Saturday, May 18, 2013

Mango Souffles with Coconut Lime Creme Anglaise

Since my local climate could never be mistaken for anything approximating "tropical," it's always a little
surprising to me that mango season falls in the spring--a time of year more often featuring blustery rain than the warm tropical breezes I associate with mango.

Luckily I was able to take advantage this year and indulge in a taste of the tropics with this souffle recipe and the previously unbeknownst to me Ataulfo mangoes I came across at Whole Foods--a small, oblong, yellow mango known for its thin pit.

I don't know why I always waltz into complicated recipes as if nothing could possibly go wrong, thinking that foods with finicky reputations must just be flukes of poor recipe nature. Macarons, for example. Though whole books and classes revolve around the exact technique to achieve their footed perfect domes, I was still surprised when my last batch turned out flat and chewy.

Ataulfo Mangoes

Similarly with these souffles. Thrilled to see tall, fluffy custard towering out of its ramekin when I opened my oven door, I found myself yelling "Noooooo!" just moments later as they slowly collapsed. C'est la vie. These souffles were still delicious, and I would love to be able to give you some tips right now about how to keep your own souffles from falling, but a quick internet survey will give you thousands of supposed hints all essentially coaching you to "whip the egg whites as much as possible--but not too much!!" Right.

I'd also like to say this experience will cause me to be more cautious the next time I embark on an ambitious baking project, but I doubt it :)

Mango Souffles with Coconut Lime Creme Anglaise
      from Food52

3/4 pounds ripe mango flesh, roughly chopped
5 eggs, separated
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons melted for the ramekins
1 tablespoon superfine sugar, plus some for dusting the ramekins
2 tablespoons rum
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk (any fat percentage works)
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided

1 egg
1/8 cup granulated sugar
pinches of salt
3/4 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
finely grated zest of 1 lime (about 1/2 a teaspoon) or more to taste

1. For the crème anglaise: Prepare an ice bath, place a small bowl inside of it and set aside.

2. Put the egg, sugar and a pinch of salt in a medium sized bowl and whisk until pale and thickened, about 3 minutes.

3. Bring the coconut milk and cream just to a boil, then pull it from the heat and slowly drizzle it into the egg mixture, whisking all the while to temper. When fully incorporated, return it to the pan used to heat the cream, place it over a low-medium heat and stir constantly until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 4-5 minutes. Pass the crème through a fine meshed strainer (to catch any of the egg that might have started to coagulate) into the bowl set inside the ice bath. Stir frequently until cooled to room temperature. Add lime zest to taste and reserve.

4. For the Soufflés: Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the mango chunks, the 1 tablespoon of superfine sugar and the rum. Cook, stirring, until well softened and syrupy, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer the mango to a blender and process until very smooth, pour into a large bowl and reserve.

5. Melt the other 2 tablespoons of butter and brush it inside of six - 3” diameter ramekins. Dust the inside of each with a tablespoon of superfine sugar, dumping out any excess. Place the ramekins in the fridge to chill while preparing the rest of the ingredients.

6. Heat the oven to 375℉ and place a sheet pan on a low rack to heat.

7. Whisk together the 5 egg yolks, flour, and 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Whisk until the yolks have paled and the mix has thickened slightly. Set aside.

8. Place the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring it just to a simmer. Whisk it into the egg-flour mixture very slowly, whisking all the while to temper the mixture. Once fully incorporated, pour the mix back into the pan used to heat the milk, put it back over medium heat and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, and whisk constantly until the mix thickens to the consistency of a pudding, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat, mix into the bowl with the mango purée and reserve. This is your soufflé base.

9. Place the egg whites in a clean bowl with a pinch of sugar. Beat with an electric hand-mixer on medium-high speed slowly adding the rest of the granulated sugar until the egg whites are white, glossy and hold soft peaks.

10. Spoon about 1/4 of the whipped whites into the soufflé base and whisk it in to lighten the mix. Gently add the remaining whites, and using a rubber spatula, softly fold them into the mix taking care not to deflate them.

11. Spoon the mix into the ramekins, leveling the top of each with a small offset spatula. Run your thumb inside the lip of each ramekin (this will help it rise evenly when baking), and place them on the heated sheet pan in the oven. Bake for 13-16 minutes (depending on your oven) until the soufflés have risen above the rim of the ramekins and are a light, golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a little confectioner’s sugar. To serve, cut a hole in the top of each soufflé and pour in a few tablespoons of the coconut-lime crème anglaise.

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