Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Clementine Souffle

For Christmas day dinner I was appointed dessert chef. I took my role seriously and decided to put in a little more effort than raspberry jelly or mince pies from the supermarket. After eating a main course of pork ribs, spiced pork sausages, vegetables and gravy I thought it would be nice to have something light and fresh to finish the meal. Clementine mandarines are in season in the northern hemisphere at the moment, they are sweet, juicy and delicious. Therefore I decided to make the most of them and turn them into some sweet little clementine souffles. I served them with a spiced white chocolate sauce and crunchy toffee pieces. 

Serves 6
Preparation time: Half your morning
180 degrees, 5-7 minutes

Assembly ingredients
3 imperial mandarins, thickly sliced horizontally
4 eggwhites
100 gm caster sugar

Mandarin soufflé base
250 gm celmentine mandarines (about 3), segmented
125 ml (½ cup) orange juice
100 gm caster sugar
40 ml cointreau

White chocolate sauce 
60 gm couverture white chocolate, coarsely chopped
125 ml (½ cup) pouring cream
3/4 tsp cinnamon (ground)
1/2 tsp cloves (powdered)
120 gm (½ cup) crème fraîche 
1 vanilla bean

110 gm (½ cup) caster sugar
1 tsp unsalted butter
2 tbs left over sauce from mandarine souffle base

  1. For mandarin soufflé base, bring mandarin, orange juice and sugar to the simmer in a small saucepan over low-medium heat and cook until mandarin is pulpy (20-25 minutes). Strain through a fine sieve (reserve liquid), pressing to extract as much juice as possible. Process solids, mandarin liqueur (just like Alex I like to add an extra dash for good luck) and 75ml reserved liquid (discard excess expect 2 tbs for the toffee) in a food processor until coarsely puréed. Refrigerate until required. Soufflé base will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 days.
  2. For white chocolate sauce, place chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside. Combine cream and vanilla bean in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring to the boil, then set aside to infuse (30 minutes). Return to medium heat, bring to the simmer, pour onto white chocolate and stir until melted and smooth (1-2 minutes). Add rosewater, stir to combine and set aside to cool. Whisk chocolate mixture and crème fraîche to combine, refrigerate until required.
  3. Meanwhile, for the toffee, combine sugar and 2tbs excess souffle base juice in a small saucepan over medium heat, stir to dissolve sugar, then cook until dark caramel (6-8 minutes). Remove from heat, add butter (be careful as hot toffee may spit), then return to heat and stir until dissolved. Pour onto an baking paper on a making tray and set aside to cool. When cool, break into coarse pieces and process in a food processor until finely ground. Store in an airtight container until required.
  4. Preheat oven to 180C. Place mandarin slices on a baking tray, scatter with orange-blossom toffee, then caramelise with a blowtorch (or under a hot grill) until golden (2-3 minutes), set aside.
  5. Whisk eggwhites in an electric mixer until very soft peaks form (2-3 minutes). Gradually add sugar and whisk until soft peaks form (1-2 minutes; don’t overwork). Fold one-third through soufflé base, then fold through remainder. Divide among six 200ml buttered and sugared ramekins, then level tops with a palette knife and wipe rims clean. Place on a baking tray and bake until risen and golden (5-7 minutes). Serve immediately with toffee mandarins and white chocolate sauce.

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