Soufflé aux pistaches - Pistachio soufflé

Pierre Koffmann

Pierre Koffmann

21st November 2016

Soufflé aux pistaches - Pistachio soufflé

Serves 6 - ⁣I put this on the menu the day I opened La Tante Claire and the basic recipe hasn’t changed since 1977. Like the trotters (pig feet), it’s become something of a ‘signature dish’ for me, though I admit I don’t really like that term, particularly as, somewhat ironically, I would never choose a soufflé in a restaurant. For me there are many other things I’d rather have for dessert, but soufflés have always been popular so I thought it was a good thing to have and I do nevertheless like the drama of a soufflé; you always get a few ‘ooohs’ when it’s presented. The pistachio flavour is slightly arbitrary; I chose it because pistachio was my favourite ice cream flavour as a child, so I gave it a go in a soufflé. Chefs do inevitably tweak things and the idea for the grated chocolate came later, when I was playing around with the possibility of replacing the sugar that traditionally coats the inside of a soufflé dish.The chocolate gives the risen edges a striking brown colour, which I like against the bright green egg mixture.

Ingredients

  • ⁣100ml (3½fl oz/¹/3 cup) milk
  • 50g (1¾oz/3 tbsp) pistachio paste
  • 1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 50g (1¾oz/3 tbsp) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 40g (scant 1½oz/2½ tbsp) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 20g (¾oz/4 tsp) soft unsalted butter, for greasing
  • 50g (1¾oz/3 squares) good quality dark (bittersweet) chocolate, grated
  • 6 egg whites
  • icing (confectioners’) sugar, for dusting
  • For the pistachio ice cream:
  • 500ml (16fl oz/1 pint) milk
  • 500ml (16fl oz/1 pint) double (heavy) cream
  • 45g (1½oz/3 tbsp) liquid glucose (light corn syrup)
  • 75g (2½oz/5 tbsp) pistachio paste
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 200g (7oz/1 scant cup) caster (superfine) sugar

Method

⁣Heat the oven to 230°C (450°F/Gas 8).
For the soufflés, place the milk and pistachio paste in a small pan and bring to the boil. Beat the egg, egg yolk and half the caster (superfine) sugar in a bowl until pale, then add the flour and mix until combined.
Pour over the milk mixture, whisking to combine, then pour the mixture back into the pan and cook over a low–medium heat for 4 minutes, whisking continuously until the mixture is thick enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon. Pour the mixture into a bowl, cover with foil and keep in a warm place.
⁣Thoroughly grease six individual soufflé dishes with the butter, then dust the insides with the grated chocolate. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then add the remaining caster (superfine) sugar and whisk again until firm. Whisk the pistachio mixture for a few seconds, to loosen, then add a quarter of the egg white and whisk vigorously. Add half the remaining
egg white, stirring quickly with a spatula to remove any lumps. Add the rest of the egg white in the same way. Gently pour the soufflé mixture into the prepared dishes and bake for 10 minutes, until risen. Lightly dust the soufflés with icing (confectioners’) sugar. Serve with a quenelle of pistachio ice cream gently placed on top at the last moment.