Cold lemon soufflé

Cold lemon soufflé

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
2 large lemons
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatine
3 eggs
150g caster sugar
150ml double cream
2-3 teaspoons icing sugar, (optional)
citrus zest, julienned and softened in sugar syrup, (see note), to finish (optional)


  1. Pour about 5 cm water into a large saucepan, bring to the boil over a medium heat, then remove from the heat.
  2. Finely grate the zest from the lemons, then juice them. Put 1½ tablespoons water and 1½ tablespoons lemon juice in a small saucepan and sprinkle the gelatine evenly over the surface. Leave for 5 minutes until the gelatine has absorbed the water and become spongy.
  3. Separate the eggs, putting the yolks in a medium heatproof bowl with the caster sugar and 1–1½ tablespoons lemon juice; put the whites in another bowl.
  4. Lightly whip the cream and set aside in the fridge.
  5. Sit the bowl with the yolks and sugar over the hot water pan, making sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water. Using a hand-held electric whisk, whisk until the mixture becomes paler in colour and increases in volume a little. Remove from the heat, continue whisking until cool, then whisk in any remaining lemon juice (about 1½–2 tablespoons) and the zest.
  6. Put the saucepan containing the gelatine over a very low heat and dissolve the gelatine without stirring. An occasional swirl of the mixture helps to see if it has dissolved. Pour the dissolved gelatine into the lemon mousse mixture, stirring as you do so. Place the bowl over an ice bath, stirring gently until it reaches setting point. At this stage it will have thickened slightly and the bottom of the bowl will be exposed for several seconds when a spatula is drawn through before the mixture floods back.
  7. Remove the bowl from the ice bath and, working efficiently, fold the whipped cream into the lemon mixture.
  8. Using an electric whisk, whisk the egg whites to medium peaks and stir one spoonful into the mixture, to loosen it, then fold the remaining whites in carefully, using a large metal spoon. Taste and add a little icing sugar if the mixture seems too tart.
  9. Spoon the mixture into a prepared 1–1.2 litre soufflé dish, or into a serving bowl or individual glasses, and chill in the fridge for 2–3 hours before serving. You can decorate the soufflé with citrus zest julienne, if you wish.


  • For the citrus zest, pare and julienne the zest from one or more oranges, lemons and/or limes. Put 1 quantity of stock sugar syrup in a saucepan and add the citrus zest julienne. Place over a medium heat and simmer gently for 3–5 minutes, or until the zest is starting to soften. Remove the julienne with a slotted spoon and place on baking parchment, spreading them out to cool and dry.


  • Cold raspberry soufflé: Omit the lemon zest and juice. Make a purée using 350 g raspberries, heated, sieved and cooled. Dissolve the gelatine in 3 tablespoons water and proceed as for the main recipe, adding the raspberry purée at the end of step 5.

    Cold blood orange soufflé: Use 1 blood orange and ½ lemon in place of the 2 lemons, using the lemon juice to dissolve the gelatine and adding the blood orange juice to the egg and sugar mixture at the end of step 5.

    Cold passion fruit soufflé: Scoop the pulp from 8–10 passion fruit and sieve to remove the seeds. Dissolve the gelatine in half the lemon juice. Reduce the quantity of sugar to 120 g. Add the sieved passion fruit pulp to the mixture at the end of step 5, with the remaining lemon juice and zest to taste.

    Cold lime soufflé: Replace the lemons with 4 limes.

Using a soufflé dish for a cold soufflé

  • Tie a double band of lightly oiled greaseproof paper around the top of the dish, to extend about 3 cm above the rim with the non-folded edge uppermost. When the soufflé mixture is poured in, it should come about 2.5 cm above the rim of the dish.

    Once the soufflé is set, heat a palette knife in hot water, dry it and run it between the double sheets of greaseproof paper against the side of the set soufflé. The heat will very slightly melt just enough of the gelatine to enable the paper collar to be removed cleanly. The exposed raised side of the soufflé can be spread with a thin layer of lightly whipped cream and coated with nibbed toasted almonds to finish.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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