Celebrate dessert week on the Great British Bake Off with soufflés! A soufflé may seem a little daunting but after practise they are easy to make. They also look theatrical and are a perfect dinner party dessert for a special occasion. I made a honey and banana soufflé from Lorraine Pascale’s recipe from her book Baking Made Easy. I completed the recipe with a white chocolate disc and a dark chocolate sauce to make it the perfect dessert!
Recipe – banana and honey soufflé – serves 2
- 15g softened butter
- 50g caster sugar
- 1 large banana – as ripe as possible!
- ½ tbsp. honey
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Tablespoon of freshly grated lemon zest
- 2 egg whites
Recipe – dark chocolate sauce – serves 2
- 55ml double cream
- 33g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids is best but anything over 50% is OK)
- 8g butter
- 1 tsp golden syrup
Recipe – white chocolate discs – serves 2
- 50g white chocolate
- 2 half walnut pieces
White chocolate discs
- First thing is to make the white chocolate discs. I have silicon moulds that are smaller than ramekin size but see what you can find in the cupboard. If using a surface that chocolate sticks to, place cling film into the base first.
- Simply melt the chocolate in the microwave on a low power level (I use power level 7). This may take a few minutes but just keep an eye on it. Alternatively, melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
- Place half a walnut in 4 moulds and pour the chocolate over it.
- Leave to set overnight in the fridge.
Dark chocolate sauce
- Heat the cream in a pan until boiling.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate pieces and butter. The heated cream will melt the chocolate sauce.
- Add the golden syrup and still well.
- Set aside until ready to use or put in the fridge once cooled if it is longer than half an hour.
- It can be made ahead of time and reheated. The cream can also be heated in the microwave and made that way – whichever is easiest for you!
- Grease two ramekins with the softened butter. You may want to grease more ramekins if you are making more soufflés, so you can choose the best ones to serve– definitely worth it to make sure that perfect dessert!
- Put 10g of sugar in each ramekin and shake it around the sides so that the sugar forms a shield. Discard the additional sugar that does not cling to the dishes. I usually tip this into the next ramekin until I am done!
- Preheat the oven to 200ºc
- Blend the bananas, honey, vanilla, and lemon zest with a blender until it becomes a smooth purée. Cover with cling film until ready to use so that air does not get to the bananas and discolour them.
- Whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk until soft peaks form. Then gradually add the sugar from the sides of the bowl and whisk until medium peaks form. You need to be careful you do not knock any air out that you have carefully achieved previously.
- Take a tablespoon of the egg white mix and add this to the banana purée. This helps thin out the purée so that when this banana mix is combined with the egg white it mixes easier.
- Add the rest of the egg whites to the banana purée. Gradually fold the egg whites into the mix – be careful!
- Spoon the mix into the two ramekins and fill them right to the top. Use the back of your thumb, place it on the top edge of the ramekin and slide it all the way around the circular top. The idea is to make an indentation. The point is just to get that perfect soufflé shape when baked. If any mix sticks to the top of the dishes, this prevents the best rise.
- Bang the ramekins a few times on the counter as this helps to avoid air bubbles. They will not get hurt; don’t worry!
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. You need to keep an eye on them. When they have risen like soufflés should they are ready. Serve straight away! While they are cooking, the chocolate sauce can be heated up and plates assembled with a chocolate disc each. This means you are ready to go go go.
- Serve the soufflés with small serving of chocolate sauce in an espresso cup. I love espresso cups for serving in – so cute!
- Lorraine Pascale suggests pouring sauce in the centre of the soufflé for extra eating indulgence.
So I don’t make soufflés every day but when I do I enjoy the results. Next time you are planning a dinner party, why not try this dessert. There is no reason to be scared of soufflés, unless you don’t like eggs!