Tara Thornton’s Warm Banana Souffle

Narrative by Liz & Mel
Recipes by JoAnn

Intimidated by the word “souffle”? Sookie’s BFF Tara isn’t, and you won’t be either after making this easy dessert combining chocolate and bananas. The recipe can be doubled or tripled for the next baby shower, church social, or girls’ night in.

A souffle is a puffy baked cake served as a main dish or as a dessert. A souffle is made by folding beaten egg whites with a base that determines the character and flavor of the dish. The base can include foods such as fruits, berries for a main dish or chocolate, banana, or lemon for desserts (the desserts usually include a lot of sugar).

Hot from the oven a souffle should be fluffy and full of air (the French verb “souffler” means “to blow or puff up”). As it cools it will fall, often within 5 to 10 minutes.

A souffle can be made in any container of the right size but the traditional dish is the ramekin, a glazed white, flat-bottomed container with a fluted exterior.

PREP TIME: 30 Minutes

2-3 2 oz ramekins (reserving the 3rd ramekin for overflow)
non-stick cooking spray
1 large, ripe banana
1 & 1/2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lime or lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1 & 1/2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar (plus more for dusting)
Melted chocolate for drizzling

You will also need:
2 bowls
1 fork
an electric mixer
(Ingredients may be doubled or tripled in proper ratios if making Warm Banana Souffle for a crowd.

1. In a medium-sized bowl, mash 1 large, ripe banana with a fork. Add 1 & 1/2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lime (or lemon) juice and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Blend thoroughly and set aside.

2. In a chilled bowl, whip 2 chilled egg whites to a soft peak stage. Gradually add 1 & 1/2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar to soft peaked egg whites. Continue whipping egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form.

3. Working in thirds, gradually (and gently) fold the stiffly beaten egg whites into the mashed banana until combined.

4. Spoon souffle mixture into individual ramekins prepared with non-stick cooking spray; divide evenly. While some recipes suggest filling the ramekins just short of the top, I suggest filling the ramekins right to the top or going just slightly passed. Set filled ramekins on a cookie sheet (or jelly roll pan) and place in lower third of a preheated 450F degree oven with upper rack removed. Turn on the oven’s interior light and keep a close eye on your souffles. Resist the temptation to open the door during baking (to do so would risk the souffles falling prematurely). Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes. Trust your instincts and judge doneness by rise and top browning evenly, in addition to baking time.

5. When souffles are done, remove from oven and drizzle with melted chocolate. Using a non-slip hot pad or thick, textured kitchen towel, remove ramekins to individual plates and serve immediately.