Friday, October 22, 2010
Soufflé is one intriguing animal of a dessert. The fact that it scares the most professional chefs and every time I order it I'd be made to wait for an excruciating half an hour for the deliciousness to arrive draws me towards it even more. Light and airy, fluffy and wobbly, temperamental and heart-warming, this is one dessert I'd go for as long as it exists on the menu when we eat out.
While an obvious choice of flavor would be the evil dark chocolate with a sprinkle of fleur de sel, perhaps infused with some spice like cardamom or a citrus like orange, I chose to start my first soufflé baking experience with some plump raspberries. Rich, decadent chocolate soufflé, you and I will have to chat next month. Tart, pink, fruity soufflé, you are fit to be my creation to address the month of breast cancer awareness.
Right, before I continue having conversations with ramekins of warm cotton candy-like softness in my head, I'd like to thank Ellie of Almost Bourdain for sharing her incredible soufflé post. With her discovery of this fool-proof recipe, the results were all pretty and tall. Instead of tip-toeing in the kitchen - according to the urban legends of not disturbing the rise of a sensitive baking soufflé - I broke into periodical little jiggy dances around my oven watching them go up, up and up!
The soufflés stood their ground long enough for the
Breast cancer affected my life significantly. Thanks to early detection more than ten years ago my mother is still alive today.
Since breast cancer is hereditary, there is a high risk that I too may have it. All the more reason for a day to be spent remembering that with some care and responsibility towards the wellness of our bodies we can fight the disease and stand triumphant, just like a perfectly risen soufflé.
Raspberry Rose Souffle
Adapted from Almost Bourdain's Lemon, Lime and Orange Soufflé, original recipe from Raspberry Souffle in Serving The Menu Again by Ben O'Donoghue and Curtis Stone.
- 4 6 ounces containers of fresh raspberries
- 125 grams / 4 1/2 ounces caster sugar
- 4 teaspoons corn flour
- 10 egg whites (room temperature)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon rose essence
- 100 grams / 3 1/2 ounces caster sugar
- 200 grams / 7 ounces butter, softened, enough to grease the moulds
- 100 grams / 3 1/2 ounces caster sugar, enough to coat the moulds
- Icing sugar, for dusting
- Creme anglaise or ice cream, to serve
Puree the raspberries in a blender and press through a fine sieve to remove the seeds. Add enough water to make 500 milliliters of puree.
To make the base, place the raspberry puree and sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and bring to the boil. Mix the corn flour with just enough water to make a smooth paste. Once the fruit puree reaches boiling point, reduce the heat to low and whisk the corn flour paste into the fruit puree a little at a time. Whisk for 1 minute and do not allow mixture to boil again. Remove from the heat and set aside. Chill to cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
Place the egg whites into a very clean, very large mixing bowl, add the salt and beat at high speed until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form. Do not over whisk or the egg whites will break down and be unable to hold the air required to life the souffle.
Place the fruit puree base into a very large bowl and whisk until smooth. Add a little of the egg white mixture and stir in to loosen the consistency. Gently fold in the remaining egg white and rose essence.
Brush the bases of 6 1-cup capacity ramekins with the softened butter, then, using upward strokes (this is very important), brush the sides. Chill in the refrigerator until set, and then repeat. Sprinkle in a little of the caster sugar, turning the ramekins to coat the base and sides. To fill the moulds, use a palette knife to spread the souffle mixture around the sides while holding the ramekin at a 45-degrees angle. Fill the middle and smooth top top, without allowing any mixture to stick to the rim or run over the sides.
Place in the oven and bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden and well risen. Serve immediately dusted with icing sugar, and with creme anglaise or ice cream on the side, if you like.
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