Few desserts have quite the same mystique as the soufflé, from the French for “to blow up”– a reference to its ethereal lightness. For maximum rise, whisk the eggwhites only to soft rather than stiff peaks.
- 80 gm plain flour
- 60 gm butter
- 600 ml milk
- 30 gm caster sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
- 100 gm couverture milk chocolate, finely chopped
- 60 gm (about 3) pitted dates, chopped
- 80 gm egg yolk (about 4 eggs)
- 200 gm eggwhite (about 7 eggs)
- 50 gm caster sugar
- For greasing: softened butter
Caramelised walnut ice-cream
- 100 gm walnuts
- 150 gm caster sugar
- 6 egg yolks
- 450 ml pouring cream
- 375 ml (1½ cups) milk
- 1For caramelised walnut ice-cream, stir walnuts, 60gm sugar and a pinch of salt in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar caramelises (5-6 minutes), then set aside to cool. Whisk yolks and remaining sugar in a bowl until thick and pale (2-3 minutes). Bring cream and milk to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat, then add to yolk mixture, whisking continuously to combine. Return mixture to pan and stir continuously over low heat until mixture coats the back of a spoon (7-8 minutes). Strain through a fine sieve and refrigerate until chilled. Process caramelised walnuts in a food processor until finely chopped and stir into cream mixture. Freeze in an ice-cream machine, transfer to a container and freeze until required. Makes about 2 litres.
- 2Rub flour and butter together in a small bowl to form coarse crumbs and set aside. Bring milk, sugar, vanilla bean and vanilla seeds to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat, then stir in chocolate and dates. Reduce heat to low, whisk in flour mixture, then continue whisking until thick (5-6 minutes). Transfer to an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, add yolks and mix on low speed until cooled to room temperature (8-10 minutes).
- 3Preheat oven to 190C. Whisk eggwhite and a pinch of salt until soft peaks forms, add sugar and whisk until glossy. Fold a spoonful of eggwhite mixture into milk mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining eggwhite mixture. Spoon into six 250ml ramekins that have been buttered and dusted with caster sugar. Smooth tops, bake until well risen and golden (20-25 minutes) and serve immediately with caramelised walnut ice-cream.
This recipe is from the August 2012 issue of .