Friday, July 16, 2010

Rhubarb & Blackberry Crumble Soufflé

I think this just may be the first Masterchef masterclass recipe i have tried.

When i saw Gary making this little gem, i had to restrain myself from licking the screen.

I had been wanting to play around with rhubarb for a while now, but as i have a love/hate relationship with it, i wasn't really sure what to make with it.

My mum used to make stewed rhubarb when i were younger and would serve it with creamed rice. I liked this, because the sweet creamyness of the rice would cut through the sourness of the rhubarb. The thing i didn't like about rhubarb was the stringiness of the fibres.

So i finally had a weekend where i could try this recipe for myself. I liked the textures of it. The cloud-like soufflé, the crunch of the crumble, then the cold creamy ice cream.

The lemon pairs beautifully with the berries and rhubarb and really brings out the best in their flavour. The only amendment i made to the recipe was replacing the hazelnuts in the crumble, with pistachios.

Rhubarb & Blackberry Crumble Soufflé
4-6 sticks (500g) rhubarb, cut into 1-2 cm pieces
150g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
150g fresh or thawed frozen blackberries
½ lemon, zest finely grated
1 tbs cornflour mixed with 1 tsp water
4 egg whites
Vanilla ice cream, to serve
Double thick cream, to serve

Crumble topping
75g plain flour
100g softened butter
50g brown or white sugar
50g rolled oats
1/3 cup roasted hazelnuts, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place rhubarb in a saucepan with 75g of the caster sugar and ¼ cup water. Cover and place over medium heat and cook for 5-10 minutes until softened. Add blackberries and lemon zest and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes until softened. Add ½ of the cornflour mixture and stir for 3-4 minutes until thickened, then cook for a further minute to cook out the cornflour. Set aside in a bowl to cool to room temperature for at least 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the crumble topping, combine flour, 50g of the butter, sugar and a pinch of salt in a bowl, mixing with your fingers until combined and the butter is in pea-sized lumps. Add the oats and hazelnuts and toss gently to combine.

Place the crumble mixture on a lined baking tray and bake for 5 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside. Increase oven temperature to 200°C.

Grease 125ml soufflé moulds with remaining butter that has been slightly softened. Butter base and sides with a pastry brush, then brush up the sides – you want an even coating of butter. Refrigerate for 5 minutes to set the butter, then repeat the process - for the second buttering, be a bit more generous with the butter. Sprinkle sugar into each mould and roll ramekin around so the sugar coats the butter, tipping out any excess. This forms a lubricated crust so the soufflé can rise easily.

Place egg whites in a large, clean, dry bowl with 1 tablespoon of the remaining sugar and beat with a hand beater on high until soft peaks. Gradually sprinkle in the remaining sugar and beat for about 30 seconds - 1 minute until you have shiny, soft peaks.

Mix an equal amount of beaten egg white with cooled fruit puree until combined, then add the same amount of egg white again and fold through gently, turning the bowl, then lifting and folding the mixture to keep as much air in the mixture as possible. Spoon into buttered, sugared moulds, taking care to avoid getting any mixture on the side of the ramekins until the moulds are full. Scrape the mixture off the top with a palette knife so you have a really smooth surface, then run your thumb around the very inside of the rim so you have a clean rim.

Bake for 6-7 minutes until risen about 1 cm above the rim. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the crumble topping over the top and return to the oven for another 3 minutes until they have risen another centimetre.

Serve with vanilla ice cream and a dollop of thick cream.

Makes 6-8 soufflés

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