This is the first time that I take part in the MTchallenge from Menu Turistico. I found out about these challenges visiting Italian blogs: at certain times of the month many bloggers seemed to post the same recipe, and I was getting quite confused... and then I found the blog Menu Turistico and (hopefully) understood how it works. Every month there is a cooking challenge, and the winner has to decide on the following challenge. Some challenges seem to be ... challenging, some are more creative, but there are always some obligatory ingredients and techniques.
The original recipe is from Loredana and you can find it here (in Italian). For the callenge we were allowed to follow the same recipe, or make variations, or make a different soufflé glacé, as long as it was a soufflé glacé, in taste and appearance, and not a semifreddo or something else... and that we used egg whites for the base, prepared following the Italian meringue method (and not other methods), plus the addition of a sauce/topping... in a few words, something colourful! I decided to go for the original recipe mostly because it had yogurt: my boy is not keen on spoon desserts (unless they have dark chocolate) but he likes yogurt: I could always sell it to him as frozen yogurt!
The ingredients from Loredana:
- 3 egg whites (About 100g)
- 200 g icing sugar
- 100 ml water
- 200 ml cream
- 250 g plain yogurt
- 1 tbsp fruit compote
I must confess that I really enjoy making Italian meringue, possibly because it is not something that I see here in New Zealand. Beat the egg whites really stiff, in the meantime make a syrup with the water and icing sugar (I never used icing sugar for the syrup before, so this was a new one for me!). I don't have a sugar thermometer (didn't I say this already?? A few times?? Yep!) but you see, Loredana doesn't talk about temperatures, she just says to make quite a thick syrup. Ahh, a real home cook! I made my 'thickish' syrup, and I wish that I could explain it better, but it is that stage when the syrup just start to get a little white and you can smell candy floss. Pour the hot syrup slowly into the egg whites and keep beating until they are cold (see first photo below on the left). In the meantime whip the cream, fold in the yogurt, and then fold with the Italian meringue.
Wrap some baking or cooking paper around the ramekins, leaving about 5 cm border at the top, and securing them with kitchen string (large photo below on the right). The idea looked pretty but... I don't really have the right ramekins: they are not straight but open up at the top, even if very lightly, and although they looked pretty with a kitchen string ribbon... after the first one I secured the others with Sellotape :-P!! I filled the ramekins with the soufflé mixture and I placed them in the freezer.
Next the fruit compote. I heated a few frozen raspberries with a tsp of sugar and mashed them into a sauce. When the soufflés were set I removed a little from the centre and ate it. I loved this step. Place the soufflés back into the freezer until serving time. Finally it was time to serve my soufflés glacés so I filled the holes with the fruit sauce (second image on the left), removed the paper and decorated the tops with a raspberry, a violet (edible) and mint tips. Because there is so much sugar, air and fat in these soufflés, they don't freeze into a block of ice: they are firm yet soft. I will make them again, but smaller portions (here I made 4, but they were rugby player's portions, I think that I should use smaller - and straighter ramekins, and make 6, or even 8) and I will try to use less sugar next time (the boy complained that they were too sweet for his), just to see what happens.
But for now I am very happy to have tried this lovely recipe, and to be part of the MTchallenge for July. Thank you Menu Turistico and Loredana!
Un PS in italiano: vorrei fare una nota sul colore del mio soufflé: la panna in Nuova Zelanda è molto grassa e piena di vitamina A (le mucche sono al pascolo tutto l'anno, non mangiano fieno ma solo erba verde). Il risultato è che il burro è giallo, e la panna montata non è bianca bianca come in Italia, ma color... panna! Spiegato il colore 'pannoso' del mio qui! Grazie ancora per il challenge, baci A.
Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini and http://lacucinadimamma-loredana.blogspot.com/©