celebrate its departure with a holiday-ish dessert today: 15-34: White Chocolate Strawberry Soufflé. This soufflé is not baked, but does include meringue being folded in. I’m not sure if that makes it “not a soufflé,” but at this point, does it matter?

“Dramatic” is definitely a good way to describe this past year, so perhaps this is the perfect dessert/recipe for today. However your 2021 has been, I hope that 2022 is a safe and prosperous year for you and yours.?

Now–let’s get off the heavy stuff and into something much lighter–discussion of this “soufflé”.

One thing I could not figure out with this recipe, is why they want you to put waxed paper collars on the dishes as if they expected them to rise. Even their cover photo makes it look like this is a regular soufflé that rises in the oven…except there’s no oven involved in this recipe. How else does the soufflé rise if not by heat? I suppose you’re just supposed to “fill” it past the top of the dish (hence the need for the collar), but I don’t see the point. Here’s another recipe that looks VERY close to this one, and they do the same.

Ingredients. I happened to find some white chocolate chips with no dairy in them (even called Simply Delicious!) and used some non-dairy whip to complement it. I also had to make a swap for the gelatin, since traditional gelatin is not vegetarian. Instead, I’ve used agar agar, an animal-free substitute. Eggs are real, but you could maybe try doing it with aquafaba if you wanted it to be completely vegan.

Separating my eggs. Yes, those are old pet food bowls, and they work GREAT for doing mise en place in the kitchen. #reuse

Puréeing SOME (not all) of the strawberries in the food processor. You’ll need some for the garnish at the end, so don’t do them all.

I ended up with about a cup and a half of strawberry purée.

Mixing the water, agar agar, and sugar in the pot.

Added in the strawberry purée.

Also added in the white chocolate chips.

That looks…not good. Maybe adding in some whipped egg whites will help?

How they start…

…and you’ll know you’re finished when you can tip the bowl upside down and nothing moves.

I’m folding, but I’m not feeling great about it.

I suppose it’s better than it started, but it still doesn’t look appetizing. Maybe I should have cheated and added some red food coloring to make it look more “strawberry-ish”.

Cleaned out the meringue bowl and set the mixer back up to whip the cream.

I used non-dairy whip, so it’s not AS great as the real stuff would have been, but it gets the job done. I bet this is part of the reason I couldn’t get mine up above the edge of the soufflé dish–my cream didn’t whip up enough.

Folding in the whipped cream.

DESPITE what you may believe from my cover photo, I DID use a paper collar. It just didn’t matter. Also, don’t mess up like me and put your collar on the inside of the dish–it needs to go on the outside or you’ll seriously damage your soufflé. Mine was somewhat doomed from the start, so there wasn’t much hope anyway.

I decided to add some extra strawberry swirl (leftover purée) to mine to make it less pathetic and bland-looking.

I sliced up some strawberries I had saved for garnish and prepared some mint leaves.

After chilling/removing the wax collar. See my rough edges? THIS is why the collar goes on the outside.

I did my best to salvage it with some strawberries and mint on top–it tasted fine, but could have used some work on the presentation side of it. Also, I’d probably do them as individual soufflés in ramekins next time, since it isn’t really a real soufflé to begin with.

Happy New Year anyway–to another year of weird recipes and questionable dishes. Salud!

Grade: B+