Monday, March 15, 2010

Walking On Air

Contrary to many folks out there, math was my favorite subject in school. I initially went to UVa to major in "Mathematics" and be an Algebra II teacher.......aaaand I majored in English and Religious Studies after my first calculus class. Maybe it was my Ukrainian professor who used to close his emails with, "Your Evil Professor, Daniel T.," who knows; and now she's working in a law office, you're thinking. Hm. When I was in high school I had a teacher named Mrs. Henley who made math kind of fun; she was really sweet and everybody loved her, which totally gives you the upper hand if you're a math teacher. I had her for Geometry and Trigonometry (I really don't remember anything about Trig except for three things: sin, cos, tan. That's kind of sad to me.) and both years, our class celebrated on March 14 by eating various pizzas and pies in honor of the constant Pi (3.14159265...). Clever idea, Mrs. Hen.

I've always wanted to make chocolate souffles, I can't really say why, maybe I just like the word "souffle." I studied about them in Mrs. Fletcher's Foods & Nutrition class at LHS, and I'm thinking of a movie where the main character makes chocolate souffles at least twice (Any guessers?) that always makes me want to bake some. When I read Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard, she has recipes at the end of every chapter and one of the recipes is her French hubby's recipe: "Gwendal's Quick & Dirty Chocolate Souffle Cake." On Saturday, in honor of Pi Day (even though it was technically yesterday), I made this cake in my new aqua pie dish. So it is going on the chocolate cakery shenanigans list because it was an absolutely divine, like a perfect chocolate angel food cake. No butter, either; that's definitely the first cake I've ever made without butter or shortening. And I like the idea of making it in one dish because I didn't have anyone besides H. to eat it. Making 8 miniature souffles wouldn't have been the most practical thing to do, even though it would've been prettier. As souffles are made with lots of eggs and they puff up because of the egg whites, which facilitate wonderful airy-fluffiness, and my cake did eventually fall in the pie dish, but it still tasted wonderful. I tried to document the rise and fall (but caught mostly the fall). Also, I really really wanted to use this pie dish because I think it's adorable. And I don't really make pies. Ever. Unless it's a fudgy tart or, my personal favorite, Mom's chocolate bourbon pecan pie.

Here's the chocolate souffle prior to oven-time.


I have a major problem of wanting to peep in on my baking creations while they're in the oven. The problem is, I read somewhere that every time you open up the oven door while it's on, you lose 25 degrees, which demotes even baking and is also a waste of power. But because my Barbie oven has neither a light, window nor more than one oven rack, I feel like I'm in a dream kitchen that has an oven made post-1945 with all the amenities mentioned above. I could sit in front of the oven window the whole time.


Here it is directly out of the oven!


This thing started falling just a couple of minutes after I took it out of the oven.


But I obviously didn't care; I kept cutting the infamous Chambers Family Slivers out of this chocolate souffle cake. I'm admitting that this gene has been passed on to me. For those who don't know, the Chambers Family Sliver phenomenon is one characterized by all the women on my mother's side of the family, Granny, daughters and granddaughters all included, who cut teensy weensy little slices of desserts, over and over again. We like to believe that the sliver is a manifestation of eating in moderation; however, two slivers often turns into eating a whole row of brownies or a whole pie without even realizing it. This cake did not last 24 hours. It was phenomenal and I will definitely be making it again! I would guess that this cake was comparable to eating a chocolate cloud if such a thing exists; it was light, fluffy and very air.

1 comment:

mybackburner said...

looks so, good, r! very impressive :)