Recipe: Frozen Strawberry Soufflé

Today is National Strawberry Sundae Day.

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Although I don’t have a recipe for a strawberry sundae, I absolutely love this frozen straberry soufflé that I would like to share with you. It has all the benefits of a baked soufflé – light and fluffy – save the trouble of turning on an oven on a hot summer day.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb (350g) freshest strawberries available
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (250g) sugar
  • 10 tablespoons of water
  • 1 cup (250g) crème fraîche (chilled)
  • 2 tablespoons 100% pure cocoa powder

Instructions:

  1. Cut a sheet of parchment paper long enough to fit around six soufflé cups and fold it in lengthwise quarters to make a ribbon about 3 inches wide. Wrap this around the top of a soufflé cup and tie the ends. The collar should extend about 2 inches above the rim of the cup. Secure it with a rubber band and place the dish in the freezer to chill.
  2. Purée the strawberries and pass it through a fine mesh strainer. Chill in the refrigerator.
  3. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan. Cook over high heat.
  4. As soon as that is cooking, start whisking egg whites and a pinch of salt in a electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment at low speed.
  5. Increase the speed when the whites begin to foam.
  6. Continue whisking until a very firm peak forms, at which point the syrup should reach the temperature of 250°F (120°C) (measurable by a candy thermometer, or see notes below for an alternative method).
  7. Lower the speed on the mixer and slowly pour the cooked syrup into the egg whites.
  8. Continue whisking the meringue until it cools down. Chill in the refrigerator.
  9. Beat the crème fraîche with an electric mixer until a firm peak forms (about 5 minutes). Chill in the refrigerator.
  10. When the meringue has completely cooled, fold half of the strawberry purée into the meringue. Fold the remaining half into the whipped crème fraîche. Then fold the two mixture together.
  11. Pour the mixture into the soufflé cup up to the rim of the parchment collar.
  12. Place the filled soufflé cups in the freezer for 5 to 6 hours.
  13. Take the soufflé out of the freezer just one hour before serving, and place it into the refrigerator to thaw.
  14. Remove the parchment paper and dust the top with cocoa powder.

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This recipe is adopted from the book New Entertaining in the French Style by Roger Verge – one of France’s greatest chefs of his time. He is also considered as one of the inventors of Nouvelle Cuisine – a new form of cooking focusing on fresh ingredients prepared in a lighter style, with an increased emphasis on presentation. In 1969 Vergé opened his famous restaurant Moulin de Mougins near the French Rivera. Within a year he received his first Michelin star, a second star was awarded two years later and a third in 1974. The restaurant is known to have trained a group of future culinary stars such as Alain Ducasse, David Bouley and Daniel Boulud.

Note: 

How do you know when the sugar syrup reaches 250°F without a candy thermometer?
Set a bowl of water and ice cubes aside. When the sugar syrup is boiling and starts to form large bubbles, put a few drops into the bowl with a spoon. Try to pick up the drops between two fingers. If you can form a small, soft ball, then the sugar is ready.

Finally, I would like to thank my fellow blogger Susan Sleggs. For it is from her website that I learned about the National Strawberry Sundae Day.

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