We have always been curious about dessert in the slow cooker. We use our Crock-Pot all the time, but mostly for braises, curries, and roasts, like this slow-cooked pork roast. Many people use it to make breakfast, cooking steel-cut oats all night. But we had never tried dessert. So when we received a soufflé recipe straight from Crock-Pot, we just had to try it out. Here's how it went...
The directions for preparing the soufflé were quite similar to a traditional soufflé. We mixed flour and milk and cooked it into a roux with orange-flavored sugar. (We didn't have any Grand Marnier, so we substituted two tablespoons of honey and a half teaspoon of crushed dried lavender for a light, very subtle flavor that accentuated the orange.) We beat in butter and egg yolks.
Then we beat egg whites until stiff (but not dry!) and folded the orange mixture and whites together. Then we dumped it all into our Crock-Pot and set it on High.
The recipe said to cook for an hour, but we found that ours wasn't done. The top had puffed up dramatically but it wasn't finished. We made the mistake, then, of leaving it in much too long; the bottom and sides were rather burned.
But inside it was quite good - it had that light, foamy, eggy texture of soufflé - like a very, very delicate bread pudding. The flavor was very good.
We are not sure, though, if soufflé is the best thing to make in our Crock-Pot; one of the things we like about soufflés is the individual cups that they are usually baked in. They make for much better presentation. Plus, for all the work we did we think that it would have been just as easy to bake this in the oven.
Having said that, though, this is great for times when your oven is already occupied with dinner. We want to try out other Crock-Pot dessert recipes, like slow-cooked rice pudding, bread pudding, and berry crisp.
Have you ever made dessert in your slow cooker? Try it out with us - or make a messy soufflé with us! Here's the recipe...
Orange Grand Marnier® Soufflé
2/3 cup sugar plus extra sugar, to coat slow stoneware and sprinkle on top of soufflé
1 orange, zest only
6 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup milk
8 egg yolks
4 tablespoons soft butter
6 tablespoons Grand Marnier® liqueur
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
10 egg whites
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons sugar
1. Rub the interior of Crock-Pot® slow cooker stoneware with unsalted butter and sprinkle with extra fine sugar. Shake out excess sugar.
2. Mix 2/3 cup sugar and orange zest in a food processor.
3. Whisk the flour and milk in a saucepan to blend. Beat in the orange scented sugar. Stir over medium heat until sauce thickens, then whisk as sauce comes to a boil. Continue whisking for 30 seconds and then remove from the heat.
4. Let cool for a moment before beating in the egg yolks one at a time.
5. Add butter, Grand Marnier® and vanilla extract to the mixture and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes to cool.
6. In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add salt and beat to soft peaks. Sprinkle in sugar and beat to stiff peaks. Add in 1/4 of whipped egg whites to base and fold in. Fold in remaining whites and then scrape the mixture into the sugar coated slow cooker.
7. Turn on High and cook for about 1 hour.
8. If desired, sprinkle the top of the soufflé with sugar and brulée with a torch. Spoon out and serve with chocolate sauce or crème Anglaise. Serves 8-10.
(Recipe copyright Crock-Pot. Images by Faith Hopler)