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September 2002
Chocolate Soup Soufflé and Milk Ice Cream
Stephen Jackson

Chocolate Soup Soufflé and Milk Ice Cream

By: Stephen Jackson

Firstly, I’m going to have to say I’m not terribly pleased with the name of this dish. It’s one of those instances where the french translation works so much more mellifluously: ‘La Soupe Soufflée au Chocolat; La Crème Glacée au Lait Entier ’. There, you see? Much better.
Still, linguistic quibbles aside, this is a little belter of a pudding, and is laughably simple to make. It can also be fully prepped in advance, then chilled until needed. At times it’s a real relief to be able to simply whip the clingfilm off something and whack it in the oven, especially when you get results like this.
It might be worth pointing out at this early stage that you’ll need some serving dishes that can bear to sit in the oven at Gas Mark 7 for 15 minutes or so.
This pudding is my interpretation of a Pierre Gagnaire dessert, which he serves in gargantuan bowls with a (to my mind unnecessary) huge slab of nougatine parfait. I recently ate a fantastic, more restrained version in a little place in Clermont-Ferrand, called ‘Le 5 Claire’, 5 Rue Sainte-Claire. Well worth a visit.
It’s a fantastic, quivering bowlful of fluffy, liquid hot chocolate, with a slightly risen ‘crust’ of soufflé-esque top. And the extra is the added scoop of clean and fresh-tasting green-top milk ice-cream, melting slowly, providing both textural and temperature contrasts.
Booze-wise, I can see little reason in passing up a glass of Banyuls or Maury with this pud. The sweet, raisiny Grenache does for chocolate what Morecambe did for Wise. It’s a faultless combination.
Right, here goes.

Milk Ice Cream
For my milk ice-cream I break all the rules possible by using my excellent milkman, Mr Pogson’s barely legal green top milk. I remain defiant about this. It tastes magic.

Ingredients:

1 litre double cream
1 litre fresh milk (green top wherever possible)
30 egg yolks
275g sugar
1 vanilla pod, seeds removed

Instructions:

1. Warm the milk and cream to scalding point, with the scraped vanilla pod.

2. Mix the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla seeds, and when the milk is ready, strain it over the yolks, and whisk vigorously. Heat the mixture gently in a clean pan, and whisk constantly until the mixture takes on a custardy texture.

3. Allow to cool, whisking occasionally, then process in an ice-cream machine. Allow to set up fully and develop in flavour (this takes about 24 hours in a domestic freezer). Serve in hearty scoops.


Chocolate Soup Soufflé
For my recipe I use a combination of Cacao Barry bitter chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa and a touch of 100 percent cocoa Grande Caraque from the same producer. It’s disgusting stuff to eat raw, but when used in recipes it provides a distinctly sexy pure chocolate ‘oomph’. I always add a pinch of salt to any chocolate recipe, as it improves the flavour dramatically.

Ingredients:

400ml double cream
150 g bitter chocolate (70%), chopped
50g extra-bitter chocolate (100% cocoa), chopped
Pinch of Maldon salt
6 egg whites
6 tablespoons unrefined golden caster sugar

Instructions:

1. Warm the cream with the pinch of salt, and when almost boiling, remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Whisk until perfectly smooth. Allow this mixture to set and cool completely.

2. You should beat the chocolate mixture on its own initially, in order to loosen it and make it easier to incorporate the egg whites. Whisk the egg whites to a very soft peak, then add the sugar and whisk for a few seconds more, until the standard soft peak forms. For each portion, you will need about 3 tablespoons of chocolate mixture folded with about four tablespoons of egg white. It’s not necessary to fold as gingerly as one might with, say, a sponge mixture. Pour about 3/4 of the way up your serving bowls, ideally the cereal bowl-type. It is at this point that you can wrap and chill the made-up puds.

3. To finish, bake in a Gas 7, 220 C, 425 F oven, on a low shelf, until the top of the ‘soup’ rises slightly and begins to crack a little. This takes about 10-15 minutes. The soup should have a wonderful ‘Jayne Mansfield’ wobble to it when you jiggle the bowl.

Serve immediately, as the soup will continue to firm up as you eat.

© Recipe copyright 2002 Stephen Jackson

 

Author: Stephen Jackson Email:


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