Do you want to know how to make the perfect soufflé? Follow our step by step guide to make this white chocolate soufflé recipe with pistachio, from our cookery writer Adam Bush…
How to make soufflé
“I recently ate at revamped London restaurant The Game Bird in The Stafford hotel. The meal finished with a pistachio soufflé, which came tall and proud like a Latin teacher at a private school. The sort of dessert that’s cringing at the thought of a peasant like me devouring it in three bites. I vowed there and then that I would learn to make an equally regal pistachio soufflé, and so demystify the whole process.
First I had a look at some soufflé masters for inspiration. Pierre Koffmann has been serving up perfect soufflés alongside pistachio ice cream for decades. Raymond Blanc bakes his with a ball of chocolate ice cream inside. Making their recipes gave me pointers towards perfecting my own.
Making a soufflé can be split into several important parts. First, you have to make the panade. This thick custard base acts as the stabiliser in a soufflé. Without this the whisked egg whites would rise unchecked and collapse – their structure unable to support the rapid aeration. The thickness of the panade is crucial. A thin custard will not have the strength to suspend the egg whites and allow them to steadily rise and set.
The second vital step is well-whisked egg whites. The stiffest of peaks is required for maximum lift – these will make your soufflés stratospheric. The buttering and flouring of the moulds or ramekins is also important. Use a pastry brush to sweep vertically up the insides of the mould to encourage an even rise. A coating of flour gives the mixture something to grip as it rises.”
Run your thumbnail around the edge to help the soufflé rise cleanly
I also experimented with oven temperature. A really hot oven makes for the most dramatic rise – they expand quickly before setting, but this also makes for the most dramatic fall. I’m sure everyone would believe that “they were huge in the oven” as you plonked down a pistachio pancake on their plate. I opted for a medium-hot oven, as this gave a good rise and they held better and longer.
To give the soufflés extra rise I used a method known as ‘bottom heat’. You put a solid baking tray in the oven when you turn it on so that the direct heat onto the bottom of the soufflé moulds will give them an instant lift.
I used a good-quality white chocolate for the ganache bombs at the bottom of these soufflés. Popping them in the mould frozen means that they are perfectly molten by the time the soufflés are cooked. Make sure you dig right to the bottom with each spoonful to get a mouthful of rich ganache, too.
Our perfect soufflé recipe