Marron Souffle

A delectable hot dinner party dessert from France, Marron Souffle (mah-rhon soo-fiay) may be served with a bozol of chilled whipped cream, or on its own.

2 oz. plus

1 teaspoon unsalted butter 10 fl. oz. single cream vanilla pod

1 oz. flour

12 oz. canned sweetened chestnut puree

3 to

4 tablespoons Marsala

5 eggs, separated

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 400 ‘F (Gas Mark 6, 200°C).

With the teaspoon of butter, grease a 3-pint souffle dish. Tie a strip of greaseproof or waxed paper around the rim of the dish so that it projects 2-inches over the rim. Set the dish aside.

Pour the cream into a small saucepan and add the vanilla pod. Set the pan over moderate heat and scald the cream (bring to just under boiling point). Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the remaining butter over moderate heat. Remove the pan from the heat and, with a wooden spoon, stir in the flour to make a smooth paste. Beat in the chestnut puree and the Marsala.

Remove and discard the vanilla pod from the cream and stir the cream into the chestnut mixture. Set the pan over moderate heat and cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it is very thick and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat.

In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks together with a fork. Beat in 2 tablespoons of the hot chestnut mixture. Quickly beat the egg yolk mixture into the chestnut mixture in the saucepan.

Return the pan to low heat and cook the mixture, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes, or until it is very thick. Do not let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool to lukewarm.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with a wire whisk or rotary beater until they form stiff peaks.

With a metal spoon, carefully fold the egg whites into the chestnut and egg yolk mixture.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared souffle dish.

Place the dish in the centre of the oven and reduce the temperature to fairly hot 375 °F (Gas Mark 5, 190°C). Bake the souffle for 30 to 35 minutes, or until it is well risen and golden brown.

Remove the souffle from the oven and quickly remove and discard the paper. Serve immediately, straight from the dish.

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