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Plum pudding? Bah humbug! Try this raspberry soufflé Add to ...

Before you start, make sure the egg whites are at room temperature; this will give the soufflé more substance and stability. Before you beat them, add a pinch of salt to the whites; that helps bind the proteins together. Don’t beat the egg whites to hard or too fast, for instance, as it will make them unstable. And remember that the flavour, whether it comes from fruit or jam, is just flavour: The meringue is what makes the soufflé a star.

A well-cooked soufflé will fall gradually, gently and almost imperceptibly 5 to 10 minutes after being removed from the oven, so serve immediately: Timing is everything.

Chef Normand Laprise is co-owner of Toqué! in Montreal.

  • Servings: 6

BASE AND FLAVOURING

Butter for brushing six moulds

Sugar for dusting six moulds

1 1/2 cups raspberry purée

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/8 cup water

MERINGUE

1 1/2 cups egg whites

3/4 cup sugar

Method

BASE AND FLAVOURING

Brush the interior of each soufflé mould in an upward direction with room-temperature butter. Sprinkle a small amount of sugar inside each and roll around to coat the sides evenly. Shake out extra sugar and discard. Place the moulds in the refrigerator to set butter and sugar.

Heat raspberry purée and sugar in a saucepan. Meanwhile, make a slurry with cornstarch and water, then add slowly to purée mixture. Continue to heat and whisk until the purée thickens. Set aside to cool.

MERINGUE

Whip egg whites, adding sugar slowly, until stiff peaks are formed. Heat oven to 380 F. Slowly fold purée into the meringue until blended. Place mixture into piping bag and fill moulds. Run a spatula across the top of molds to remove excess mixture. Bake for 10 minutes or until soufflé has doubled in size. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Suggested Wine Pairings

Soufflés are ideal with sparkling wine. Both contain airy bubbles – assuming you’ve cooked the former correctly. And there’s a festive quality to both, for what that’s worth. For this dessert soufflé, the bubbly should be sweet. One great choice is moscato d’Asti, the gently effervescent Piedmontese white, which tends to come sealed with a regular cork, not the Champagne-style mushroom thingy. (Note: moscato d’Asti is not to be confused with the inferior Italian bubbly simply called Asti, which does come sealed with a Champagne cork.) Other options include sparkling icewine and a sweet Chilean bubbly called Fresita, which is flavoured with strawberries. If the occasion demands Champagne, your best bets are, in this order, demi-sec, sec or extra sec. Avoid the most popular style called brut, which is bone-dry. -- Beppi Crosariol

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