Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pumpkin Soufflés - IHCC You Made Me Love (or at Least Like) You!

I didn't taste winter squash until I was in university and the watery, tasteless mash the cafeteria served didn't impress. It was a few years before I tried it again, properly cooked this time, and started to appreciate its merits. As with most vegetables, Yotam Ottolenghi, the featured chef at I Heart Cooking Clubs, has a very special way with winter squash. I decided to challenge myself with Halloween Soufflés from the book Plenty, a recipe I've had bookmarked for a long time but avoided making since soufflés are rather intimidating to me. 

They turned out to be much easier to make than I expected. The recipe began with the roasting and puréeing of fresh pumpkin.... more on that later. The next step was to make a basic béchamel sauce. I cooked some minced garlic in the butter before adding the flour for the roux, then added the finished white sauce to the pumpkin purée along with egg yolks, cheese, herbs and seasonings. The egg whites were whipped to stiff peaks, folded in and the mixture was baked in the prepared ramekins.

I made a few changes to the recipe, the most notable of which was to use this: 

What can I say.....it was too early to see fresh pumpkins in the grocery store and the kabocha squash were simply not calling to me that day!

The other changes were governed by what I had on hand: I used Parmesan cheese instead of strong goat cheese, fresh thyme instead of marjoram, and I coated the buttered baking dishes with toasted ground walnuts left over from a baking project instead of hazelnuts.

These did not disappoint. They puffed nicely in the oven, had a light, airy texture and the flavour was well balanced with the sweetness of the pumpkin coming through. And coating the dishes with nuts was a nice touch...the bites with the walnuts were the best. With the tangy sour cream-chive topping, a great foil for the pumpkin, these were delicious.

If I hadn't already liked winter squash, this recipe would have made a convert of me!

This week's IHCC theme is You Made Me Love (or at Least Like) You!, focusing on foods we didn't like as children that we enjoy now. Visit to see what dislikes other members have overcome.

I'm also sharing this post with Cook-Your-Books, hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours.


  1. Hi Zosia,
    Your pumpkin souffle looks wonderful, and perfectly baked! It rises really well! I have not tried pumpkin souffle before. It sounds really delicious with the sour cream-chive topping!
    Thanks for linking to CYB!
    Have not made anything for IHCC yet. I'm cracking my head over what I do not like, seems like I like almost everything! haha!

  2. Your souffle turned out perfectly--so puffed up and gorgeous. I have to confess I am not a pumpkin dish fan to this day--mainly because of the spices that come along with it, but with the savory herbs and such, this looks like a dish I would enjoy. ;-)

  3. Wow! I love souffles. Never tried one with pumpkin, and have a shelf full of pumpkin cans. I like your tweaks, they are more to my taste, too.
    If you are a fan of souffles, too, you might check out this brussels sprout or broccoli souffle: http://hanseata.blogspot.com/2013/01/cooking-with-my-mom-brussels-sprouts.html

  4. Que rico se ve estupendo souflé no lo había hecho de calabaza está perfecto,hugs,hugs.

  5. Zosia, I always feel a bit nervous about making souffles too, but you've certainly made them look achievable. Using canned pumpkin was a great option (we can't buy it in New Zealand), and I love the other changes you made too - great cooking is all about adapting to what you have on hand or what is available to you.

  6. I have this marked too and, like you, have been afraid to attempt souffle. These are beautiful!

  7. Bravo to you for sharing a souffle on your blog! You achieved an incredible rise on your souffle and a terrific picture ;) So glad that you liked this one.

  8. Zosia, your souffles look so light and fluffy! With that light and airy texture, the pumpkin's sweetness definitely bring the souffles to a different level. Good one!!

    1. I was quite happy that they turned out as well as they did since I have so little experience with soufflés.

      Thank you for stopping by.


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