Food and drink

Strawberry Souffle

I’ve probably mentioned before that I’m not much of a baker. Nor do I spend much time making desserts (although I spend a fair bit of time eating them). So it was with some trepidation I decided to chance my arm at that famously tricky creation – the soufflé.

I have to admit to approaching this as a soufflé n00b. I can’t remember ever eating one before let alone cooking one. In my mind I figure it was going to be similar to strawberry angel delight if angel delight actually tasted of strawberries instead of an artist’s impression of a strawberry.

The usual recipe search through google and a few books suggested that there’s not much room for variation here, a soufflé recipe is a pretty standard thing. I adjusted the quantities for 2 people and got going.

The process was pretty simple. There’s not a lot that can go wrong until the damn things go in the oven really. Then, once the soufflé has begun its heat induced ascent out of the ramekin I was left with the constant nagging question – “is it done yet?”. To which the answer was always no. Even when I thought it was done, the answer was no. Or at least it was in the case of one of them.

Despite both soufflés being on the same baking tray and going into the oven at the same time, one of them was cooked perfectly and the other one was about 4 minutes under. That probably says more about my oven than anything else really.

As the euphoria of successfully making one soufflé washed over me and I prepared to take the pictures for this post I almost ruined all my good work by dumping half a bag of icing sugar onto the top of it. Oops.

All in all a reasonably successful first attempt at this infamous dessert. They were light, fluffy and delicious (much better than angel delight). My advice, don’t fear the soufflé. They’re not as hard as you think, just leave them in a bit longer next time.

Serves 2

400g Strawberries
85g caster sugar
1 cap vanilla extract
1 tsp cornflour
2 egg whites

Trim the stalks off the top of the strawberries and then whizz them in a food processor with 60g of the caster sugar.
Pass the puree through a fine sieve into a pan and place over a medium heat.
Add the vanilla and gently bring to the boil while whisking.
Mix the cornflour with a little water to form a loose paste.
When the strawberry mix is beginning to break down into a syrupy consistency whisk in the cornflour to thicken it then remove from the heat.
Let the strawberry syrup cool then put it in the fridge to chill.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Whisk the egg whites with the remaining 25g of caster sugar to form soft peaks.
Fold in the strawberry syrup.
Grease a couple of ramekins with the butter then fill to the top with the soufflé mix.
Give them a little shake to level the mix and place in the oven.
Bake the soufflés for around 10 minutes or until they’ve risen by half.
Remove from the oven and dust with icing sugar then serve immediately.

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