On a weeknight, after a dinner of brown rice with parsnip and barbecue chicken, I felt like making a pistachio soufflé inspired from my Nigella Lawson book How To Be A Domestic Goddess. Some friends were over, so it was nice to be able to share the love. I love pistachios and you can get them de-shelled at Trader Joe’s really cheap so I usually have some handy. Soufflés are really not that hard, and only take about 30 minutes to make. Of course, I love to add/modify everything I make to suit my personal tastes!
1oz soft unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing soufflé cups (I just use the spray J)
¼ cups super fine sugar, plus extra for dusting soufflé cups and 1 Tbsp for the egg whites
2 tbsp AP flour
5 oz or ½ cup of full-fat milk
4 large eggs separated
½ cup unsalted pistachios, ground)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp orange-flower water (didn’t use this)
5 large egg whites
pinch of salt
6 squares good quality dark chocolate (I used 70% dark chocolate infused with chilies)
6 ramekins or soufflé dishes (coffee mugs also work)
Preheat the oven at 375 F put in a baking sheet. Spray the soufflé ramekins and then dust them with sugar.
Put the flour in a saucepan and add a little milk, just to blend. Then, stirring (whisking), add the rest of the milk and ¼ cup sugar. Whisk over medium heat until it comes to boiling point, then whisk for 30 seconds and take off the heat, by which time it should be very thick. Let it cool a little and add the yolks gradually. Beat in the butter.
Add the ground pistachios and vanilla and mix well.
Then, whisk all 5 egg whites together with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form (use an electric hand mixer if you got it). Sprinkle over the tablespoon of sugar and then carry on until thick and glossy. Add a good spoonful (about a quarter of the whites) to the pistachio mixture) and mix until incorporated to lighten the mix. Now fold in carefully the rest of the whipped whites. I always split the mix down the middle then follow the bowl around a ¼ of the way around then flip it over, repeating moving the bowl around and around. Don’t be afraid of large chunks of whipped whites not incorporated into the mix!
Pour the mixture into each ramekin filling it about ½ way, then lie chocolate pieces on top and pour over the remaining mixture. Fill them to the top. Put all the ramekins on a baking sheet with the lip that’s easy to grab and then get them in the oven as quickly as possible so it doesn’t lose its heat. Immediately, turn the oven down to 350 F and bake for 12-15 minutes, when the tops will be scorched gold and risen high above the ramekins’ rims. If you are daring you can broil the soufflés for about 1-2 minutes to get a nice crust at the end of baking. Remove from the oven, dust with icing sugar and serve immediately. But, they will burn your tongue if you are not careful. I have an oven that has a crack in the door and leaks heat and I got these to rise so it should be foul-proof! They were delicious and the spicy chocolate was just the flavors that I like together. It was savory, sweet, spicy, bitter, soft and crusty on the outside. Make it and tell me how it went for you!
The pictures were taken again by the lovely Ali Winston.
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