SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: 6 soufflé dishes, size 10cm diameter x 6cm deep. Kenwood’s Balloon whisk
Preparing the dishes:
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
Using a pastry brush, evenly butter the insides of each soufflé dish. Pour the caster sugar inside the first dish and rotate it until completely coated. Tip the excess sugar into the next dish and repeat (see note 2 below).
Preparing the soufflé base:
Ensure your pastry cream and reduced raspberry puree are well mixed and kept warm, up to a maximum temp of 60C. This is essential to maintain the heat when making a soufflé otherwise the pastry cream will clump if it gets too cold.
Adding the egg whites:
Whisk the egg whites in the Kenwood machine with the lemon juice (see note 3 below) using the whisk attachment until they start to thicken and begin to mousse, then slowly add the sugar and whisk until medium soft peak stage.
Remove the bowl and whisk from the machine and attach the folding tool. Place the bowl with the warmed raspberry pastry cream onto the Kenwood machine base, add one third of the whipped egg whites and on speed two mix the egg whites into the pastry cream to loosen the mixture.
Add the other two thirds of the whipped whites and fold in on speed one to retain as much of the air and lightness as possible. (See note 4 below).
Fill the soufflé moulds with the mixture, level with a palette knife and dust with icing sugar. Allow this to dissolve and repeat again with another layer of icing sugar. Clean up the edge of the soufflé moulds by holding the rim of the dish with your thumb and index finger encircling the dish to remove about 2mm of mix away from the edge of the bowl. Clean the outside of the moulds with a damp cloth.
At this stage you could reserve in the freezer for a maximum of 2 hours before you cook them (You will need to microwave each soufflé on high for 10 seconds before you cook them in the oven as per recipe), otherwise cook the soufflés in the preheated oven for 8- 10 minutes, and serve immediately.
*1 The key to getting maximum raspberry flavour in your soufflé is to reduce a fresh pureed raspberries by 1/3rd in a hot pan as quick as possible. You could buy a large quantity and make this in advance and store it in your freezer in small 80g batches.
*2 Lining - The sugar and butter coating acts as a barrier between the dish and the soufflé, enabling the soufflé to rise without hindrance. Badly buttered dishes will produce an uneven rise or perhaps even prevent rising altogether. The sugar also gives the soufflé a wonderful crust.
*3 By adding lemon juice you are doing two things here, you are heightening the flavour and are also preventing the graining of the egg white due the lower PH. The acid makes the egg proteins unstable - making them more likely to denature and whip Do not over whip the egg white to hard peaks, by doing so the bubbles of air would be smaller and smaller and the foam tighter resulting in a firmer texture, losing a little bit of its magic
*4 1/3 egg whites- this must be done briskly to lighten the base; this will ease the remaining egg whites to be gently folded in to the base, ensuring that the maximum lightness is kept. It is better to slightly undermix and overmix the two together. By overmixing you may undermine the lightness of the soufflé. … I told you it was easy!
Variations: There are many variations for soufflés– strawberry, apricot, blackcurrant, lemon, lime or passion fruit, pistachio are just a few.
CREME PATISSIERE (Pastry Cream)
Pastry cream has many uses: as a lining for fruit tartlets, as a filling for cakes and éclairs, and as a base for sweet soufflés.
In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer with a little of the sugar, to prevent the milk from sticking to the base of the pan. Add the vanilla syrup. Draw off the heat and cool for 30 seconds.
Meanwhile cream together the egg yolks and sugar and then whisk in the flour and corn flour. Pour approximately ⅓ of the hot milk onto the egg mixture, and whisk until well blended (*See Note 5). Pour back into the remaining milk, return to the heat and bring up to the boil. (*See Note 6), (small bubbles will begin to come through) whisk continuously.
Cool down on ice as soon as possible (this will prevent the growth of harmful bacteria). To store, transfer to a bowl or container, cover with cling film directly touching the surface (to prevent a skin from forming) and refrigerate.
*5: *1 It is critical to pour the hot milk into the egg yolks slowly, taking great care to whisk as you pour.
*6 Once the mix starts to thicken take off the heat and let the starch coagulate with the eggs, whisking to form a paste. Place back on the heat, still whisking well, and it will not turn lumpy.
Variations: Infuse this pastry cream with flavours other than vanilla, if you like. Citrus zest or a stick of cinnamon can be equally good