Vanilla soufflé

Vanilla soufflé

By
From
How to Cook Desserts
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

You will need 4–6 ramekins, or a 15cm soufflé dish to make one large soufflé.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
10g unsalted butter, to grease
50g caster sugar
1-2 tablespoons caster sugar, to coat the ramekins
300ml whole milk
1 vanilla pod
3 eggs
15g plain flour
15g cornflour
2-3 tablespoons icing sugar

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200ºC and put a baking tray in to heat. (The hot baking tray will provide ‘bottom heat’, giving the soufflés an immediate burst of heat from the base to encourage a quick and even rise.)
  2. Melt the butter and use to brush 4–6 ramekin dishes, then pour the 1–2 tbsp caster sugar into the first ramekin. Tilt the ramekin to coat the bottom and sides evenly with the sugar, then pour the excess into the next ramekin. Repeat until all the ramekins are coated in sugar.
  3. To make the crème pâtissière, put the milk into a medium saucepan and bring to scalding point over a medium heat. Split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds. Add the pod and seeds to the milk to infuse.
  4. Separate the eggs, putting the whites into a large bowl and the yolks into a separate, medium bowl.
  5. When the milk is scalding hot, take off the heat, skim off any skin that may have formed and remove the vanilla pod. Mix the egg yolks with all but 1 tbsp of the 50g caster sugar, add a splash of the milk, then both flours, and combine well to ensure there are no lumps. Add the remaining milk and stir. Rinse out the milk pan to remove the milk solids.
  6. Return the mixture to the rinsed out pan and place over a low to medium heat. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. It will go lumpy, but stir vigorously and it will become smooth. Lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool slightly.
  7. Whisk the egg whites to medium-stiff peaks, then whisk in the remaining 1 tbsp caster sugar, to stabilise. Take a large spoonful of the whites and fold it into the crème pâtissière, to loosen it, then gently fold in the remaining whites.
  8. Fill the prepared ramekins with the soufflé mixture and use a palette knife to level the tops, scraping away any excess mixture. Clean the outside of the ramekin if necessary and ‘top hat’ the soufflé by running the tip of a cutlery knife around the top inner rim of the ramekin, to facilitate an even rise.
  9. Place the ramekins on the hot baking sheet in the top third of the oven and bake for 8–12 minutes until cooked but still uniformly wobbly when shaken.
  10. Remove the soufflés from the oven, sift the icing sugar over the tops through a fine sieve and serve immediately. There should be about 1 tsp undercooked soufflé mixture in the centre of each.

Variations

  • To make raspberry soufflé, omit the vanilla pod. Add 100ml raspberry purée (about 200g frozen, defrosted, sieved raspberries) to the crème pâtissière. Taste and adjust the sweetness by adding up to 1 tbsp more sugar, then proceed as above.

    To make prune and Armagnac soufflé, gently simmer 75g prunes in 75ml Armagnac and 75ml water until soft and at least one third of the liquid has evaporated. Leave to cool, then purée to a smooth paste. Proceed as for the main recipe, using a few drops of vanilla extract instead of the vanilla pod in the thickened crème pâtissière. Spoon 1 tsp of the prune purée into the prepared ramekins, then stir the remainder into the crème pâtissière and proceed as for the main recipe.
Tags:
leiths
desserts
baking
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