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The soufflé is the black tie of puddings – it’s here to impress. They’re many a chefs achilles heel and the art comes in persuading your fluffy sponge not to flop. Follow my tips below though and you should be ok. The light freshness of the ice cream contrasted with the rich dark chocolate gives it a lovely balance too.

Makes 6 souffléstrish

3 eggs
85g caster sugar
300ml milk
25g corn flour
25g cocoa powder

Butter
6 tbs sugar
1 tbs Cinnamon powder

6 egg whites
110g caster sugar
100g dark chocolate
(broken into small pieces)

1 pint full-fat milk
1 vanilla pod, seeds removed
6 medium free-range egg yolks
220g caster sugar
300g crème fraiche

For the soufflé base
Place the eggs and sugar into a mixing bowl and whisk until pale and creamy. Then sieve and whisk in the corn flour and cocoa powder. Heat the milk in a pan and once boiling pour over the egg and sugar whisking continuously. This mixture will thicken immediately. Leave to one side to cool.

To prepare the ramekins
Melt some butter and using a pastry brush carefully brush the inside walls of all the ramekins. There’s no need to brush the bottom. Place in the fridge and once set brush another layer on top. Mix the caster sugar and cinnamon powder together and pour from one ramekin to the next turning each to ensure all the walls are covered in the sugar and cinnamon.

For the soufflé
Whisk the egg whites to form soft peaks, then add the sugar and keep whisking to firm peaks. Take your soufflé base mixture and add a couple of spoonfuls of the egg white mixture. Mix this in fairly roughly to loosen the soufflé base mix. Then pour in the rest of the egg whites and carefully fold in, adding the broken chocolate just before the end. Spoon the mixture into your ramekins levelling off with a knife. Run your thumb around the edge of each soufflé to create a moat, which will help the soufflé rise more evenly. Place the soufflés on a backing tray and bake at 180 °C for 10 minutes. When baked dust with icing sugar or cocoa powder and serve immediately.

For the crème fraiche ice cream
Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale and creamy. The mixture should form a ribbon when removing the whisk from the bowl. Boil the milk and vanilla seeds, and when boiling strain onto the egg and sugar mixture whisking constantly. Pour back into the milk pan and cook gently until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Leave to cook and then stir in the crème fraiche. Churn in an ice cream maker and freeze until required.

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