Six 6-ounce ramekins
Softened unsalted butter and sugar for coating the ramekins
One 8-ounce container sour cream
3 large eggs, separated
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon, orange, or tangerine zest
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
5 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter and sugar the ramekins and place them on the baking sheet. Combine the sour cream, egg yolks, flour, salt, vanilla, and citrus zest in a large bowl and stir until blended.
2. With the electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar in another large clean, dry bowl at medium speed until soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted. Gradually add the sugar, continuing to beat at high speed until the whites are stiff but not dry.
3. Fold about one-quarter of the egg whites into the sour cream mixture, then fold in the remaining egg whites.
4. Divide the batter among the ramekins, filling them nearly full. (The unbaked soufflés can be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)
5. Sprinkle the top of each soufflé with sugar. Bake the soufflés for 15 to 18 minutes (or a couple of minutes longer if the soufflés have been chilled), until they are puffed and slightly golden brown. Serve immediately, with sauce, if desired.
Variation: Chocolate-Laced Sour Cream Soufflés
Omit the citrus zest. Fold 1/2 cup chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate into the batter with the egg whites. Sprinkle the tops with a little extra chocolate. Increase the baking time by a couple of minutes.
Excerpted from Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts by Alice Medrich (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2012. Photographs by Sang An.
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