Light as air, and if pigs could fly... they would want to be a delicious, delicate souffle. Baked to rise above the crowd, in a class of its own... these are simply divine! The smell of bacon is surely heaven on it's own, then you have the combo of bourbon, toasted pecans and when your spoon breaks open the top of the airy baked souffle and when you pour in the sauce and then dig in.... wow!
Bacon Praline Souffle
- 6 ounces sweet salted butter
- 4 tablespoons bacon grease
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon orange peel zest
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup store bought pound cake pieces, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup bourbon, divided
- 8 slices of maple flavored bacon
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans,divided
- 8 large white whites
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
- 2 cups vanilla bean ice cream
- Additonal granulated sugar for ramekins
- Additional sweet butter for ramekins
Lay bacon slices down about 1/2 inch apart on a half sheet baking pan lined with a sheet of parchment paper and bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees. Bake under slices are crisp. Remove from oven and drain off the bacon grease reserving 4 tablespoons of grease to use in the souffle base mixture. Place on a plate lined with paper towels and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, place the bacon into the bowl of a food processor and pulse into bits. Set aside.
Place butter and bacon grease in a large saucepan and melt of low heat. Add in flour and stir until smooth, but do not allow it to brown. Increase heat level to medium and continue to stir the butter-flour mixture with a whisk and add orange zest. Add in milk, sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk gently until mixture begins to thicken and then whisk hard making sure any flour in the edges and small lumps are dissolved and base is smooth as possible. Remove from heat when mixture begins to bubble around the edges of the saucepan and is thicken about 5 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool for 3 minutes and whisk in the egg yolks. Cover with plastic wrap and press plastic warp down and over the mixture. Set aside.
Place pecan pieces in a small pan and place the pan in the preheated oven (375 Degrees) for 3-5 minutes until toasted. Remove from oven and pour them out onto a plate to stop any carry-over cooking. Set aside
Adding Egg Whites to Souffle Base
Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and using the wire blade, beat on high speed of mixer until stiff peaks are formed about 5 minutes. Place 2 cups of the souffle base into a large open mixing bowl. Add enough of the egg whites to completely cover the souffle base and using your hand, mix the two together squeezing the beaten egg whites into the base until the mixture resembles a cake batter.
Preparing and filling the ramekins cups
Using the additional butter smear enough butter inside the bottom and around the inside sides of each of the 8-four-inch ramekin cups covering well. Smear butter around the top edge (rim) and down 1/2 inch from the top of the outer side of each ramekin. Place the additional granulated sugar in a shallow bowl and dip each ramekin into the sugar, coating the inside and rim and buttered places well. Pour an equal portion of the 1/4 cup of the bourbon into the bottom of each ramekins. Top the bourbon with an equal portion of the cubed pound cake cubes. Sprinkle the cake cubes with a equal portion of 1/2 of the prepared bacon bits and 1/2 of the toasted pecans. Fill each ramekins up to 1/4 inch of its top rim with the souffle mixture. Take each filled ramekins and tap them hard (about 4-5 times) on a work surface to remove any air bubbles residing in the mixture. Place the filled ramekins on a baking sheet and place in the preheated oven (Increased to 400 degrees) and bake for 15-20 minutes until puffed up 3-4 inches above the rim and deep golden brown. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with confectioners sugar. Serve immediately with sauce.
Bourbon Vanilla Bean Sauce
Place ice cream in a mixing bowl and add remaining bourbon and whisk until ice cream is smooth and blended and saucy. Pour an equal portion of the sauce into a spoon cut opening of each baked souffle. Sprinkle each open with the remaining pecan and bacon bits. Dig in and watch the smiles!