SUPER RASPBERRY SOUFFLE
Updated: May 20
Soufflé. You've seen it at fancy restaurants, on Instagram posts, in French cook books and in films. Right before you go to bed, full of inspiration and confidence after watching it being made on a Cookery Channel show you've been watching, you think "Right - I'm going to give that a go tomorrow! It doesn't look so bad."
Then, when the day breaks, and your lying in bed scouring the internet on your phone looking for the best fail-proof soufflé recipes, that nervous little voice at the back of your mind asks you "What if they don't rise? What if they sink? All that effort for nothing!". And suddenly you're full of doubt, unease and misery, and you decide to bake another batch of chocolate brownies instead because they make you feel better and you know that brownies will always be there for you with their rich chocolatey hugs, easy method and simple ingredients - unlike the elusive soufflé!
I know all this because I've been through this exact same cycle many times. Of course it may just be because I am the biggest baking procrastinator of all time - literally, some days it will take me most of the morning and even some of the afternoon to finally decide what I'm going to make, it's infuriating!
It was actually my fiancé who finally made me take a stab at making this raspberry soufflé. One day a couple of weeks ago, coming up the stairs after a lockdown home-workout in the garden, I could hear the bustling of pans and the strong smell of raspberry wafting through the air. I poked my head around the corner and politely asked "erm...what are you doing?" (he never makes anything sweet!) to which he replied "I'm making raspberry soufflés". I started at him and blinked several times wondering if he'd taken the wrong pills this morning - this was totally unlike him to be experimenting with food that had not once breathed, that's always been my job! But, I said nothing and watched him go through the motions of making the raspberry puree and buttering his ramekins without interfering.
It was only when I realised he had actually turned on the grill rather than the oven, that I finally decided to get involved.
And so, together, we made 4 lovely soufflés which rose perfectly and tasted of amazing sherberty raspberry, and I was so impressed with our creation that I could have sworn a small tear came to my eye.
And then we immediately ate all 4 of those lovely soufflés and I felt so sick afterwards because 1 per person is definitely enough!!!
I've since made this from start to finish last weekend when we decided to make ourselves a 'fine-dining' meal at home - we even dressed up for it and everything, how sweet. Anyway, this time I halved the recipe to allow for just one each (!!), and set aside some of the puree to pour in the middle before eating! Absolutely delicious, light as air, and once again, a perfect rise!
Now don't get me wrong, I'm no soufflé expert, and I haven't yet experimented with other soufflé methods that involve making a 'crème pât' which you would need for richer soufflés such as chocolate for example. But I do like to think that we've mastered this one and so I'm being brave and sharing this recipe with you for you to give it a try at home! I hope it works out for you guys like it did for me, just be sure to follow the steps I've laid out below; some minor details make all the difference!
It's a lot of faffing around, I won't lie to you, but it's actually not that difficult at all and the effort is totally worth it when they come out of that oven and you take that first, light as air spoonful of sweet raspberry deliciousness!
Prep time: approx. 20 mins
Bake time: 10 mins
Makes: 2 individual soufflés (double recipe for 4 soufflés)
55g caster sugar (divided 40g and 15g) + extra for coating ramekins
1.5 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp corn flour
3 egg whites
1/2 tsp of cream of tartar or 1 tsp of lemon juice
A knob of softened butter to coat ramekins
1. To start, preheat your oven to 175C and place the shelf in the centre of the oven
2. Make a raspberry pureé by pulsing the raspberries in a blender. It's important not to over blitz these as you will break up the raspberry seeds which give off a bitter flavour. If you do not have a blender you can mash the berries with a fork. Strain the raspberries through a sieve (you can strain these straight into a thick-base pan to avoid having to wash up another bowl) pushing down with the back of a spoon or rubber spatula until you have only seeds left in the sieve. Discard seeds.
3. Heat the raspberry puree and 1.5 tsp of lemon juice in a thick based pan on a medium heat and let the mix reduce and thicken to a jam consistency. Stir occasionally to avoid burning the mixture
3. Meanwhile, in a small, separate pan, mix 40g of caster sugar with 2 tsp of water. Put the pan on a medium heat and let the sugar dissolve. Bring to a boil and stir to form a thick syrup
5. Pour the hot sugar syrup into the raspberry jam mixture, over the heat, and stir well to combine
6. In a small cup or pot, mix 1/2 tsp of cornflour with about 1tsp of water to create a thin paste. Add the cornflour mixture to the raspberry jam and stir vigorously to avoid lumps forming. The cornflour will help the mixture thicken further. Once fully incorporated and you feel the mixture thickening (temperature should be roughly 103C), remove jam from the heat and place in a large bowl
(At this point I reserve 2.5 Tbsp of the jam to mix with 1.5 Tbsp of hot water and pour into a microwavable jug - this will later be heated up and used to pour into the soufflés as seen in the video!)
7. Using a pastry brush, generously coat the bottoms of the ramekins with the softened butter. Use upwards strokes to coat the inner walls of the ramekins; this allows the soufflé to rise from top to bottom so don't skip this part! Tip a little caster sugar into each ramekin and begin rolling an tapping the ramekin in your hands to encourage the sugar to coat the entire interior - the sugar should lightly stick to the butter coating. Once all areas are coated, discard any excess sugar still moving freely in the ramekins
8. Separate your eggs, and place three egg whites in a large clean bowl making sure no yolk has found its way into the bowl
(I prefer to use a metal bowl when making meringue as I feel the eggs whip up better but its not necessary, and I always wipe the bowl down with a dab of lemon juice before using to make sure there are no remnants of grease left over from another bake as this can make it hard for your egg whites to start doubling up!)
9. Add 1/2 tsp of Cream of tartar or a squeeze of lemon juice to the egg whites and whisk. You can do this by hand if you have good stamina, or otherwise use an electric whisk on medium-low speed. As the egg whites begin to whiten and froth up, add the remaining 15g of caster sugar gradually and whisk on a low speed until you form soft, slightly glossy peaks. The mixture will not be as glossy as when you make proper meringue as we are using much less sugar here, so don't be fooled into over-whisking, as this will start breaking up the proteins in the egg whites which will affect the rise.
10. Take 1/3 of your meringue and stir into the raspberry jam to loosen the mix up and make it easier to stir. Now lightly fold in another 1/3 of the meringue, being careful not to over mix and knock out too much air, followed by the final 1/3 of meringue. There will be some thin white traces of meringue in the mixture - this is fine
11. Spoon your soufflé mixture into your ramekins and tap ramekins on the kitchen counter to get rid of large air bubbles. Use a pallet knife of back of a spoon to create a smooth mound at the top of the soufflé. Using your thumb and forefinger, wipe around the rims of the ramekins - this will stop any excess sugar from burning the edges of the ramekin but most importantly helps release the soufflé mix from the sides of the ramekin to make for an easier rise.
12. Place ramekins on a baking tray and put in the centre of the oven. Set timer to 10 minutes. Do not open the oven during the baking time. It is normal for the tops to brown slightly, if you remove from the oven before the egg whites have cooked through, the soufflé will collapse.
13. Once cooked, remove from the oven and quickly dust with icing sugar. Place on a heatproof saucer to serve, poke a hole in the top of the soufflé with a teaspoon and pour in the remaining reheated puree. Alternatively serve with a fresh raspberry on top an enjoy on it's own. Soufflés should be eaten immediately so don't hang around too long (I know you wont be able to anyway!!)