The Soufflé Project

Recently the lovely Tony Fleming, Head Chef at No.1 Aldwych, entered a dessert into the Best British Dish - a blackberry soufflé with a blackberry and elderflower granita.

I adore soufflés - I usually order it if I see one on the menu - and find it a very good way of comparing chefs.  Technique is rarely the issue, but even in Michelin starred restaurants you find the most extraordinary combination of ingredients.  As a result, some soufflés are simply tasteless and mediocre, some are rather nasty, and some absolutely sing.

L'Ortolan's Hot Dutch Mistress Soufflés

Twitter is a marvellous way for chefs, artisanal foodmakers, critics, and food bloggers to chat. Conversations are often random, and can run off in any direction, like quicksilver!

Michel Roux's Chocolate Soufflé [also for Thermomix]

Chocolate souffle - the ultimate hit of chocolate, but without the guilty stodge... You can almost convince yourself that this doesn't count...  This is the joy of soufflés, they satisfy without making you feel as though you've eaten a whole tart...  Would be delicious served with pistachio ice-cream...  

Pierre Koffmann's Pistachio Soufflé

500ml milk
½ vanilla pod
120g egg yolks
100g caster sugar
50g plain flour
40g pistachio paste
25g butter, softened
25g dark chocolate, grated
4 egg whites (let's say 120g)
1 tbsp caster sugar
Icing sugar, to serve

Michel Roux's Vanilla and Mango Soufflés with Passion Fruit Coulis

40g softened butter, to grease dishes
40g caster sugar, to coat dishes
8 medium egg whites
80g caster sugar
1 very ripe mango, about 400g, peeled, stoned and finely diced

James Martin's Passion fruit soufflé with passion fruit jelly and ice cream


For the ice cream
400ml/14fl oz milk
8 free-range egg yolks
200g/7oz caster sugar
400ml/14fl oz double cream
8 passion fruit, seeds scooped out

Paul Heathcote's fool proof hot raspberry soufflé


250g/9oz raspberries
4 eggs, whites only
100g/4oz caster sugar
juice of half a lemon
½ tsp cornflour, lightly dissolved in a few spoonfuls of water

Ollie Fararr's Iced raspberry soufflé with a cinnamon straw

This is Ollie Fararr's dish from Master Chef : The Professionals.  This is a no-cook version of a classic soufflé, which is set in the freezer to create an icy sweet treat.

Tony Fleming's Blackberry Soufflé

This is Tony Fleming's blackberry souffle dish for the TV series Britain's Best Dish. Tony and I discussed souffles at length following the show, and in part my mini souffle project is inspired by those conversation.

Truffled Parmesan Galettes

Another little truffle trick for canapes is to pimp a parmesan crisp (or galette).

I have a bit of an umami obsession, and last time I made them I had that 'taste' very much in mind...

Ordinarily these crisps are made using ground parmesan, sprinkled onto a baking sheet, and baked in the oven for 5 mins or so until golden.  

These really are yummy, but in a little culinary epiphany, as the crisps were cooling I brushed them with a tiny quantity of good truffle oil.  The scent and taste operated almost at a subliminal level - do try them!

Mr Murchison's Truffle Odyssey...

Here we have a mixture of the earthy depth of Perigord truffles and artichokes, the heady scent of white truffle oil, the softness depth of risotto and an incredible umami hit with the Parmesan.  Continuing our truffle theme, and courtesy of the very lovely Alan Murchison:

Jerusalem artichoke & Perigord truffle risotto, white truffle and artichoke velouté

Truffles and Potatoes...

For many years I've read one particular Roux recipe with a combination of awe and longing*. The recipe involved carving a hollow into a potato, into which you would insert a truffle. The potato would then be put back together again to be cooked - when ready it would be sliced into 1/8 ths, a little like a boiled egg. I looked at the photo - I could smell the truffle, I knew what a fantastic combination it would make, but I certainly didn't have a truffle big enough lying around to make this dish - I would have to dream about it for a while...

Truffles and Eggs...

Typically a truffle will last for around a week in normal kitchen conditions, and during that time you can maximise it's impact by infusing it's scent into other ingredients.

discusses Snail Caviar with Clare, as handled at El Bulli

Just lately we've been debating the taste and function of snail caviar on twitter. This prompted my good chum Clare to dust off her notes from El Bulli, where she had eaten said caviar. This is an excerpt from those notes, and my thanks to her!