Pistachio soufflé with bitter cocoa sorbet

Raymond Blanc's pistachio soufflé recipe makes a dinner party dessert
By Raymond Blanc
Pistachio soufflé with bitter cocoa sorbet
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 55 minutes plus churning time
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the cocoa sorbet (you will need an ice cream maker)

  • 120 g 100% cocoa chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 145 g caster sugar
  • 180 g cocoa powder
  • 120 g liquid glucose, available in pharmacies

For the pastry cream (makes 400g)

  • 350 g whole milk
  • 65 g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 17 g plain flour
  • 17 g cornflour

For the pistachio paste

  • 200 g green pistachio nuts
  • 100 g marzipan, made with one third nuts if you can get it

For the soufflé

  • 5 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 400 g egg whites
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 20 g 100% cocoa chocolate, if available, for dusting

Tips and Suggestions

If 100% cocoa chocolate is unavailable, use a slightly lower percentage but take away a little of the sugar and add more chocolate.

Method

1. For the cocoa sorbet: Partially melt the chocolate in a pan over simmering water or by microwaving for 30 seconds and stirring. In a separate pan, bring 950ml water, sugar, cocoa powder and glucose to the boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not let the sauce catch and burn on the base of the pan.

2. Gradually add the partially melted chocolate then blitz well using a hand blender. Churn in the ice cream maker or sorbetiere immediately.

3. Once churned, use a scoop to make six 30g balls and put them on a tray lined with greaseproof paper in the freezer.

4. For the pastry cream: In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer with a little of the sugar to prevent the milk from sticking to the base of the pan. Add the vanilla extract, take the pan off the heat and cool for 30 seconds.

5. Cream together the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar then whisk in the flour and corn flour. While whisking the egg mixture, slowly pour in approximately a third of the hot milk until it is well blended. Pour the mixture back into the remaining milk, return to the heat and continue to whisk until the mixture reaches boiling point and starts to thicken and forms a paste. To store, transfer to a bowl or container, cover with cling film directly touching the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate. The cream can be made up to 4 days in advance if kept covered in the fridge.

6. For the pistachio paste: Preheat the oven to 170C/fan 150C/gas 3.5. Toast the pistachios for 3 minutes then blitz them with the marzipan for about 4-5 minutes in a food processor to form a paste.

7. For the soufflé: Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Using a pastry brush, evenly butter the insides of six soufflé dishes. Put the sugar inside the first dish and rotate it until completely coated with sugar. Tip the excess sugar into the next dish and repeat until each dish is coated.

8. To make the souffle base, whisk 170g of the pastry cream in a large bowl with 80g of the pistachio paste and until smooth, using an electric mixer if you have one.

9. Whisk the egg whites with a quarter of the lemon juice until they start to thicken, then slowly add the sugar and whisk until medium peak stage. Using a spatula, mix a quarter of the egg whites with the soufflé base until combined. Add this back into the remaining egg whites and fold in gently.

10. Fill the soufflé moulds halfway then add a 30g ball of the frozen hard chocolate sorbet. Fill the top with more soufflé mix. Level with a palette knife and wipe the mixture from the rim of the ramekin by placing your thumb on the rim and rotating it.

11. Dust the top with icing sugar and chocolate and place three of the roasted pistachios in the middle for decoration. Clean the outside of the moulds with a damp cloth.

12. At this stage, you could put the soufflé moulds in the freezer for a maximum of 2 hours before you cook them. You will need to microwave each soufflé on high for 10 seconds before you cook them in the oven. Otherwise, cook the soufflés in the preheated oven for 12 minutes, then serve immediately.


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