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Individual Raspberry Souffles
Chef Jacques Torres
Adapted by StarChefs


(makes six 4-inch souffles) For the souffle base

Ingredients:
  • about 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbls. granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbls. Sure-Jell
For the Italian Meringue
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbls. granulated sugar
  • 8 large eggs

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Blend well. Can be stored in an airtight container in your spice cabinet for up to 3 months.

To finish the souffle :
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 400F. Souffles are baked at a high temperature to ensure a good rise. Use a pastry brush to evenly coat the inside of six 1-cup souffle molds with softened butter. Fill each mold with granulated sugar, then pour out any excess. If you have properly buttered the molds, the sugar will stick to the sides and bottom. The butter and sugar will keep the souffles from sticking to the sides and will allow them to rise evenly. The sugar will also give the souffle a crunchy crust, which I think makes a great contrast to its soft interior.

Prepare the souffle base: Place the raspberries, sugar and Sure-Jell in a 1-quart saucepan and whisk over medium-high heat until the mixture boils and thickens. Allow it to boil for 1 to 2 minutes, whisking continuously. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Prepare the Italian meringue: Pour the water and sugar into a 1-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan and place over medium-high heat. When bubbles start to form around the edge of the pan, insert a candy thermometer in the mixture. When the sugar reaches 245F, begin to whip the egg whites.

Place the egg whites in a large mixing bowl and whip with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until foamy and slightly soft peaks.

The sugar is ready when it reaches 250F what is known as the soft ball stage. Make an Italian meringue by pouring the cooked sugar down the side of the bowl as you continue whipping the egg whites. Be very careful not to pour the hot sugar onto the beaters, or it will splatter. Continue whipping the meringue until the outside of the bowl is warm but not hot, about 5 minutes. Do not overwhip, or it will not incorporate evenly into the base and, when baked, the souffles will have pieces of chewy egg white in the center. You can tell the egg whites are overwhipped if they start to separate and look like scrambled eggs.

Fold the warm souffle base into the warm Italian meringue in two additions. Fold just until combined (you may still see flecks of raspberry), being careful not to deflate the mixture. It is important for both these mixtures to be warm so they will combine together smoothly. If one mixture is significantly cooler than the other, it will form clumps when the two are folded together. The warm meringue will also add stability to the unbaked souffle by slightly cooking the egg whites, keeping the souffle from collapsing.

Place the souffle mixture in a large pastry bag with a 2-inch opening (no tip). Pipe into the buttered and sugared molds. The best way to do this is to hold the pastry bag directly over each mold with the tip down. Place the tip inside the mold about 1 inch from the bottom. Using even pressure, pipe the souffle mixture into the mold, lifting the pastry bag straight up as the mold fills. When you have piped to about 1 inch above the rim of the mold, stop squeezing and lift the tip straight up, leaving a small tail at the top of the souffle. The piped souffle will look like a pink chocolate kiss. If you do not have a pastry bag, you can use a rubber spatula to gently spoon the souffle mixture into the molds. (The unbaked souffles will hold at room temperature for one hour before baking.)

It will be easier to remove the souffles from the oven if you place the molds on a baking sheet. Set the baking sheet in the center of the oven; do not place the baking sheet under a rack. If the souffles are too close to the top of the oven or under a rack, they will stick to the oven or the rack when they rise. If the souffles are too close to the bottom of the oven, the bottoms will burn before the insides are properly cooked. Bake until the souffles double in height and start to brown on top, about 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and dust the tops of the souffles with powdered sugar. Serve immediately. If you prefer to make one large 8-inch (1 1/2-quart) souffle, you can gently spoon the mixture directly into the buttered and sugared mold with a rubber spatula; it is not necessary to pipe it with a pastry bag. The souffle mixture should come to about 1 inch above the rim of the dish. Bake at 375F for about 20 minutes.

The souffle base can be stored in the refrigerator in an original container for up to two weeks. It should be brought to a boil before it is combined with the Italian meringue.

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