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      RECIPE TITLE "Individual Raspberry Soufflés"
    Author: Recipes from Dessert Circus : Extraordinary Desserts You Can Make at Home

    ... more great recipes by Jacques Torres on our GREAT CHEFS page!

    yields6 4-inch soufflés time35 min. difficultymoderate


    For the souffle base:

    • Fresh raspberries: About 2 cups/8.8 ounces/250 grams ;
    • Granulated sugar: 1/2 Cup + 2 tablespoons/4.5 ounces/125 grams ;
    • Sure-Jell: 2 tablespoons/0.75 ounces/20 grams

    For the Italian meringue:

    • Water: 1/4 cup/2 ounces/50 grams ;
    • Granulated sugar: 1/2 cup + 2 ;tablespoons/4.5 ounces/125 grams ;
    • 8 large egg whites

    To finish the soufflés:

    • Powdered sugar for dusting


    1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Soufflés are baked at a high temperature to ensure a good rise. Use a pastry brush to evenly coat the inside of six 1-cup soufflé molds with softened butter. Fill each mold with granulated sugar, then pour out any excess. If you have properly buttered the molds, the sugar will stick to the sides and bottom. The butter and sugar will keep the soufflés from sticking to the sides and will allow them to rise evenly. The sugar will also give the soufflé a crunchy crust, which I think makes a great contrast to its soft interior.
    2. Prepare the soufflé base: Place the raspberries, sugar, and Sure-Jell in a 1-quart saucepan and whisk over medium-high heat until the mixture boils and thickens. Allow it to boil for 1 to 2 minutes, whisking continuously. Remove from the heat and set aside.
    3. Prepare the Italian meringue: Pour the water and sugar into a 1-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan and place over medium-high heat. When bubbles start to form around the edge of the pan, insert a candy thermometer in the mixture. When the sugar reaches 245°F (118°C), begin to whip the egg whites.
    4. Place the egg whites in a large mixing bowl and whip with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until foamy and slightly soft peaks.
    5. The sugar is ready when it reaches 250°F (121°C), what is known as the soft ball stage. Make an Italian meringue by pouring the cooked sugar down the side of the bowl as you continue whipping the egg whites. Be very careful not to pour the hot sugar onto the beaters, or it will splatter. Continue whipping the meringue until the outside of the bowl is warm but not hot, about 5 minutes. Do not overwhip, or it will not incorporate evenly into the base and, when baked, the soufflés will have pieces of chewy egg white in the center. You can tell the egg whites are overwhipped if they start to separate and look like scrambled eggs.
    6. Fold the warm soufflé base into the warm Italian meringue in two additions. Fold just until combined (you may still see flecks of raspberry), being careful not to deflate the mixture. It is important for both of these mixtures to be warm so they will combine together smoothly. If one mixture is significantly cooler than the other, it will form clumps when the two are folded together. The warm meringue will also add stability to the unbaked soufflé by slightly cooking the egg whites, keeping the soufflé from collapsing.
    7. Place the soufflé mixture in a large pastry bag with a 2-inch opening (no tip). Pipe into the buttered and sugared molds. The best way to do this is to hold the pastry bag directly over each mold with the tip down. Place the tip inside the mold about 1 inch from the bottom. Using even pressure, pipe the soufflé mixture into the mold, lifting the pastry bag straight up as the mold fills. When you have piped to about 1 inch above the rim of the mold, stop squeezing and lift the tip straight up, leaving a small tail at the top of the soufflé. The piped soufflé will look like a pink chocolate kiss. If you do not have a pastry bag, you can use a rubber spatula to gently spoon the soufflé mixture into the molds. (The unbaked soufflés will hold at room temperature for one hour before baking.)
    8. It will be easier to remove the soufflés from the oven if you place the molds on a baking sheet. Set the baking sheet in the center of the oven; do not place the baking sheet under a rack. If the soufflés are too close to the top of the oven or under a rack, they will stick to the oven or the rack when they rise. If the soufflés are too close to the bottom of the oven, the bottoms will burn before the insides are properly cooked. Bake until the soufflés double in height and start to brown on top, about 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and dust the tops of the soufflés with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.
    9. If you prefer to make one large 8-inch (1-1/2-quart) soufflé, you can gently spoon the mixture directly into the buttered and sugared mold with a rubber spatula; it is not necessary to pipe it with a pastry bag. The soufflé mixture should come to about 1 inch above the rim of the dish. Bake at 375°F (190°C) for about 20 minutes.
    10. The soufflé base can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two weeks. It should be brought to a boil before it is combined with the Italian meringue.


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