Vanilla and ginger soufflés with blackberry gin sauce
- December 2015
- Serves 4
- Hands-on time 45 min, oven time 15-20 min
Impress your guests with this highly sophisticated recipe for vanilla and ginger soufflés, perfect for a dinner party pudding.
- 25.6g (14.1g saturated)
- 61.8g (55.5g sugars)
- 60g melted and cooled butter to grease
- 85g caster sugar, plus extra to dust the ramekins
- 4 large free-range eggs, separated
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 250ml whole milk
- 50ml double cream
- ½ vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped
- Squeeze lemon juice
- 15g stem ginger in syrup, drained and very finely chopped
- 15g fresh ginger, finely grated
For the blackberry sauce
- 300g frozen blackberries
- Large splash gin (optional)
- Squeeze lemon juice
- 100g caster sugar
You’ll also need
- 6 x 150ml ramekins
- For the blackberry sauce, put the blackberries in a saucepan with the gin, lemon juice and caster sugar. Add 100ml water and bring to a simmer, cooking until the blackberries have fallen apart and the liquid is syrupy. Strain through a fine sieve, taste and add a little more sugar or gin if you like, then set aside until needed (warm it just before serving).
- Lightly brush the inside of the ramekins with butter using a pastry brush, making even upward strokes from the base to the top. Tip a handful of sugar into a ramekin, then turn and tilt it so the sugar covers it evenly. Tip the excess into the next ramekin. Repeat for all the ramekins.
- In a medium glass bowl, using a balloon whisk, whisk the egg yolks and 35g of the sugar until pale and fluffy, then whisk in the flour until well combined. In a medium heavy-based saucepan, heat the milk and the cream with the vanilla seeds and pod until just steaming.
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 210°C/190°C fan/gas 6½ and put a baking sheet inside to heat up. When the milk mixture is just steaming, remove the pod, then pour a third of the milk into the egg yolks, whisking thoroughly with the balloon whisk as you go. Very gradually pour in the rest of the milk mixture, whisking.
- Pour the mix back into the pan and set over a medium heat. Whisk continuously as it warms, making sure you reach the corners of the pan. Continue stirring for 1 minute after the mixture has come back to the boil – it should thicken enough to gently hold its shape when swirled. Pour the custard into a baking dish and spread over the base to cool. Cover with a sheet of cling film, making sure it touches the surface to prevent a skin forming. When cool, transfer the custard to a large bowl.
- Put the egg whites and a squeeze of lemon juice into another large clean, dry bowl and whisk using an electric hand mixer until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 50g sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, whisking for 10 seconds before adding the next tbsp. Beat until the whites form stiff glossy peaks. Once cooled, add the two gingers to the custard mixture with a pinch of salt, then whisk well.
- Add one third of the meringue to the cooled custard and whisk gently with a balloon whisk to combine thoroughly. Gently fold in the rest of the meringue with a metal spoon, taking care not to knock out the air.
- Fill each ramekin with soufflé mix to a third of the way full, then firmly tap on a tea towel on a work surface so the mixture evenly disperses in the ramekin. Gently add the rest of the mixture so it comes just above the top of the ramekins. Using a palette knife, evenly and firmly scrape the excess mixture off the top so the mixture has a perfectly flat surface, flush with the top of the ramekins.
- Place gently on the heated baking sheet, put in the oven, then lower the temperature to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6 and cook for 15-20 minutes until the soufflés are risen and golden on the top, with a small wobble when you shake them.
- Serve immediately at the table with the warmed blackberry sauce. Pierce a hole in the soufflés and pour in the sauce, so the soft inner mixture blends with the sauce – voilà!
Make the blackberry syrup up to 2 days ahead ￼￼￼and chill. Reheat gently to serve.
Make the custard base for the soufflés up to 24 hours ahead and chill. Bring to room temperature, then mix with the egg whites and bake just before serving.
Soufflés are capricious. In testing, ours held well for ￼a few minutes after coming out of the oven, but depending on the size/thickness of your ramekins, your oven, and the temperature and humidity of the room you’re cooking and serving in, they may sink more quickly. We recommend serving them straight from the hot baking sheet at the table. Keep them on the hot surface for as long as you can, as this will help them stay upright.
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