There is a time honoured tradition of souffle eating in our house. In our wee domicile that tradition, though it may stretch back to the beginning, is of course only about a year long. However, in my childhood home souffle has played a regular role. There is in fact even an intricately woven family mythology about souffle and its origins, but I'll save that for another day. Suffice it to say that my mom makes a mean souffle. And, though I'll admit my first time I was pretty nervous, so do I. Souffle, much like cooking with phyllo, seems to be one of those unnecessarily fraut cooking experiments that can give some folks the wiggins. I'm here to tell you however that it is down right simple. Easier, in fact, than pie if you ask me. And boy howdy will it impress the company.
Anyway, this post is not so much about the ease of making souffle, or my genetic inheritence of the souffle gene, this is about my need to achieve imagined perfection. Perfection in the form of the perfect souffle dish, which appears to exist only in my imagination. Bet you didn't see that coming!
You see, when I realized that Martin's daughter was a fan of souffle adding another relatively easy to make and easy to get inside the kid's stomach dinner to our repetoire, I decided to pick up a smaller souffle dish suitable for three person dinners. I figured I'd just pop into somewhere like The Bay or hell even London Drugs and get one. For surely, I assumed, most places carried souffle dishes. What could be a more useful all purpose dish afterall? Round. Goes in the oven. Simple, non? Turns out: not so much. That day I ended up caving and buying a cheap plain, and inspiring souffle dish at the dollar store of all places so that we could have the dinner I had shopped for, but I've still had my eyes peeled for a new one.
And so of course, what began as a quick trip out for a simple white 6" souffle dish has now turned into a quest for the unachievable. My ideal souffle dish would be simple yes, but not dull. A nice bright colour perhaps to offset the generally neutral toned souffle, but I find myself recoiling from versions that are all one continuous colour, meaning they aren't white on the inside (not sure why, but there you go). Emile Henry makes a very close approximation, but they're a bit too primary colour palette for my tastes. Of course, I've decided that my ideal souffle pan would be just like these Le Creuset Ramekins (and I do think that the green is an excellent choice), but bigger. Like 10 times bigger. And of course, unless a product developer at Le Creuset is reading this blog ("hello!") that is not entirely likely to be added to their product line anytime soon.
So, dear reader, if any of you see some lovely souffle dishes in your travels, do pass them my way. In the meantime, I'll continue to scour the web and specialty kitchen shops to feed my neuroses.