Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Chocolate Turkish Delight Souffle & Other Things

Chocolate Turkish Delight Souffle

Friends, gather in. Repeat after me. ‘Making soufflé is a piece of piss’. ‘Making soufflé is a piece of piss’. Yes, stop shaking your head, it’s true. I would never lie to you. I think soufflé garnered a “don’t go there” reputation with those ‘proper’ French versions requiring a roux and a few more processes than the average dessert hankering hunger may have time to wait for. But lets remember the French retreated first and ran back to their stoves while the rest of the world stood in the trenches to keep on fighting, so I’m wondering if maybe they just had the time. I will admit that a good soufflé requires a light touch and a solid understanding of the effect of heat on whipped egg whites, but I do think if you manage not to burn yourself in the bath then you could consider yourself an expert. This cheats version with the added Turkish delight is a pleasure bath for the senses. It’s the dessert I seem to push onto dinner guests like a drug mule not seen since Trainspotting and better yet, you don’t need a bank account the size of the Third World’s deficit to cook it for your nearest and dearest. Bliss.

Serves 6

25g butter, melted
1/3 cup caster sugar plus extra for dusting
6 squares of Turkish delight
6 eggwhites
200g dark chocolate
4 tbsp Dutch cocoa powder
2 tbsp rose water
Pinch salt
Persian fairy floss, vanilla bean ice cream and pistachios to serve (optional)
Preheat oven to 175C.
Brush the soufflé moulds with the melted butter (you can use any oven proof dish from a ramekin to a tea cup). Dust the insides lightly with sugar, making sure to tap out the excess then place a piece of Turkish delight in the centre of each mould and place in the fridge until required.

Place the eggwhites in a large bowl and whisk until starting to foam. Gradually add the caster sugar and beat until the eggwhites look glossy and hold firm peaks. Meanwhile, place the chocolate and remaining butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. Add the cocoa powder, rosewater and salt. Stir to combine and reserve 2 tbsp of the chocolate mixture to serve. Fold half of the eggwhite mix into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the remaining eggwhite, until just combined and a mousse like consistency is achieved. Pour the batter equally into each of the moulds, filling to the top. Place in the oven and cook for 12 – 15 minutes or until puffed.
Serve immediately with the remaining melted chocolate mix spooned over the top. You can also serve topped with pistachio nuts and Persian fairy floss, and a side of vanilla bean ice cream.

Appetite Magazine Singapore
I was asked to contribute to a great feature in Appetite Magazine - on whether food critics should be trained chefs. I was part of a panel of chefs and food writers weighing in - my response is below, let me know if you agree. This mag is a little difficult to get on Aussie shores but it is a beautiful magazine and the photography is second to none, really beautiful food images - get a copy next time you see it. You'll be happy you did. 

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