Semolina is the hard durum wheat used to make the best dried pastas. It is widely available at Italian markets and also by mail-order through many baking suppliers, such as The Baker’s Catalog. In countries around the Mediterranean, semolina also serves as the base for various sweet desserts. This soufflé is relatively dense and pudding-like.
Lightly butter six
Combine the half-and-half, cardamom, vanilla bean, cinnamon, and orange peel in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to steep for 20 minutes. Strain the liquid into a clean saucepan. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the cream. Add the sugar and salt and return the liquid to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk the semolina into the liquid in a steady stream, reduce the heat, and continue to stir until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks, then beat in
Unmold each soufflé by turning it out into your hand, and then place it right side up on a serving plate. Spoon on some berry puree and dust with powdered sugar, if desired. Serve immediately.
If you like with powdered sugar or a lightly sweetened berry puree (just throw some fresh or frozen berries into the food processor with a little sugar; strain if you don’t like the little seeds or bits of skin), or both
© 2004 John Ash. All rights reserved.