I have always been intimidated by soufflés. No, that’s not quite true. I had never thought of a soufflé� as something that should intimidate me, until I saw the horrors that Lucy Liu’s character had with them in one of the Charlies’ Angels movies. Ever since then, I had been intimidated by soufflés. As one of my resolutions for 2007 was to overcome my fear of dishes that deal with whipping egg whites when I saw the Hay Hay it’s Donna Day challenge  with Soufflé as its theme I knew I had to take it.
This was my first time making a soufflé of any kind. I had fully intended to find a recipe and follow it to the letter. And I did. Kinda. Sorta. Let’s say I had the best of intentions, but like Chennette  I often find myself beginning with one recipe and then improvising so much that I end up with something completely different. 🙂
The results of this, my first attempt, were flat to say the least.
I would have been more depressed if they hadn’t tasted so damn good though. I knew I was on to something!! 🙂 I IM’d my college friend Lynn of RedSheepCrafts  and asked her to tell me where I had gone wrong. With a little virtual diagnosis I was armed with a series of ‘tactical’ changes for my second attempt 24 hours later.
To say that I was thrilled would be an understatement 😀 I immediately IMd the pics to Lynn while rhapsodizing on the bite-sized creamy fluffiness that were these cocktail worthy concoctions. Next time I -may- add a tad more pepper but I think they are perfect as they are, and any further tweaking would just be me not knowing when to leave well enough alone 😆
Sarina’s Miniature Hot Pepper Soufflés
1 tablespoon unsalted butter plus additional for buttering muffin cups
2 1/2 tablespoons cake flour
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper, seeded and finely chopped
6 tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 egg whites
2 egg yolks
1. Butter muffin cups.
2. Dust bottom of cups with flour mixture, knocking out excess.
3. Sprinkle bottom of cups with a little of the Parmesan
4. Make about 9 cuffs with strips of aluminum foil (thoroughly greased and floured), place in muffin tin
5. Combine finely minced onion and scotch bonnet pepper
5. Melt remaining tablespoon butter in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat.
6. Add remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons flour and onion/pepper mixture
7. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes.
8. Whisk in milk (mixture will temporarily look curdled) and bring to a simmer, whisking, then cook, whisking constantly, until thick and smooth, about 3 minutes.
9. Transfer to a bowl and add cheese, salt, pepper, mustard, and egg yolks, stirring until mixture is well blended.
10. Cool to room temperature,about 15 minutes.
11. Meanwhile, put oven rack in middle position and preheat to 400?Ǭ?F.
12. Beat egg whites in a small deep bowl with an eggbeater or a handheld electric mixer at high speed until it just barely holds stiff peaks.
13. Stir one fourth of whites into souffl?ɬ� mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.
14. Spoon into cuffs, filling about halfway.
15. Bake soufflés until puffed and golden, 9 to 11 minutes.
16. Cool in pan on a rack just until warm.
17. Remove cuffs carefully. They should come off easily though. (Souffl?ɬ�s will fall slightly as they cool.)
Makes 9 mini soufflés