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Prune and Armagnac souffle

You make the dish in three stages: the Armagnac-soaked prunes (these are a dish in their own right), the prune purée, and finally the soufflé. You can make the soaked prunes and purée well in advance.

Armagnac soaked prunes

  • 1kg de-stoned prunes
  • 400ml Armagnac
  • 120ml water
  • 120g caster sugar

  1. Heat the sugar and water in a pan until boiling. Simmer for 2 minutes to make a syrup.
  2. Place the prunes in a storage jar, pour the Armagnac and syrup over them, and store for at least a week (they will keep for up to a year in a sealed jar).

Prune purée

  • 500g Armagnac soaked prunes
  • 35g corn flour
  • 100ml Armagnac
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 50ml water

  1. Blend the prunes in a food processor.
  2. Heat the sugar and water in a pan until boiling. Simmer for two minutes to make a syrup.
  3. Dissolve the cornflour in the Armagnac. Add this and the syrup to the prunes and blend again. Store in a sealed jar until you need it (it will keep in the fridge for up to a week).

Soufflé

  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 150g castor sugar (plus a little extra for the ramekin dishes)
  • 6 egg whites
  • 8 Armagnac soaked prunes
  • 4 tablespoons prune purée
  • Icing sugar for serving
  • 4 ramekin dishes

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
  2. Grease the ramekins with butter. Sprinkle the extra sugar around the dish so it sticks evenly to the butter.
  3. Whisk the egg whites using an electric whisk or mixer. Once they're forming soft peaks, add the caster sugar a little at a time, whisking after each addition.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the prune purée with a third of the meringue mixture. Then, carefully fold in the remaining mixture.
  5. Half fill each ramekin, place a prune on top of the mixture then fill with the remaining soufflé mix. Using a palette knife, press the soufflé mixture into each ramekin and scrape off any excess to leave a smooth, flat surface. This is important to ensure the soufflés rise evenly. Use a piece of kitchen paper to wipe around the rim of each ramekin.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until well risen and golden. Serve with a prune on top of each soufflé, dusted with sieved icing sugar.

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