Today is National Strawberry Sundae Day.
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.
- 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
- 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.
- Purée the strawberries and pass it through a fine mesh strainer. Chill in the refrigerator.
- Combine sugar and water in a saucepan. Cook over high heat.
- 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.
- Increase the speed when the whites begin to foam.
- 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).
- Lower the speed on the mixer and slowly pour the cooked syrup into the egg whites.
- Continue whisking the meringue until it cools down. Chill in the refrigerator.
- Beat the crème fraîche with an electric mixer until a firm peak forms (about 5 minutes). Chill in the refrigerator.
- 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.
- Pour the mixture into the soufflé cup up to the rim of the parchment collar.
- Place the filled soufflé cups in the freezer for 5 to 6 hours.
- Take the soufflé out of the freezer just one hour before serving, and place it into the refrigerator to thaw.
- Remove the parchment paper and dust the top with cocoa powder.
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.
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.