Hummingbird Soufflés

Hummingbird cake is a combination of pineapple, banana, and carrot.

The soufflé itself is similar to a carrot cake, with a complementary banana flavor. One of my favorite parts of this recipe, though, is the moist layer of pineapple on the bottom of each ramekin:

The icing adds a subtle spice from the ginger and a delicate aroma of citrus from the orange blossom honey.

Hummingbird Souffles

16 oz crushed pineapple, drained
4 egg whites
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 cup white sugar
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup carrot, finely grated
1 mashed banana
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 tb dark brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 8 ramekins with a pastry brush and softened butter. Use vertical strokes around ramekin edges to guide souffle as it rises. Dust insides with powdered sugar, tapping out any excess.

Drain the crushed pineapple, and press or pat dry in a towel to remove excess juice. Divide evenly amongst ramekins and place in layer on bottom of each. Refrigerate ramekins until ready to fill.

In medium metal bowl (the metal is very important, do not use plastic), begin to beat egg whites. When they begin to foam, sprinkle with just a pinch, about 1/8 tsp, of salt and the cream of tartar. Keep beating and gradually add in 1/8 cup white sugar. Beat whites until just shy of stiff peaks. It is much better to under-beat them than over-beat them.

In separate bowl, combine egg yolks (note: only 3 yolks, as opposed to 4 whites) with grated carrot, banana, cinnamon, vanilla, and brown sugar. Add 1/2 cup of egg white mixture into yolk batter, and fold until incorporated. Keep folding in about a cup of egg whites at a time, making sure batter is light and airy. Streaks are okay, as it’s better to leave streaks and under-fold than to mix the batter too much and let out air.

Fill chilled ramekins 3/4 of the way full. Run a finger around the edge of each, making a 1/4 inch deep perimeter to ensure they rise evenly. If desired, fit each with a parchment collar to guide the soufflé in rising. Bake in preheated oven (important: the oven must be pre-heated), and bake for about 15 minutes, until tops are a golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on baking rack.

Ginger Orange Blossom Icing

4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tb orange blossom honey
1/2 tsp ginger
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute. Drizzle onto warm soufflés, and dust with additional cinnamon and powdered sugar.