Edited Feb 2012: I'm adding this recipe to Mrs M's first ever recipe link party - it seems appropriate given the time of year! This is a fantastic, simple and (relatively) virtuous dessert to make for the one you love...
|Raspberry souffle - sadly not mine! (Taken from the Good Food Channel website)|
A good few years ago – just over seven to be precise, I was in a pretty low place. I had just moved back in with my parents after a disastrous period of trying to assert my independence that had left me broke, tired and utterly heartbroken. That Valentine’s Day I received the most beautiful bouquet of flowers, sent by my gorgeous Mum to cheer me up. The gesture didn’t cheer me up though. It made me feel incredibly alone.
And so, it was on Valentine’s Day that I decided I needed to do something to take control of my life and I signed on to an Internet dating site. At that moment in time it didn’t cross my mind that I would meet anyone with whom I could have a long term relationship. But I wanted to take the initiative, seize the day...do something, anything, positive.
D was not the first man that I chatted with on there, but he was the first one that I actually met in person. As a couple, we didn’t get off to the most auspicious of starts, but despite everything, the relationship prospered and grew. And this year, I get to marry my best friend in the entire world, and I get to stand up in front of my family and friends and tell them how much I love and value him. So I always celebrate Valentine’s Day, because it was the day on which I took the first steps along the path that would lead to here, and to him.
Enough with the gushy stuff and on to the more important part of this post – pudding and, specifically, the pudding that I served as the final hurrah of my multi course extravaganza of a Valentine’s Day dinner.
This recipe, which is by Paul Heathcote on the BBC website, describes itself as “foolproof”. Now I must admit that I tend to distrust anyone or anything that uses that particular adjective, but on this occasion it may have been justified. Certainly it was simple to put together, and a lovely way to end a meal. I didn’t pick it because it was WW compatible – that was just a happy accident, but I would definitely make it again, without a qualm, for a dinner party.
The only change I have made to the original recipe is to halve the portion size – and this is only because my ramekins could only hold a quarter, as opposed to half, of the mixture. After several other courses though, the reduced quantity was absolutely fine. One of the key things I’m learning about myself is that I need a lot less food than I think I do. And I would rather eat a smaller portion of something yummy that a large bowl of something bland and worthy.
Oh, and I should mention, that D used the remaining half of the mixture the following night. It had split slightly, but a good whisk to reincorporate the raspberry and the meringue, and Bob’s your uncle, two more soufflés. So they are obviously pretty forgiving if you want to make them in advance. Personally, I made the coulis before hand and then had the egg whites and sugar laid out in bowls to do the whipping and folding at the last minute.
4 egg whites
100g (plus 2 tsp) caster sugar
1/2 tsp cornflour, dissolved in a little water
2 tsp butter
Serves 4, 4 pro points per serving
First, evenly butter and sugar ovenproof moulds for the soufflés and place in the freezer.
For the coulis, add half of the sugar to the raspberries. Place in a hot pan and cook quickly for 2-3 minutes with a good squeeze of lemon juice. Liquidise with a hand blender and pass through a sieve to remove the seeds.
Place 2 tsp of coulis in the bottom of the soufflé dishes and thicken the remaining coulis with the moistened cornflour.
For the meringue, ensure the whisk and bowl are free from grease by scalding in boiling water or rubbing a lemon around the surface of the bowl, then place the egg whites into the bowl and start to whisk (an electric whisk makes life an awful lot easier!) Gradually add the sugar until the mixture forms a soft, glossy peak then finish off with a good squeeze of lemon juice.
Briskly whisk about a third of the egg white mixture into the thickened coulis and then gently in the remainder, taking care to keep in the air.
Divide the mix between the dishes.
When ready to bake, space out on a tray and bake in a medium to hot oven (180C/350F/Gas 4) for approximately 10-15 minutes depending on the size and dish.
Dust with icing sugar, place a raspberry on top (if you so fancy) and serve immediately