Behind the scenes Nige and I have been have a bit of a soufflé-off. I proffered my chicken soufflé, and he responded with a cheese soufflé that – by his own admission – “needed some work.” I think what he meant to say was it was ‘rustic,’ which is usually a culinary euphasim for ‘flavour over form.’ I think Nige messed up his soufflé big time.
So how about a soufflé that always rises to the correct height and doesn’t involve nervously peering through the window of your oven wondering if it is safe to open the door without the end result looking like Ghandi’s flip-flops? I’m talking about frozen soufflés. They are not quite as bonkers or as difficult as they sound. They’re actually deceptively simple, and produce perfect results every time. Perhaps Nige should try them.
The normally hit and miss affair of getting that spectacular vertical rise that extends for an inch above the rim of the ramekin is enabled by the use confectioners’ acetate roll – you could also use baking parchment.
This edifice of frozen chocolate perfection is a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
Frozen chocolate and rum soufflés
- 4 eggs
- 150g caster sugar
- 300g dark chocolate at least 70% cocoa (I used 85%)
- Large slug of dark rum
- Grated chocolate and icing sugar to garnish
Secure a collar of confectioners' acetate film, or baking parchment around the top of the ramekins, using sticky tape.
Half fill a medium sized saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Break the chocolate into a small pieces and place in a heat-proof glass bowl that will sit on top of the saucepan. Alternatively use a double boiler.
Break the eggs into the bowl of a food processor, add the sugar and whizz until pale, light and well aerated.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in the glass bowl or double boiler, over a low heat.
With the food processor still running, add the melted chocolate in a steady stream to the beaten egg and sugar. Once fully combined, add the rum. This will also loosen the mixture, which will make it easier to combine with the whipped cream.
Pour the cream into a clean bowl and whisk until it forms soft peaks. Spoon the whipped cream into the food processor bowl, containing the chocolate mixture. Using the pulse button gently combine until evenly mixed.
Spoon into the ramekins and smooth off, level with the top of the acetate, using a pallete knife dipped in warm water to achieve a perfectly smooth finish. Place the ramekins on a tray and put into the freezer for 4 hours or overnight.
To serve, gently remove the acetate or parchment. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with grated chocolate, chocolate shards or sugar work, if you are feeling adventurous.
This is a fantastic dish to impress at a dinner party, and can be made days in advance. All you have to do is remove it from the freezer approximately 20 minutes before serving, allow to soften slightly, decorate and serve.