Thursday, January 18, 2007

Banana Soufflés

A Dieter's Dream Dessert!

150 calories. That's really all I need to tell you, but being the garrulous little food writer I am, let me continue for just a paragraph or two.

You may already know that I love to make souffles. They are fun, easy and make me feel more like a domestic goddess than any dish in my repertoire. I also love bananas. If you too, enjoy the exquisite torture of watching a couple bananas ripen to the point of sweet, blackened smooshiness on your kitchen counter, this is the recipe for you. Instead of whipping up the same old banana bread, try these souffles. Did I mention they're only 150 calories each?

The lightness of the pureed bananas, egg whites and sugar create a gorgeous rise. Sweet and airy, they are the perfect dessert to follow a heavier meal, or a whole season of holiday feasting. You could even afford to spoon a little chocolate sauce over them without a bit of guilt.

I love how a souffle goes from this...

To this - stunning!
Banana Soufflés
The original version of this recipe appeared in the January issue of Redbook magazine, and was first published in Perfect Light Desserts by Nick Malgieri and David Joachim.
Makes 4-6oz. souffles.

2 large ripe bananas
5 tbs. sugar, divided, plus extra for coating soufflé dishes
2 tbs. water
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
3 large egg whites
¼ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Puree the bananas in a blender or food processor. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the 4 tbs. sugar and water. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves completely. Cook without stirring for an additional minute until mixture thickens slightly. Slowly stir in the banana puree and cook until mixture reaches a full boil. Remove from heat and stir in the cinnamon. Allow mixture to cool slightly in the refrigerator while you prepare the ramekins.

Spray 4-6oz. ramekins with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle sugar all over the bottom and sides. Spin ramekins around to coat completely and shake out any excess sugar.

Put the egg whites and salt in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until white and foamy. Add the remaining 1 tbs. sugar and continue to beat, increasing the speed to medium-high, until stiff peaks form.

Gently fold about one-third of the egg whites into the banana mixture. Continue to fold in the remaining egg whites. Divide soufflé mixture evenly among the prepared ramekins and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until tops have risen and browned lightly. Serve immediately.

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Rachel said...

Yum! We've been thinking of souffles a lot lately too!

Tim said...

I have tried making souffle's! But it seems to be one thing that always fails me! Congrats on being able to achieve something that is so difficult for me...

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I have a great banana pudding I love to show off with but this looks great for more often and a little show off! Good work.
And yes I did get the 150 per!!

Julie said...

Oh, yes, yes!

I just bought some souffle dishes today and I have been looking at other banana desserts after making a banana cake last week. Your suggestion of a banana souffle is perfect.

Anita said...

This looks stunning - and you again make it sound easy. With the simplest of ingredients I think there is no excuse to not make!

rachel said...

wow! those look amazing. i was just looking at souffle recipes and i found a Bittersweet chocolate souffle with Earl Grey custard sauce in my Bon Appetit cookbook that i'm going to try to make. I'd love to split them up into mini's if possible.

Patricia Scarpin said...

OMG, Julie!!

Your soufflés are huge and sooooo pretty!

The only 150 calories info is stuck in my head, you bet. ;)

Lis said...

Holy crap do those look excellent! I am SO making these - WOO!

Hey.. you should submit these to Hay! Hay! It's Donna Day! This month's theme is souffles. :D

You can read about it here =)

Kristen said...

Only 150 calories? Wow! Not many things with that few calories make my mouth water at the site of them. These look like they would taste delicious.

Julie said...

Rachel: I must go see what you've been cooking...
Tim: Did you read my post on blue cheese souffles? I talk a little more about technique. Being gentle with the egg whites is key and coating the ramekins with cheese or sugar gives the souffle something to hold onto as it rises.
Half Cups: a souffle is definitely a nice change from a pudding (and healthier!).
Julie: Yeah! Perfect timing.
Anita: Thanks; I really think these are so easy that everyone should give them a shot.
Rachel: that recipe sounds amazing. I love the idea of using teas to flavor desserts. Please let me know if you blog about it or just send me the recipe!
Patricia and Kristen: I know, it's almost too good to be true.
Lis: Thanks, I am about to enter this in HHDD. I can't keep track of so many events:)

Barbara said...

Wow only 150 calories. That's my kinda dessert. Love your banana version of soufflé. Thanks for joining us for HHDD.

Renz said...

I found this post on Running with Tweezers, smelled the overripe bananas in the fruit basket, and got straight to work. These were pretty good, especially for 150 calories. Also, I used vanilla instead of cinnamon (husband hates cinnamon, sad to say), and dusted the tops very lightly with ground ginger. Really tasty, so glad you posted this,

overall, how do you like the book? It's on my wishlist, but everytime I think to buy it, I tell myself "no dessert has even less calories than light dessert." Then I end up making brownies...

Julie said...

Renz: Glad the souffles turned out well for you! They're not the richest dessert in the world, but for 150 calories, I'll take it! I don't actually own that cookbook; I got this recipe from the January issue of redbook magazine. They published a few recipes from the book. I don't think I would buy it because I don't try to make "light" desserts very often. Most souffles are actually lo-cal no matter where you get the recipe. You can also shave calories off many recipes with a few tricks or substitutions. If I'm making cookies or a cake, I don't want the light version because I want it to satisfy me completely. If you get the book, I'd love to hear your opinion.