Le­mon souf­flés

Gourmet Traveller (Australia) - - Food -

SERVES 6-8 When we make souf­flés, we can’t help but think of Ju­lia Child. In­spired by her clas­sic recipe, we be­gin with a sauce bouilli, a thick­ened mix­ture of milk, sugar, and flour, which makes them es­pe­cially del­i­cate. Light and airy with just a hint of le­mon, they can be adapted us­ing orange juice and zest or vanilla.

90 gm white sugar

300 ml milk

30 gm un­bleached flour

4 large egg yolks

3 tbsp un­salted but­ter, plus ex­tra for greas­ing

1 tbsp le­mon zest

1 tbsp le­mon juice

6 large egg­whites

Pure ic­ing sugar, for dust­ing

Pre­heat the oven to 205°C. But­ter the in­sides of eight in­di­vid­ual 1-cup ramekins or one large 1.4-litre souf­flé mould. Us­ing 2 tbsp of sugar, sprin­kle the in­sides of the ramekins, tap­ping to re­move any ex­cess. Place ramekins on an oven tray.

Whisk milk, flour and 50gm white sugar in a saucepan un­til well-com­bined. Place over medium-high heat and cook, whisk­ing con­tin­u­ously, un­til mix­ture thick­ens and comes to the boil (about 3 min­utes). Trans­fer to a large bowl and cool briefly (2-3 min­utes).

Add the egg yolks, one at a time, whisk­ing un­til fully in­cor­po­rated be­fore adding the next yolk. While the mix­ture is still warm, add the but­ter, le­mon zest and le­mon juice, and whisk un­til fully com­bined.

In a large, very clean, prefer­ably cop­per bowl (or in the bowl of an elec­tric mixer), beat egg­whites, re­main­ing 1 tbsp sugar and ⅛ tsp salt with a bal­loon whisk un­til firm peaks form. Stir a large spoonful of whipped egg­white into the souf­flé base to be­gin light­en­ing it, then us­ing a rub­ber spat­ula, gen­tly fold in the re­main­ing egg­white, leav­ing some white streaks in the souf­flé mix­ture and work­ing quickly to keep the base light and airy.

Pour the fin­ished mix­ture into the pre­pared ramekins, fill­ing them to just be­low the rim. Run your thumb around the in­side edge of the moulds to re­move any smears and en­sure a proper lift. Bake un­til the tops of the souf­flés are golden brown and lifted about 5cm above tops of the ramekins (15-18 min­utes; 25-30 min­utes for the large souf­flé mould). Do not be tempted to open the oven dur­ing bak­ing or the souf­flés will fall. Dust with ic­ing sugar and serve im­me­di­ately.

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