“FIRE IN THE HOLE!”

That’s the preface to blowing something up when using an explosive. “Dig in, NOW! ” is the audible prelude when serving soufflés. You want to dig in as soon as possible, so they don’t deflate and that, my friends, doesn’t take long. The French word Soufflé derives from ‘souffler‘, which means to blow up. Contrary to popular belief, there is no way to keep a soufflé  from deflating once it has blown up and removed from the oven. Once the air, trapped inside of the proteins of the egg, expand, so does the soufflé. When you remove it from a hot oven, the air cools and the egg proteins are not strong enough to hold its’ shape, thereby deflating. So it is important when serving soufflés to enjoy them directly from the oven.

Spiced Maple Soufflés
I refer to real maple syrup in many recipes and I do realize the cost is quite extravagant. You can use imitation maple syrup if desired, but the real deal is so much more intense I urge all to use it. I do urge you to trod lightly when baking though, it is true that jostling or physical banging will collapse these delicate desserts.

Nonstick cooking spray
4 T. sugar
3 T. real maple syrup
3 T. apple cider or juice
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 c. real maple syrup
4 egg whites
Pinch salt
1 t. baking powder
1 T. dry apple cider mix
1 T. sifted powdered sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 400° F. Spray six 10 oz. ramekins with cooking spray; sprinkle the bottom with sugar. Combine 3 T. maple syrup, 3 T. cider and cinnamon in a small bowl; microwave for 30 seconds, or until mixture boils. Pour about 1 T. cider mixture into each prepared ramekin.
Boil 1 c. syrup in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat 3 minutes, stirring almost constantly to keep from scorching.  Meanwhile, beat egg whites and salt until  soft peaks are almost formed. Pour hot maple syrup in a thin stream over egg whites, beating at high speed until stiff peaks form. Add baking powder, beat well an additional 5 seconds. Spoon evenly into prepared ramekins; place in a jelly-roll pan or sheet pan and bake for 13-15 minutes or until puffy, dark brown on top and set. Remove gently and dust with apple cider mix and/or powdered sugar if desired. Serve immediately.

Gingerbread Soufflés
Want to get in the Holiday spirit and show off a little? Try this recipe below, but remember to RUN to the table with these souffles, or they will deflate even faster than your ego.

Nonstick cooking spray
4 T. brown sugar
3 T. real maple syrup
3 T. apple cider or juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 c. molasses
4 egg whites
Pinch salt
1 t. baking powder
1/2 cup crushed gingersnaps, optional
Whipped topping, optional

Preheat oven to 400° F. Coat six 10 oz. ramekins with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle the bottom with brown sugar, dividing equally. Whisk together 3 T. maple syrup, 3 T. cider, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a small bowl; microwave for 30 seconds, or until mixture boils. Pour about 1 T. maple syrup/cider mixture into each prepared ramekin.
Boil 1 c. molasses in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat 3 minutes, stirring almost constantly to keep from scorching; remove from heat.


Beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks are almost formed. Pour molasses in a thin stream over egg whites, beating at high speed until stiff peaks form. It may not look like stiff peaks but they will be after about 2 additional minutes of beating.  Add baking powder, beat well for another 5 seconds. Spoon evenly into prepared ramekins; place in a jelly-roll pan or sheet pan and bake for 13-15 minutes or until puffy, dark brown on top and set. Remove gently and dollop whipped cream and a sprinkle of crushed gingersnaps on top. Serve immediately, and I do mean immediately.