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Heat the oven to 170C/fan 150C/gas 3½. For the crème pâtissière, roast the hazelnuts on a baking tray for 10-15 minutes or until golden. Cool, then blitz in a high-powered blender until you have a smooth hazelnut butter.
Heat the milk, sugar and hazelnut butter in a pan over a low heat and mix well. Whisk together the cornflour, flour and a pinch of salt in a separate bowl and set aside.
Tip the egg yolks into another large bowl and beat lightly with a whisk. Slowly add the cornflour mixture and whisk well – it will feel quite dry so add a splash of the warmed milk mixture if needed – you want a smooth, lump- free mixture. Once all of the cornflour mixture is combined with the egg yolks, gently pour the warm milk mixture over, whisking until smooth.
Pour the mixture back into the pan and whisk over a medium heat until thickened and bubbling (this will take a few minutes). Remove from the heat and pour into a blender, then blitz well – or use a hand blender. Pour the crème pâtissière into a heatproof container and cover the surface with baking paper to prevent a skin forming. Cool completely, then chill for 1 hour.
Generously butter four medium ramekins, making sure you coat them well and brushing in upward motions. Chill for 10 minutes. Remove from the fridge and butter again. Add the cocoa powder or grated chocolate and swirl the ramekin to coat. Tap out the excess, then return to the fridge until needed. Heat the oven to 170C/fan 150C/gas 3½.
Whisk the egg whites with the caster sugar to soft peaks in a clean bowl using an electric whisk. Scoop the chilled hazelnut crème pâtissière into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, then beat gently to soften. This will help the meringue fold in more easily. Fold in the meringue in three batches – take care to do this gently, as the mixture should remain voluminous and delicate.
Fill the ramekins with the soufflé mixture, tapping them down gently on a worksurface. Smooth the tops with a palette knife and run your thumb around the inside edge of each. Put the ramekins on a baking tray and bake for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, make the chocolate sauce by putting the chocolate, sugar and 40ml of water in a pan set over a low heat, stirring frequently. As soon as a smooth sauce forms, remove from the heat and stir in the salt. If it’s a little too thick, add another splash of water. It can be served warm or cold.
Remove the soufflés from the oven and dust the tops with grated chocolate and a handful of crushed hazelnuts. To serve, pour over the chocolate sauce.