There’s nothing like eating a sweet or savory soufflé. The word comes from the French souffler, meaning to breathe or puff, and that’s exactly what this 18th-century airy rich dessert looks like when made correctly.
In honor of National Soufflé Day on Sunday, I reached out to Sherry Yard, award-winning pastry chef and owner of the future Helms Bakery in Los Angeles, for a recipe. Yard obliged with her hilariously-titled schmutz banana chocolate chip no-fail cotton candy soufflé recipe. Yard says she got the idea for the soufflé from salzburger nockerl, a traditional Austrian dessert that evokes three mountains surrounding Salzburg.
There’s no actual cotton candy here. But with bananas, chocolate chips and rum, what could go wrong? It’s just the decadent classy dessert to serve while gazing at luxurious clothing on Oscars night.
How to make Sherry Yard’s schmutz banana chocolate chip soufflé
Yard says this “no fail cotton candy soufflé!!!” is also known as banana salzburger nockerl. Be sure to use fresh egg whites to achieve a perfectly fluffy soufflé texture.
Yield: Makes 6 ramekins
14 oz Banana schmutz base (recipe follows below)
8 egg whites
½ tsp cream of tartar
4 oz granulated sugar
4 oz chocolate chips
6 ramekins, buttered up-stroke, dusted with sugar
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Preheat your oven to 385ºF.
In a large bowl, combine the Banana Schmutz and chocolate chips.
On speed 3 of a Kitchen Aid mixer fitted with a whip attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam and add in the cream of tartar. Gradually stream in the sugar and continue whipping so that the soft peaks turn into fairly stiff, medium-sized peaks.
For the soufflé: Fold the egg white mixture into the large bowl containing the Banana schmutz base and chocolate chips.
Stack this mixture into each of the buttered and sugared ramekins. Fill the ramekins over the top like cotton candy.
Bake the ramekins on the bottom rack of a 385ºF oven until their tops turn a dark golden brown.
To serve: Dust the soufflé peaks with powdered sugar.
Banana schmutz base
This base can be stored for up to three days in the refrigerator. Just be sure to remove the Banana schmutz base from the refrigerator one hour prior to using.
Yield: Makes 14 ounces
Banana Schmutz Ingredients
8 oz bananas, ripe but not too ripe (approx. 3 bananas)
1 oz butter, cut into 4 pieces
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 oz dark rum
2 tsps lemon juice
Peel the bananas and remove any strings and butts. On an odor-free cutting board, roughly chop the bananas into ½-inch pieces.
In 4-quart sauté pan, lightly brown the butter over high heat. Add both the sugar and the brown sugar to the pan. Lower the heat to medium and stir constantly until the mixture turns a beautiful dark caramel color. Next, add the chopped bananas, cook for 4 to 5 minutes until the bananas have broken down.
Remove the pan from heat to add the dark rum (carefully because rum is flammable). Stir to combine and place the pan back over medium heat. Continue stirring constantly until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes.
Once again, remove the pan from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Purée in food processor immediately.
Pour out the mixture into a hotel pan or a plastic-lined sheet tray. Cover the mixture directly with plastic wrap and cool over ice.