Banana Soufflé


I didn’t have a lot of time for baking this weekend but there has been one technical bake which I have been wanting to try since I ordered one at my birthday dinner, back in April. That is a sweet soufflé. Soufflés have an unfounded reputation for being difficult to make. However they are relatively quick to make and use everyday fridge/cupboard ingredients. The key to a light and fluffy soufflé is to gently (but firmly) fold the egg whites into the other ingredients to keep as much air in the mixture as possible. 

Ingredients 
1 banana 
2 egg whites
55g caster sugar
butter, for greasing
icing sugar, for dusting

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Place a baking tray in the oven to heat up.
2. Mash the banana to a smooth purée. 
3. Grease ramekin dishes with butter and dust with icing sugar.
4. Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks
5. Gradually add the sugar and continue whisking until the mixture is thick enough to hold over your head! (But if you aren’t that brave it should be thick enough to leave a ribbon trail when the whisk is lifted)
6. Carefully fold in the banana purée in two stages, be careful not to over mix or the egg whites will turn watery

7. Fill the ramekins with the mixture. Run your thumb around the rim of the dishes to allow the mixture to rise evenly and prevent it from getting caught on the sides. 
8. Place the ramekins onto the hot baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, until the soufflés have risen by approximately 1 inch. Do not open the oven door during baking or they will sink.
9. Serve soufflés immediately with a dusting of icing sugar. 

As long as you follow a few simple rules, there is absolutely nothing difficult about making a soufflé  – but they appear very impressive.  Soufflés don’t feature on restaurant menus very often because they have to be made to order and served instantly. But I think this just makes them more special and impressive. How often do you see brownies and sticky toffee pudding on the desert menu? 

Despite being slightly temperamental, in many ways soufflés they are very versatile because they can be pretty much any flavour you desire, sweet or savoury, and as such could be served as a starter or desert. In the future I would like to experiment with savoury soufflés. 

Hannah xx 


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