Cookies & Souffle

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I spent many years as a pastry chef trying to figure out how to make desserts delicious. I didn’t go to culinary school, but learned so much on the job working alongside Robert. I no longer work in the kitchen, but when I heard about an idea that women bakers in Portland came up with for a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood, I thought – I could do that. 

So a couple of days ago a friend and I decided to put it all together here in Lawrence: Cookie Grab 2017 – The Ultimate Bake Sale! This fundraiser for Planned Parenthood is scheduled for inauguration day. Some of Lawrence’s eateries are donating their special treats for the cause – Ladybird Diner, Bon Bon, The Burger Stand, Hank Charcuterie, The Roost, Eileen’s Cookies, Southern Accent Catering, The Levee Cafe and Wheatfields. A box full of delectables for a $50 suggested donation (payable by cash or check only), picked up at Ten Thousand Villages at 835 Massachusetts from 5-9pm on Friday. Of all the things in the world one may grab, may we unite to grab the cookie for a good cause! You are invited and I hope to see you!

I want 2017 to be a year that I say yes more, that I follow through with those stirrings in my gut of I could do that. I want it to be a year of being outside more and I’m off to a good start by paddle boarding today, January 18th. I saw eagles soaring above and heard the magical tinkling of ice breaking around me as I floated by. And now I get to bake some cookies; boy do I feel grateful.

So I’m going to share a favorite recipe that I have probably made a hundred times. It’s not a cookie but really isn’t much more difficult to make. I hope you enjoy…

Love, Molly

  • Chocolate Souffle with Chocolate Sauce and Whipped Cream

This chocolate soufflé recipe is the ultimate chocolate dessert. First of all, it is something that you can do completely ahead of time, with the exception of baking it. It also is utterly indestructible. This recipe may become your new favorite for entertaining.

Serves 4

For the ramekins:

About ½ stick butter, softened

About ½ cup granulated sugar

 

For the soufflés:

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/3 cup whole or 2% milk

2 eggs, separated

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 additional egg white, added to the above 3 to total 4

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

¼ cup powdered sugar for dusting of cooked soufflés

 

For the chocolate sauce:

10 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

¾ cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons Kahlua (optional)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

 

For whipped cream:

2 cups heavy cream

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Equipment:

Four 6-ounce soufflé ramekins

Chop sticks

 

Preheat oven to 375 F.

 

Prepare Souffles:

Butter the bottom and sides of the ramekins. When buttering the sides, use your index and middle fingers to pull the butter straight up the sides. Be sure to butter the top edge of the ramekin as well. To coat with the granulated sugar, fill ramekin with sugar and tilt and rotate over a second ramekin, allowing the sugar to drop into it as it coats all sides of the ramekin. Pour any remaining sugar from the first ramekin and repeat process with the remaining ramekins. After sugaring final ramekin, pour remaining sugar in a shallow bowl. Dip top edge of each ramekin into the sugar to coat it with sugar.

Melt the chocolate in a large bowl set on top of a medium saucepan of simmering water.   Do not allow the bowl to touch the water. When the chocolate is melted and smooth, remove it from the heat and place it in a warm area, on top of your warm oven if possible.

In the saucepan used to melt the chocolate, discard the hot water and wipe out the pan with a dry towel. Use this saucepan to melt the butter on medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, for 2 minutes. Gradually add the milk, using a whisk until smooth. Keep whisking while occasionally using the rubber spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the sauce pan. When the mixture has thickened, remove from heat and whisk in the egg yolks and vanilla. Scrape this mixture over the melted chocolate and fold until blended.

Using a large bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy.   Slowly and gradually add granulated sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form when you lift the beaters. Fold the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Fill your sugared ramekins to within ¼ inch of the top with the soufflé batter. Either cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate immediately for future use (up to 2 days ahead of serving), or put them on the cookie sheet for baking.

Prepare Chocolate Sauce:

Melt the chocolate with cream in a large bowl set on top of a medium saucepan of simmering water.   Do not allow the bowl to touch the water. When it is melted and smooth, remove from heat and add Kahlua (if using), vanilla, and salt. If using immediately, put in to small pitcher to pour into soufflés. Sauce may be made up to two days ahead of serving and refrigerated. Warm sauce in microwave before using.

Prepare Whipped Cream:

Combine cream, sugar, and vanilla. Whip to medium firm peaks with a hand or standing mixer. Whipped cream may be kept for up to an hour covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator.

To Serve:

Bake soufflés for about 15 minutes. Souffles are done when they have risen high and have a crisp top. Dust with powdered sugar and use tongs to place hot ramekins in a small bowl or napkin-lined plate. Use two chopsticks to poke holes in top of soufflé and fill with warm chocolate sauce. Scoop whipped cream on top of chocolate sauce and eat immediately.

Serving a soufflé is very dramatic and also has the impression of being very temperamental. This recipe reliably rises and is very sturdy. There is no need to fear the soufflé! Adding berries to the top of the soufflé would be one way to introduce another flavor element and incorporate seasonal ingredients.

 

 

Remembering My Dad on World AIDS Day

My dad, Joh Krider, died from AIDS complications almost exactly twenty years ago in December 1996. This picture of us was taken over a year before he died. There is so much I love about it, not the least of which is that it captures me rocking my favorite outfit of that era. I only wish the red platform shoes that I surely wore had made the shot.

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It was taken outside the Key West airport by the cab driver who dropped us off. I teased him about his attire for the plane trip to Kansas – Do you really think a jacket and tie are necessary? He could be fussy that way; he believed that wearing white pants after Labor Day was breaking a real rule. We are smiling in the photo, a reflex of mine in all sorts of stressful situations, but it wasn’t a particularly happy time. His relationship was falling apart and he was abruptly moving back to Kansas. With me. To die.

I didn’t talk about AIDS much as he was dying or even much after he died. But as World AIDS Day approaches I want to not only remember him but also to remind us all that the AIDS crisis is not over. Over a million people die every year from AIDS. 5,600 people contract the HIV virus every day. These are our family members and our friends, not merely abstractions in foreign lands. Many of these people are too afraid or ashamed to talk about it because of the stigma associated with the disease. Combating AIDS continues to be a fight for social justice and human rights.

Like many of you, I am fearful about what may be ahead for our country. May we learn from history in general as well as the history of the AIDS crisis during its early stages during the Reagan administration. Act-Up and other groups were confrontational in their protest of lack of funding and new drug protocol for AIDS, but ultimately they were effective. They insisted on being heard and were even the first group in history to shut down the New York Stock exchange. In the coming weeks, months and years, we too may need to speak out, beyond what may feel comfortable. May we put our arms around whatever form of protest moves us – just as I had my arm around my dad that morning in Key West.

 

 

 

Molly News

I saw an advent calendar for sale today. Please, not yet. To quote the writer Gretchen Rubin – the days are long but the years are short. I love this time of year and it’s a busy one, quickly slipping by, with some new beginnings for me. I’m teaching writing at the Lawrence Arts Center, which I love. Look for a Personal Essay class in the class catalogue starting in January. I’ve been writing and had an essay published on NoiseMedium. This one feels pretty personal – I explore issues of identity, family and my hometown of Topeka, Kansas’ Westboro Baptist Church. I share it because I really do believe that the most personal is the most universal 🙂

And we have a new family member in our house – Desi. He’s sweet and young and instantly befriended Lucy. I challenge you to look at this picture and not be overwhelmed by their cuteness.

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Love, Molly

 

 

Special Workshop Opportunity

I am so excited to be collaborating with two creative and talented artists to host this special event!

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Renew & Reveal Creativity Workshop

Reconnect and relax into a day of creativity! Set aside a day to rejuvenate the parts of you that often get neglected in the busyness of life. Join with others to stimulate your creativity through exercises in both movement and writing. We will alternate between exploring expression through the body and the mind, giving participants opportunities to try new activities in a nurturing environment. A light, nourishing lunch will be catered. No writing or movement experience necessary. Please bring paper, pen, a yoga mat, and wear comfortable clothing you can move freely in.

Saturday, September 17th, 9-4, Delaware Street Commons 1222 Delaware St. $99 early registration until Aug. 15, $130 after, includes lunch and beverages. Pre-registration required with limited spaces available. Write mmk1213@gmail.com with questions and registration.

Group Facilitators:

Paige Comparato danced with Ballet Midwest in Topeka, KS and continued her ballet training at Texas Christian University in Forth Worth, TX for two years before returning to Kansas University to pursue a degree in Art History. Paige taught at Barbara’s Conservatory of Dance and Copeland’s Gymnastics before joining the Lawrence Arts Center staff. She has taught in the Arts-based Preschool, visual art classes at the Arts Center and is the former Dance Program Coordinator for the Lawrence Arts Center Dance Program.

Molly Krause (www.molly-krause.com) turned to a career in writing after nearly two decades in the restaurant business. She co-authored the cookbook The Cook’s Books of Intense Flavors. Her debut novel Joy Again was published in May 2016 by Bedazzled Ink and her essays have appeared in The Manifest-Station, Ten to Twenty Parenting, and Brain, Child. Adult ballet class is a highlight of her week.

Cathy Patterson (www.pointbdance.com) studied dance in Los Angeles and New York, and attended numerous dance conventions. She continued her dance education at the University of Kansas where she received a degree in Human Biology with an emphasis in dance. After spending years performing, most recently she has been busy choreographing and teaching master classes across the nation, in addition to adjudicating dance competitions. She feels her most appealing attribute is her passion and love for dance.

 

Wasabi, roses, books and great dirt.

Last Thursday I realized a moment too late that I was driving straight past my exit off of I-70 coming back from Topeka. I thought it was the second exit that puts you out on to Iowa Street when I realized that it was indeed the East Lawrence exit, my exit – the exit I have turned on to a million times – that I was whizzing past. I had a lot on my mind.

It was a busy week with promotional speaking for my novel Joy Again. The Thursday I missed  my exit I was speaking at one of my favorite places, The Lawrence Public Library.

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Behind the wheel of my Volvo station wagon, I was mentally reviewing what I would say about why I wrote this book, the process I went through to publish it and trying to dredge anything else up that might be deemed interesting. I admired my dog Lucy’s shave in the rear view mirror (so pretty!) as I thought about the morning in Topeka.

I had accompanied my mom to her vet’s office earlier to put her beloved dog Cocoa to sleep. Over all of our combined years neither of us had gone through this experience. Cocoa was a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel she adopted from a rescue. She was a faithful companion – completely deaf, always hungry (she would get into uncooked oatmeal at our house) and affectionate. Her passing was about as peaceful and loving as any I can imagine; it was also sad. It made me long for a different end for Bear, our precious ‘firstborn’ who died years ago while we were in London. We had picked him up when we returned to town – the vet had frozen his body so we could bury him and he was in a black plastic trash bag. Cocoa was wrapped in a soft coral towel of my moms, the weight surprisingly heavy as I carried her to the car. We drove to my aunt Mimi’s house where she has a lovely shaded area in her large backyard that many of her animals have been buried. My mom brought flowers from her garden, their aroma sweeter and stronger than any I have experienced.

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The Shelton sister wore gardening boots as it was muddy from recent rains; I had not had such foresight as my grey sneakers got smeared. We remarked on the fabulous dirt as I dug – thick, dark, dense and rich. It seemed anything should be able to grow there. When the tears seemed over, we said our final goodbyes and went for donuts.

I thought of my signature dessert as a pastry chef: Apple-celery granita was layered atop vanilla panna cotta in a champagne flute. A wasabi glaze drizzle and pinch of black Hawaiian salt accented the layers and the presentation was finished with a dried Granny Smith apple chip and candy sugar sticks. (Link to recipe)  This dish was special because it was interesting, a study of contrasting flavors and textures. Icy against the creamy, sweet mingles with spicy, salty and tart collide, celery as dessert. In the end it ending up tasting good, even delicious.

So maybe because the morning was intense and sad and tearful I was able to enjoy this moment a few hours later even more…

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Aren’t they awesome, these friends who showed up at the library that night? Because all I had to do to get back to Lawrence after missing my exit was go a little bit out of my way and turn around. Maybe it was the right path after all.

Love, Molly

I say Pecha, you say Kucha…

What an honor and a pleasure to be part of the Artist INC Lawrence community with a group of such richly talented artists. Our final class culminated in each of us giving a presentation (called a Pecha Kucha) on stage of the Lawrence Arts Center. It is a format used to prevent blathering on about one’s work that features 20 slides, set to a timer of 20 seconds each. We did a slightly abbreviated version of 15 slides. I wish I could post all of the Pecha Kuchas from last night – they were so thoughtful, funny, fascinating and inspiring. I’ll share a link to my audio version below.

Hope to see you over the next couple of days at one of my readings for my novel Joy Again. Check out the details at www.molly-krause.com.

Love, Molly

MollyKrausePechaKucha

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