Finish off a special dinner with this frozen dessert. It’s made with softened dried apricots, and there is no last-minute preparation.

Serves
6

Preparation

1hr

Cooking

10min

Skill level

Mid
By
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Ingredients

Soufflé

  • 18 dried apricots
  • 185 ml (6 fl oz/¾ cup) cream, whipped until firm
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 55 g (2 oz/¼ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 quantity crème patissière (see recipe below)
  • 1 quantity hazelnut praline (see recipe below)

 

Crème pâtissière

Makes 625 ml (2½ cups)

  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) milk
  • ½ vanilla pod, split lengthwise
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100 g (3½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 50 g (2 oz/⅓ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted

 

Hazelnut praline

Makes 200 g

  • 55 g (2 oz/¼ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 drops red wine vinegar
  • 150 g (5 oz) roasted skinned hazelnuts

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

Freezing time 6 hours

To make the crème pâtissière, combine the milk and vanilla pod in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and whisk well so the vanilla seeds flavour the milk. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl for 2 minutes. Whisk in the sifted flour. Remove the vanilla pod from the milk and then pour the hot milk onto the egg-yolk mixture, whisking well.

Return the mixture to the saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. When the mixture is just boiling and has thickened, transfer to a heatproof bowl. Whisk for a few seconds more, then set aside to cool. You can store this in the refrigerator for up to four days.

To make the hazelnut praline, lightly oil a sheet of baking paper and place on a baking tray. Combine the sugar, vinegar and 2½ tablespoons water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the sugar starts to caramelise and make sure it doesn’t burn. Add the hazelnuts and, using a wooden spoon, stir over low heat for 2 minutes or until the hazelnuts are well coated with the caramel.

Very carefully transfer the caramelised hazelnuts onto the oiled baking paper and spread the nuts using a wooden spoon (don’t touch the mixture as it will be very hot). Set aside to cool completely, then store in an airtight container until required. You can break it into pieces for easier storage if you wish. Make the praline by cutting the caramelised hazelnuts into small pieces using a large knife or blender.

To make the soufflé, fit six individual soufflé moulds with baking paper collars, extending about 3 cm (1 in) above the rims of the moulds. Use string to hold the collars in place.

Place the dried apricots in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat, cover with a lid and set aside for 10 minutes. Drain the apricots and blend in a food processor to a fine purée.

Set the purée over a bowl of ice to cool.

Combine the apricot purée with the lemon juice and crème pâtissière, then gently stir in the whipped cream.

Using electric beaters, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until slightly stiff. Add the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into the apricot cream. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag without a nozzle.

Spoon a third of the hazelnut praline into the bottom of the soufflé moulds. Pipe half of the apricot mixture on top, then add another third of the praline. Fill with the remaining apricot mixture to about 2 cm above the rim.

Place the soufflés in the freezer to set for about 6 hours.

Sprinkle the remaining praline on top of the frozen soufflés, carefully remove the paper collars and serve immediately.

 

Recipe from So French So Sweet by Gabriel Gaté (Hardie Grant Book, RRP  $29.99) Photography by Mark Roper. Check out our sweet talks with Gabriel Gaté right hereFor more Gabriel fun, check out the Taste le Tour program page to find out more about this year's show, catch-up on episodes and scroll through recipes.