Tuesday, September 8, 2009

TWD: Chocolate Souffle



I wonder whether some of you will be offended, or at least taken aback, when I tell you that I've learned a lot about parenting by watching dog shows. (Gasp!) You know, dog obedience shows like Dog Whisperer and It's Me or the Dog. It sounds terrible to say, I know.



But really, many of the principles are the same when dealing with kids of both the smooth and the furry varieties.



Case in point. On a recent "It's me or the Dog", Victoria, the dog trainer was working with an adorable (but ill-mannered) little Pomeranian. She was trying to teach him that he needed to be quiet in order to get his toy, rather than demanding and barking. In the exercise, Victoria brought out the toys, but calmly refused to give poochy his toy until he was quiet. He was *not* happy. He yapped, and yapped, and yapped, and yapped, and yapped, and yapped, and yapped, (cue the "20 minutes later" caption) and yapped, and yapped, and yapped until FINALLY he stopped. Boom! He got the toy.

You know, the old "rewarding positive behavior" rather than negative behavior. You know, that they taught in Childrearing 101. (Oh, you missed that day too?)



Fast forward to today, as I was happily making my chocolate souffle. I had just gotten through the one-minute window in which to take pictures of the just-baked souffle, when some sort of hullabaloo erupted in the other room. There was my 10-year old, fussing, fighting with innocent bystanders, and generally acting ugly.



I promptly ushered him to the back porch and applied my new dog-training skills. I parked my chair in front of the door and told him if he wanted back inside I needed to see the right behavior. I helped by giving a few clues as to the expected behavior and I waited. And ignored. He was *not* happy. He yapped, and yapped, and yapped, and yapped, and yapped, and yapped, and yapped, (fortunately it didn't take 20 minutes). Then he was quiet. I asked if he was ready, but didn't like the snappish answer, so I waited some more. And ignored. And stayed cool as a cucumber. He yapped a while longer. Then stopped. I asked again and this time got a much calmer, nicer answer. Boom! He got back inside.



And there was this sweet little chocolate treat on the table right where I left it, waiting to be gobbled up by me. My reward for a parenting job well-done. A little chocolate atta-girl.

It had collapsed, but no matter.



It tasted wonderful. Something like a very fluffy chocolate cake. Or very fluffy chocolate pudding, I couldn't tell which.



Many thanks to Susan of She’s Becoming DoughMessTic for choosing Chocolate Souffle for this week's Tuesday's with Dorie recipe. I had neither tried nor baked a souffle before.



Baking notes: I made 1/4 of the recipe and baked it in two 5-ounce ramekins (which fit perfectly). I baked for 19 minutes at 400 degrees. I used semi-sweet chocolate (I'm a dark chocolate wuss).

You can find the recipe in Dorie Greenspan's book "Baking, From my Home to Yours", or at Susan's site above.

P.S. Bouyed by my earlier success I tried one of my new dog-training skills on the dog. And it worked! I'm two for two!

24 comments:

The Food Librarian said...

I love the Dog Whisper! :) Great looking souffle!

vibi said...

Beautiful Jacque!
Fluffy or not, you've succeeded very well at those! The lacey, fragile edges of the souffl├ęs on the "collapsed" picture, shows how fine and light they are! Bravo.

The Trinigourmet said...

Lovely post :) They look delicious :) I comment about the similarity between the Super nanny shows and the dog training shows all the time, lol :)

Judy said...

I love It's Me or the Dog! I will forever contend that raising 2 dogs for 5 years prepared me for children, so I would second your experience using "dog training ways" on kids. Oh, and your souffle looks divine!

mike said...

Fantastic post! AND fantastic looking souffles.... (look just like mine) only better! :) Love your prep photos too - that's a nice treat to see. Sorry they didn't behave in the end - but such is the life of a souffle! Nicely done!

Mary Ann said...

Your souffles turned out perfectly! Great pictures!

Amanda said...

LOL! Love the parenting story! Been there done that. :-p I forgot the egg yolks in mine and they still came out good!

chocolatechic said...

I didn't make it because the boy told me that it tasted like scrambled eggs.

Beryl said...

Be the alpha dog! Great story, great looking souffle!

Katrina said...

You GO Girl on the parenting and dog training! Love the analogy. Glad to know my son is not the only preteen who stirs up trouble ALL THE TIME! I'll have to try the dog trick!
GREAT souffle. Loved this one, too!

Cathy said...

Ooooh - I need to try the dog training parenting techniques! I can use all the help I could get! Your souffles look beautiful, and what a great reward for good behavior!

AmyRuth said...

You crack me up. Its nice to have some refresher courses sometimes dogs or peeps. Either way, hats off to you for successful parenting and for the chocolate treat for a Mom-well done. Perfecto!
AmyRuth

Grace said...

although i'm not a parent yet, i'll remember your words of advice here and not ignore all those animal-related tips. :)
great souffle, by the way. i've never attempted to make one, but i want a chocolate one to be my debut. :)

doughmesstic said...

Ha! I kind of find myself parenting Dogstyle too! It happens.
Thanks for baking along with me this week!
Susan of www.doughmesstic.com

Kayte said...

Your souffles are beautiful and the photo of the collapse is absolutely wonderful...so mysterious and interesting! I think that's all part of the drama, right? LOL on the parenting and dogs...don't tell anyone I said this, but I think the dog training works with husbands also...LOL. You did not hear that here.

Alwayzbakin said...

I'm going to have to watch that dog show to learn how to deal with "my" kids. HA HA Your souffle looks wonderful!

isa said...

Your souffl├ęs turned out fantastic! I love your dog training parenting thecniques:))

lasinthekitchen said...

Your Chocolate Souffles look wonderful! Love the rise!
I'm a fan of the Dog Whisperer too, although my dog is really well-behaved - lucky for me! =)

delightfullysweet said...

Great looking souffle!

margot said...

Lovely little souffles! It's good to know that if I ever have kids I can apply the same training tactics I use with my naughty dog.

Sue Sparks said...

Love your commentary/parenting philosophy! :) I have Dorie's cookbook, so will have to try the souffle..never have made one. Yours looks great!

By the way, I love The Dog Whisperer!

TeaLady said...

Souffle AND obedient children. Sounds like the perfect. day.

Soufffle looks tasty!

pinkstripes said...

Your souffles look great! Can't wait to go back and make them. Love the dog show analogy.

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Amazing looking souffle! I lovee how you have written this post! Very interesting =) And congratulations on 'training' both!!