Just home from work on Friday night and what better than to start cooking. We ended up having three courses – clams Portuguese style, Dover sole with béarnaise and samphire, and a trio of gooseberry puddings. The trio is a bit of cheat really as in the making of the soufflé you get the bits you need for the other two.
Soufflé base for 2-4
1 tbl plain flour
2 tbl butter room temp.
100 ml milk
1 egg yolk
Mix the butter and flour together in a pan until it is fully mixed. Heat the milk until boiling, add to the pan whilst slowing mixing and then cook, stirring all the time, until it is fully thickened. Once it has cooled a little add the egg yolk. And that is the core soufflé base. Now get you soufflé dishes, brush melted butter all round the inside. Add caster sugar and turning it ensure a fine layer of sugar coats the inside of the dishes. Put them in the fridge. If you are not using the soufflé base immediately, cover it with parchment on top to ensure it doesn’t form a skin and put it in the fridge. Always take it out of the fridge well in advance as cold base doesn’t mix or rise well.
1 pack of gooseberries
2 tbl caster sugar
Dash of water.
One pack of gooseberries in a pan with with the sugar and a dash of water. Lid on heat gently, checking and stirring regularly to ensure they don’t burn. One boiling, turn the heat right down and stew for a further 5 minutes. Let it cool a bit. Use a wand blender and blend till smooth. Then push the mixture through a sieve to get a perfect puree. Now test for taste as gooseberries can vary in sweetness. Add more sugar if necessary.
Put a quarter of the puree into small bowls or coffee cups and refrigerate.
¼ Gooseberry puree
50ml whipping cream
Whip the cream until firm, but don’t over whip. Mix in the puree, leaving some ripples, put in dishes and refrigerate.
3 egg whites
2 tbl caster sugar
Turn the oven to 180C. Mix half the puree into the soufflé base. Put the dishes on a baking tray. Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff peaks, add the sugar and whisk again. Using a metal spoon, fold a spoon of the egg white into the base to loosen it. Then mix all of this back into the egg whites. Spoon the mixture into the soufflé dishes until over full. Get a knife and perfectly flatten the top by taking off the excess mixture. Then holding the knife vertically, go round the rim of the soufflé dish, half a centimetre of the point in and just lightly take the soufflé away from the side of the dish at the top. This helps them rise evenly. Put them ake in the oven for 9-12 minutes. After nine minutes, open look at the soufflés, are they well risen, if so, open the door quickly and feel the top, if them are firm to bounce back they are ready.
Put all three dishes on a plate. You are done.