DAVID WOODS: A delightfully simple soufflé for Chocolate Week

Chocolate souffl�

Not that you need an excuse, but as it is Chocolate Week it would be rude not to celebrate with this delicious soufflé from David Woods, executive head chef at the Sofitel London Gatwick.

Chocolate is always one of the favourite desserts on our menu at La Brasserie, no matter what form it takes.

David Woods, executive head chef of the Sofitel London Gatwick Hotel

We ring the changes with chocolate parfaits, mousse, tortes, melt in the middle puddings, and recently, this delicious soufflé made by our new pastry chef Anwen Shaw.

She comes to us from a Michelin-starred restaurant and loves experimenting with desserts.

For this soufflé though, she has kept it simple to allow the perfectly light and airy chocolatey bubbles to speak for themselves.

The key to gravity-defying soufflés is to whisk the egg whites until they are very stiff. But don’t worry if your soufflés take a nose-dive – one mouthful of this feathery chocolate heaven and your guests will still be in raptures.

Anwen Shaw

La Brasserie, Sofitel’s 2 AA rosette restaurant, has a new look and a new menu. To book a table call 01293 567070 or email SLG@sofitelgatwick.com.

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Chocolate and rum soufflés

Makes four 9cm soufflé dishes

125g egg whites

85g caster sugar

Soft butter for lining moulds

Dusting of cocoa powder for lining moulds

For the base:

100g cocoa powder

50g caster sugar

40g glucose syrup, also known as confectioner’s glucose

1 dessert spoons of cornflour

175g water

2 dessert spoons dark rum

Method

First, make the base by combining the cocoa powder and water together in a saucepan and bring to the boil.

Stir in the glucose and sugar. Mix the cornflour with rum and gently whisk into the cocoa mixture, stirring all the time. Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave to cool, stirring occasionally.

To make four soufflés, take 400g of the base mixture and spoon into a mixing bowl.

In a clean bowl, begin whisking the egg white with an electric whisk and gradually add the sugar until it forms stiff peaks. Be careful not to over whisk.

Fold a third of the meringue at a time into the base mix, until all combined.

Brush four 9cm soufflé moulds completely with soft butter, then dust with cocoa powder, tipping out any loose powder.

Fill the moulds with the mixture and level off the top with a pallet knife. Run the edge of your thumb around the edge of the mould to create a ridge in the soufflé mixture.

Bake in a fan oven at 175oC for eight minutes. Take out of the oven carefully and dust with icing sugar just before serving with vanilla ice cream.

Chef’s tip

Why not try an orange or coffee liqueur instead of rum?

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