Soufflé is seemingly one of the dessert that a lot of people fear to attempt but it is actually really simple as long as you follow the few simple rules that I am going to list below.
Butter the ramekins correctly
When preparing the ramekins for making soufflé, it is recommended to use cold butter with a spreadable consistency. You do not, at any point, want to use butter that is overly soft as this can cause the soufflé to slide upon contact with heat in the oven and will rise too easily above and away from the ramekin as though your soufflé wants to escape!
When brushing the ramekins with butter, make sure that you brush it with a pastry brush in an upward motion around the sides. You should be able to see lines of butter from the brush with straight upward strokes. If the butter are melting and falling back to the bottom of the ramekin, it is too soft and you will need to either place the butter or the ramekin in the fridge to chill slightly.
Whisk meringue to just stiff peak
Not knowing when to stop whisking your egg whites for your soufflé? The best result I find with making meringue for the soufflé is when the meringue starts to form a stable foam, that is when you dip the tip of the whisk into the meringue and pull the whisk out, it forms a peak the end of the whisk without falling off too easily but is still light. If the meringue feels stiff and looks like they are breaking up in chunks of egg whites, you may have over whisked the egg whites and this is usually not recommended since meringue that is too stiff will post difficulty to fold into the soufflé base and likely to split the soufflé mixture.
Fill the soufflé mix all the way to the top of the ramekin
If you want your soufflé to rise all the way to the top evenly from the rim of the ramekin, you need to fill the soufflé mix all the way into the ramekin fully then scrape off any excess from the top for a clean flat surface.
Tap , tap tap
If your soufflé is not rising upwards properly and is going everywhere during baking, this means that the ramekins was not filled compactly enough with the soufflé mixture. After filling the ramekins with the soufflé mixture, it is important to tap the ramekins a few times on the table to ensure that the mix is compact otherwise you will have gaps in between that is empty causing the soufflé to rise irregularly.
Run the tip of your thump around the inside rim of the ramekin
After you have filled, tapped and scraped off the excess of the soufflé off the ramekins, you now need to create a little dent around the inside edge on the rim of the ramekins of the soufflé mix. This will prevent the soufflé baking around the edges on the rims as the soufflé will baked quicker on the outside and prevent it from rising when it hits the hot oven.
Do not open the oven door!
During the whole process of baking, it is crucial that you do not open the oven door or the cooling fluctuations will cause the soufflé to collapse!
Since soufflé consist of mainly air, it is undoubtedly why you never ever see them in cake cabinets in patisserie shops and are usually served in restaurants. This also means that soufflé will only have a 2 minutes gateway for you to serve them to your guest before they start to sink back into the ramekins! So, get your station ready before your soufflés are!
Yield: 3 soufflés
120 g Raspberries Purees
70g Caster Sugar
20 g Lime Juice
1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
Reserve 50 g for the pastry cream and the rest for sauce
RASPBERRY PASTRY CREAM
30 g Egg Yolks
35 g Granulated Sugar
10 g Corn Flour
1tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
50 g Raspberry Jam
120 g Large Egg Whites
30 g Granulated Sugar
¼ tsp Cream of Tartar
50 g Room temperature butter, mix to a spreadable consistency
qs Icing sugar- for dusting
Qs Extra raspberry jam - to piped into the soufflés.
For Raspberry Jam
Place all the ingredients into the saucepan and boil over medium heat until it reaches 103˚C. Transfer into a clean bowl, cover with food wrap touching the surface to prevent skin from forming. Leave to cool completely in the fridge.
For Raspberry Pastry Cream
Heat milk in a saucepan over medium heat until it starts to simmer on the side.
Meanwhile, In a bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar, vanilla extract, and corn flour until it becomes smooth and thick.
Gradually stream in the warm milk over the egg mixture while continuously whisking until smooth.
Return the custard mixture back into the saucepan and heat over low heat while constantly whisking until it starts to thicken. This process will only take 2 - 3 minutes, so don't walk away!
Once it starts to thicken, turn off the heat and whisk vigorously until smooth.
Transfer into a clean bowl, add in 50 g of the raspberry jam and whisk until well combined. Cover with food wrap touching the top of the custard and leave to cool in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Note: You can prepare the custard a day ahead, just ensure that you bring the custard back to room temperature before folding in with the meringue.
When the custard is cool to touch, remove from the fridge and proceed to preparing the meringue.
Pre heat the oven at 200C.
Prepare the ramekins by brushing room temperature butter that has been softened by hand so that they come to a spreadable consistency. Run a pastry brush around the butter and brush the base and sides of the ramekin ensuring the you run the butter as straight as possible from the base towards the rim. This will ensure that the soufflé rises straight during baking. Place a spoonful of caster sugar on to the base of each buttered ramekin then tilt it sideways to coat around the edges as well. Place 3 -4 pieces of raspberry on the base of each ramekins and set aside until ready to use.
In a standing mixer, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar in a stand mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment on medium speed until they are completely foamed.
Gradually stream in the sugar while continuously whisking on medium speed.
Once all the sugar has been added, increase the speed to high and continue to whisk until you reach a medium to stiff peak. To check if it is ready, when you dip the whisk into the meringue it should pick up the meringue without it sliding off too easily and hold its shape, but at the same time feels soft. You do not want the meringue to be too stiff or this can make it difficult to fold into the custard without causing the soufflé mixture to split.
Gently fold in 1/3 of the meringue into the cooled raspberry custard until they are homogenous then fold in the rest of the meringue ensuring that there are no white bits of meringue in the mixture.
Transfer the soufflé mix into a piping bag, cut a large hole so that you are not squeezing the mixture too much that you collapse all the beautiful air foam you have created. Pipe into each ramekin all the way to the top until its slightly domed. Tap each ramekins 3 to 4 times on the table to even out the mixture. With a small off set spatula, scrape off the excess soufflé mix from the top. Run your thumb tip around the rim of the ramekin, clean around the sides if they are messy.
Bake in the pre heated oven for 10 minutes then turn down the heat to 190C and bake for a further 7 minutes. Do not open the oven at any point during baking.
Once the soufflé is ready, remove from the oven, dust the top with icing sugar, and very quickly transfer over a serving plate. Cut a small cross on the top then pipe in some of the excess raspberry jam. Serve immediately.