I made a souffle. Once. A pumpkin and goat’s cheese one by Yotam Ottolenghi. And as Ottolenghi recipes are wont to do, the souffle turned out perfectly. Light and airy and very definitely risen.
Initially I chose to make a goat’s cheese souffle with leeks and walnuts. A twice baked souffle, these are said to be easier to make than their singly baked counterparts as they can be made ahead and tend to deflate less rapidly.
Initially everything was looking good. My souffles duly rose during their first trip into the oven. But then disaster struck. When I had to turn them out of the ramekins for their second bake, they had stuck. Fast. Eventually I managed to prise them out with a knife but leaving a good portion stuck behind. They tasted good but looked awful.
Undeterred, I decided to try something completely different for my second attempt. A sweet chocolate and raspberry souffle with lavender mascarpone cream adapted from Masterchef Australia The Cookbook: Volume Two. Again my souffles rose magnificently in the oven and I quickly grabbed my camera to take a few snaps of my souffle making prowess.
But pride comes before a fall. Or in this case, a deflated souffle. As I snapped away at my perfect looking souffles, I realised that I had forgotten to insert the memory card into my camera. Doh! Of course by the time I had reinserted the card, my souffles had duly deflated leaving the rather flat versions you see in the photographs.
Please don’t let that put you off trying this recipe. The souffles are exceptionally delicious. Light and rich and fruity. I’m in two minds about the lavender. I quite liked it but if you are not a fan of floral flavours, leave it out. You could use a little brandy in the mascarpone instead which I reckon would team brilliantly with the raspberries and chocolate. The original recipe used whipped cream but I prefer the richness and depth of mascarpone.
Chocolate & Raspberry Souffles with Lavender Mascarpone Cream adapted from Masterchef Australia The Cookbook: Volume Two
- 250ml mascarpone
- 25g icing sugar
- 1tsp vanilla paste
- 1tsp fresh or dried lavender flowers
- 60g butter plus extra (melted) for greasing the ramekins
- 80g caster sugar plus extra for coating the ramekins
- 125g raspberries plus extra for serving
- 200g dark chocolate
- 3 egg yolks
- 6 egg whites
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan. Mix the mascarpone with the icing sugar,vanilla and lavender. Chill.
2. Brush six 250ml ramekins with melted butter. Pour a little caster sugar into each ramekin and tip from side to side so the sugar evenly coats the base and sides. Tip out any excess sugar. Set the ramekins on a baking tray.
3. Puree the raspberries with a stick blender. Pass through a sieve to remove the seeds.
4. Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave or bainmarie. Allow to cool slightly before mixing with the raspberry puree and egg yolks.
5. Whisk the egg whites till soft peaks form. Gradually add the caster sugar whilst still whisking, until the mixture becomes thick and glossy like meringue.
6. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in 3 additions, taking care not to knock the air out of the whites. Divide the mixture between the ramekins.
7. Bake for 18 minutes until well risen. Serve immediately with the lavender mascarpone and fresh raspberries.