Test kitchen se­crets

Cook­ery writer Adam Bush shows you how to whip up a pis­ta­chio and white cho­co­late soufflé

Olive - - Contents - Cook­ery writer Adam Bush shares pro tips and tricks from the O kitchen

I re­cently ate at re­vamped Lon­don restau­rant The Game Bird in The Stafford ho­tel. The meal fin­ished with a pis­ta­chio soufflé, which came tall and proud like a Latin teacher at a pri­vate school. The sort of dessert that’s cring­ing at the thought of a peas­ant like me de­vour­ing it in three bites. I vowed there and then that I would learn to make an equally re­gal pis­ta­chio soufflé, and so de­mys­tify the whole process. First I had a look at some soufflé masters for in­spi­ra­tion. Pierre Koff­mann has been serv­ing up per­fect souf­flés along­side pis­ta­chio ice cream for decades. Ray­mond Blanc bakes his with a ball of cho­co­late ice cream in­side. Mak­ing their recipes gave me point­ers to­wards per­fect­ing my own. Mak­ing a soufflé can be split into sev­eral im­por­tant parts. First, you have to make the panade. This thick cus­tard base acts as the sta­biliser in a soufflé. With­out this the whisked egg whites would rise unchecked and col­lapse – their struc­ture un­able to sup­port the rapid aer­a­tion. The thick­ness of the panade is cru­cial. A thin cus­tard will not have the strength to sus­pend the egg whites and al­low them to steadily rise and set. The sec­ond vi­tal step is well-whisked egg whites. The stiffest of peaks is re­quired for max­i­mum lift – these will make your souf­flés strato­spheric. The but­ter­ing and flour­ing of the moulds or ramekins is also im­por­tant. Use a pas­try brush to sweep ver­ti­cally up the in­sides of the mould to en­cour­age an even rise. A coat­ing of flour gives the mix­ture some­thing to grip as it rises. I also ex­per­i­mented with oven tem­per­a­ture. A re­ally hot oven makes for the most dra­matic rise – they ex­pand quickly be­fore set­ting, but this also makes for the most dra­matic fall. I’m sure ev­ery­one would be­lieve that “they were huge in the oven” as you plonked down a pis­ta­chio pan­cake on their plate. I opted for a medium-hot oven, as this gave a good rise and they held bet­ter and longer. To give the souf­flés ex­tra rise I used a method known as ‘bot­tom heat’. You put a solid bak­ing tray in the oven when you turn it on so that the di­rect heat onto the bot­tom of the soufflé moulds will give them an in­stant lift. I used a good-qual­ity white cho­co­late for the ganache bombs at the bot­tom of these souf­flés. Pop­ping them in the mould frozen means that they are per­fectly molten by the time the souf­flés are cooked. Make sure you dig right to the bot­tom with each spoon­ful to get a mouth­ful of rich ganache, too.

Pis­ta­chio and white cho­co­late soufflé

1 HOUR + COOL­ING + FREEZ­ING | MAKES 6 | EASY salted but­ter 25g plain flour 20g, plus ex­tra for dust­ing the ramekins whole milk 150ml vanilla ex­tract 1 tsp eggs 3, sep­a­rated golden caster sugar 35g pis­ta­chio paste 50g (see cook’s notes) ic­ing sugar to serve WHITE CHO­CO­LATE GANACHE dou­ble cream 150ml good-qual­ity white cho­co­late 150g, finely chopped

• To make the ganache, put the cream in a small pan and gen­tly bring to the boil. Put the cho­co­late into a bowl and pour over the boil­ing cream. Leave for a few min­utes and then stir un­til melted. Pour into a small shal­low bak­ing dish and chill un­til solid. Once set, scoop out with a spoon and shape into 6 balls, put on a tray and freeze for at least 4 hours but prefer­ably overnight. • Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 and put in a solid bak­ing tray to heat up. • Melt the but­ter and thor­oughly coat the in­side of 6 large ramekins, paint­ing up­ward strokes on the sides to en­cour­age rise. Lightly dust with flour so they are com­pletely cov­ered, knock­ing out any ex­cess. • To make the panade, put the milk and vanilla ex­tract in a pan and gen­tly bring to the boil. In a bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks, ae of the sugar and 20g plain flour. Pour over the boil­ing milk, whisk­ing vig­or­ously. Pour back into the pan and cook, stir­ring, un­til thick­ened – it should be the con­sis­tency of a thick béchamel sauce. Pour into a bowl and stir through the pis­ta­chio paste. Line the sur­face with cling­film (to avoid a skin form­ing) and leave to cool. • Us­ing elec­tric beat­ers, whisk the egg whites un­til peaks form. Add the re­main­ing Z\NHY HUK ^OPZR [V Z[PMM WLHRZ (KK Н VM [OPZ to the panade and mix thor­oughly. Add the YLTHPUPUN ^OP[LZ НH[ H [PTL MVSKPUN P[ through, so there are no lumps of egg white. • Put a ball of the frozen ganache in the bot­tom of each ramekin and di­vide the soufflé mix­ture be­tween them, run­ning a pal­ette knife straight across the top so that the sur­face is flat. Use your thumb­nail with a tiny piece of kitchen pa­per to run around the edge, mak­ing a shal­low groove and en­sur­ing the rim of the ramekin is clean. • Put the moulds straight on the hot bak­ing tray and bake for 15-20 min­utes or un­til well risen and golden. Serve hot from the oven with a dust­ing of ic­ing sugar. PER SERV­ING 420 KCALS | FAT 30.9G | SATURATES 16.7G CARBS 26.5G | SUG­ARS 23.3G | FI­BRE 0.8G PRO­TEIN 8.1G | SALT 0.2G

"DIP RIGHT TO THE BOT­TOM WITH EACH SPOON­FUL TO GET A MOUTH­FUL OF RICH WHITE CHO­CO­LATE GANACHE, TOO"

run your thumb­nail around the edge to help the soufflé rise cleanly

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