I’m always looking to catch the latest trends on Tik-Tok, and I decided to see if I can start a new one by baking in a performance vehicle. You see, I grew up in a home where my Dad was a big car enthusiast, and my Mom had a passion for baking. They never put their two loves together, but as a tribute to them, I’ve decided to make some of Mom’s greatest recipes while test-driving vehicles. I know you think it may sound a little out of place amongst ring light thirst traps, ASMR slime videos, and the “No Bones Day” pug, but there really is nothing like making a high-quality baked good while pushing an automotive wonder to the limits. This is why I decided to try out my Mom’s cheese soufflé recipe during a test drive of a 2022 Ford Bronco Sport. Since the Bronco Sport is known for its G.O.A.T. Modes, I thought it would only be fitting if I used goat cheese for this recipe.
Now, you’re probably asking yourself, “How can he cook something in a midsize SUV designed for off-roading?” In order to accomplish this, I had an aftermarket electric convection oven installed in the back seat of the Bronco Sport. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Is that safe?” Well, my friend, you can buy ovens for your car, so it must be safe.
In addition, I would need a trained driver to operate the Bronco Sport. Nobody can just bake and drive… I chose my good friend Svetlana, who was trained in off-road and evasive driving as a member of Spetsnaz in her native Russia, before moving to the States to attend the CIA. No, not the Central Intelligence Agency! I’m talking about the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, where we met. You see, Svetlana is not just a professional driver and trained counter-intelligence agent; she is also a certified pastry chef.
- ½ cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 cups of fresh goat cheese (substituting for the Swiss cheese in my Mom’s regular recipe)
- 3 tablespoons of pre-melted butter
- 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 1-1/4 cups of heavy goat milk cream (substituting for cow’s milk cream)
- 4 large eggs
- 3 large egg whites
- 3 tablespoons of dry sherry wine
- 2 tablespoons of sour cream
- 1-1/4 teaspoons of Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon of mustard
- ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon of dry mustard
- ¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar
- 1-1/2 quart soufflé pan
- 1 smartphone with a mount to record the baking for Tik-Tok
- 1 2022 Ford Bronco Sport Badlands
We arrived at Bear Mountain State Park early one Sunday morning. I placed my phone into the mount, started recording, and got all the ingredients, pots, pans, shovels, rakes, and implements of destruction ready in the backseat of the Bronco Sport while Svetlana shifted the G.O.A.T. Mode into slippery, pulling us out of the parking lot and onto a patch of wet ground. This made separating the four large eggs into whites and yolks difficult, but not impossible. Next, I pre-heated the convection oven to 375ºF and began to butter the soufflé pan, which I coated with the pre-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. I set this aside and began to focus on the other ingredients.
One of the great things about the 2022 Ford Bronco Sport is that it is 4×4 standard, meaning that it is built for off-roading, not to mention high-quality culinary arts projects. Sure, making a soufflé is always a challenge, especially when going on a very rocky and slippery trail, but isn’t that the point of life? If we didn’t try to have a snowball fight on Mount Everest or go diving with Mako sharks while wearing a Lady Gaga meat suit, then how would we ever learn about the limits of human experience?
Badlands Make for Good Driving
Svetlana got out of the wet marshy area and headed toward the beach around the lake. Expertly shifting into sand mode, Svetlana began a series of maneuvers where she was driving the Bronco Sport like a dune buggy. I wasn’t aware of any sand dunes in her Mother Russia, but she handled these like she was born and raised in sunny California, not frigid Siberia. While she did this, I lit the burner on top of the convection oven, grabbed a medium saucepan, poured in the pre-melted butter, and then stirred in the flour to make a paste. As the mixture thickened, I slowly whisked in the heavy goat milk cream until it began to boil. Then I stirred in the egg yolks, sherry wine, goat cheese, sour cream, Kosher salt, mustard, and pepper.
Mud, Ruts, and Egg Whites
Svetlana turned around and gave me a wink as she steered off the beach and headed for a rutted part of the trail. It seemed like every tree at Bear Mountain had decided to put down roots across the trail so that there wasn’t a single 2-foot patch without a rut, bump, or divot. It felt like we were going to both bounce through the Bronco Sport’s Safari-Style roof. Fortunately, Svetlana is a pro, and easily shifted the G.O.A.T. Modes selector to mud/ruts, so we wouldn’t lose our breakfasts or the soufflé mixture.
I poured the seven egg whites into a bowl, added the cream of tartar, and plugged an electric hand mixer into one of the Bronco Sport’s auxiliary ports. The key to this part of the recipe is to make sure you beat the egg whites into stiff, firm peaks. The rutted trail was making this tougher than I thought, and I wondered for a minute if Svetlana was deliberately trying to throw me off my game.
Once the egg whites were perfectly mixed, I slowly folded them into the soufflé pan on top of the Parmigiano-Reggiano mixture. After I had them all folded in, I poured in the mixture from before making sure it was set.
Baking, Air, and Rock Crawl
The name soufflé means “air” in French, and the key is to allow the mixture to puff up through the careful placement of the ingredients. When I was a child, my Mom would make soufflés for special occasions. However, my siblings and I quickly realized that sound and vibration are enemies of a soufflé and can cause the magic recipe to literally flop. Whenever my Mom made a soufflé that she planned to bring to a party, we would start jumping around and doing everything in our power to make that soufflé flop. Why? Because my Mom would give us the flopped soufflé and then get to work making a new one. The funny thing is that Mom never caught onto our antics.
I placed the soufflé pan into the oven to bake, set the timer to 35 minutes, and then waited. Meanwhile, Svetlana decided this would be the perfect time to shift into rock crawl mode, and she began the ascent of Bear Mountain. As we moved up and the grade became steeper, Svetlana downshifted to boost the torque. Meanwhile, I sweated as memories of my Mom’s ruined soufflés filled my head. Unfortunately, the portable convection oven next to me lacked a window, so everything was left to fate.
Finally, we reached the summit of Bear Mountain just as the timer went off. Svetlana shifted into park and pulled into a space. As she turned around, I gingerly opened the door to the convection oven. Voila! Out popped a perfectly fluffy, golden brown goat cheese soufflé. Svetlana opened a bottle of Cabernet while I cut two slices from the soufflé and plated them. I’ll have the video uploaded onto Tik-Tok this evening.
Bon appétit and great driving!