15cm soufflé dish
Brush a collar of greaseproof paper lightly with a tasteless oil; tie it around the soufflé dish. Grate the rind of the lemons and squeeze and strain the juice; separate the eggs and put the yolks, caster sugar, grated lemon rind and strained lemon juice into a bowl. Place the bowl in a saucepan of barely simmering water, then whisk the mixture until quite thick and mousse-like. Remove from the heat and continue whisking until the bowl is cold. If you are using an electric food mixer, whisk the egg yolks, caster sugar and lemon rind until thick. Heat the lemon juice, add and continue to whisk until the mousse reaches the ‘ribbon stage, approximately 15 minutes.
Whip the cream softly and fold into the mixture. ‘Sponge’ the gelatine with the water in a small bowl. Put the bowl into a saucepan of simmering water until the gelatine has dissolved completely. Add some of the lemon mixture to the gelatine and then carefully fold both mixtures together. Whisk the egg whites until they form a stiff peak. Set the soufflé mixture on ice; just as the mixture begins to thicken, fold in the egg whites. Pour into the prepared soufflé dish and put in a cool place to set for several hours.
When the soufflé is set, peel off the paper. Press the toasted nuts gently round the sides. Decorate the top with rosettes of cream and tiny sprigs of lemon balm or sweet geranium leaves.
© 2001 Darina Allen. All rights reserved.