Who doesn’t love desserts!? We love them and our apprentice chefs certainly love making them (and eating them afterwards). Dessert was the theme at this months Off The Job Session and our apprentices and trainers had so much fun making a huge variety of delicious desserts, all with the common theme of ‘Cold’. That’s right even though it’s already cold outside it’s never too cold to enjoy chilled desserts.
During their session the students worked furiously to produce 7 different desserts, including: Pavlova with assorted melon and berry coulis, Vanilla, Chocolate and coffee parfaits, vanilla Bavarois, A chilled lemon souffle, a passion fruit brulee, pana cotta with honeycomb and chocolate shards and a classic chocolate mousse.
The favourite of the day however was definitely the Chilled Lemon Souffle. Unlike a normal souffle which must be baked and then quickly consumed before it collapses, the Chilled Souffle is, as the name suggests ‘chilled’ and can instead be made ahead of time, making it a huge winner for the summer time months (yes, we know it’s winter right now). But regardless of whether the weather is hot or cold this a dessert you have to try for yourself, and so Chef Trainer Greg has graciously provided us with his recipe (see below).
Chilled Lemon Souffle
2 Gelatin leaves
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemons
3 medium eggs, separated
150g caster sugar
210ml whipping cream
- Take a 24cm length of baking paper and fold in 3, then tie it around a straight-sided soufflé dish, so that the paper extends 2-4cm above the top. Set aside.
- Soak the gelatine leaves in plenty of cold water and set aside.
- Put the lemon zest and juice, egg yolks and sugar into a large heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, then turn off the heat.
- Place the bowl over the pan of hot water, making sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water.
- Whisk the lemon mixture for about 5 minutes, until thickened and pale in colour.
- Heat 2-3 tablespoons of water in a small pan, so it just covers the base.
- When hot, squeeze the excess water from the soaked gelatine, drop the leaves into the pan and immediately remove the pan from the heat. Stir until dissolved, then whisk into the thickened lemon mixture. Remove the bowl from the pan and set aside to cool completely.
- In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks.
- In another clean bowl, whisk the whipping cream until softly thickened (be careful not to beat the cream to stiff peaks or it will be too thick to fold into the soufflé).
- Fold the whipped cream into the lemon mixture until no traces of white are left, then fold in the egg white, again until no traces of white are left. Pour into the prepared dish and chill for at least 4 hours or until set.
- To serve, carefully remove the string and paper collar from around the soufflé (sliding a wet knife between the paper and soufflé makes this easier).