Warm Blackberry Soufflé with Almond Ice Cream

Soufflés are generally disappointing desserts. There is an element of theatre when one appears with its head standing high over the dish, and the punters assume that it took great skill to produce – the higher it stands, the cleverer the cook.

This is not so. The more egg you use, the higher and swifter it will rise. Also, the more egg you use, the more it will eat like a stringy omelette and leave you with a metallic, fried egg aftertaste.

The egg should be a vehicle for lightening and aerating the fruit or chocolate, and should be barely perceptible as a taste. Use ingredients like lemon or passionfruit with sharp distinct flavours. The flavour of whatever you use will be delicate after increasing the volume tenfold by whisked egg whites, so steer clear of anything bland. The distinctive flavour of blackberries tastes just fine.

Ingredients

Almond ice cream

  • 5 fl oz (150 ml) milk
  • 5 fl oz (150 ml) double cream
  • 1 oz (25 g) ground almonds
  • 2 oz (50 g) whole blanched almonds
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 oz (75 g) caster sugar

Sauce

  • 2 punnets blackberries
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 oz (50 g) granulated sugar

Soufflé-base mixture

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 oz (50 g) caster sugar
  • 1 oz (25 g) plain flour
  • 10 fl oz (300 ml) hot milk
  • 4 egg whites

Method

The almond ice cream

  1. Mix the milk and cream and then heat almost to boiling point with the ground almonds.
  2. Toast the whole blanched almonds under a grill until brown, and then break them up into small granules in a food processor.
  3. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together. Then pour on the hot milk and cream mixture.
  4. Whisk over a low heat until the mixture starts to thicken, then strain into a container and leave to cool.
  5. Stir in the almond granules and freeze, preferably in an ice-cream machine.

The sauce

  • Pick over the blackberries to make sure none is mouldy. Remove a few nice ones to garnish the completed dish.
  • Squeeze the lemons. Combine the juice in a pan with the sugar and 10 fl oz (300 ml) of water, then boil with the fruit until it becomes a purée. Sieve into a container.

The soufflé-base mixture

  • Whisk two of the egg yolks with the sugar until they become white. Stir in the flour and then carefully whisk in the hot milk.
  • Bring this mixture to the boil, stirring all the time, until it is the consistency of thick custard. Pour into a container until you are ready to complete the dish.

To make the soufflés

  • Combine the soufflé-base mixture with half the sauce.
  • Add and stir in the four remaining egg yolks.
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff, and fold them into the mixture.
  • Butter four 10 fl oz (300 ml) soufflé dishes and spoon in the mixture.
  • Bake in a moderately hot oven – 400°F (200°C) Gas 6 – for about 10 minutes. They should have risen well above the rim of the dishes.

To Complete

  • Spoon the remainder of the sauce on to the four plates. Decorate with the reserved blackberries.
  • Carefully spoon the ice cream on to the sauce. Use two spoons that have been in warm water to shape and portion the ice cream.
  • Finally, place the soufflés in their ramekins on to the plates and serve as soon as possible.
Loading
Loading
Loading