Roasted Chestnut Souffle; with Spiced Cider Drink



From page 80, Tasting the Wine Country

Courtesy of Bernardus Lodge, Carmel Valley, California

This light but flavorful soufflé and spiced cider drink harmonize perfectly. The chestnut soufflé base can be made 1 day in advance.

Soufflé Base

10 chestnuts, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup (3 oz/125 g) sugar
4 teaspoons Cognac or brandy
3 egg yolks
6 egg whites
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). To make the base: In a small saucepan, combine the chestnuts and all the remaining base ingredients. Cook for 20 minutes over medium-low heat, or until the chestnuts are soft. Transfer to a blender or food processor and purée. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Coat the bottom and sides of four 8-ounce (250-ml) soufflé dishes or ramekins with butter, sprinkle with sugar, and knock to evenly coat.

In a medium bowl, beat the chestnut purée and yolks together until smooth. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the sugar and lemon juice and beat until soft peaks form. Stir one-fourth of the whites into the purée, then fold in the remaining whites. Spoon into the prepared dishes and bake for 13 minutes, or until puffed and golden but still soft in the center. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 soufflés

Spiced Cider Drink

A warm and soothing drink to enjoy with chestnut soufflé.

4 cups (32 fl oz/1 l) apple juice
2 cinnamon sticks
4 cloves
4 long strips tangerine zest
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon honey

In a medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients and bring to a simmer over low heat. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for at least 20 minutes. Strain and pour into cups to serve.

Makes 4 cups (32 fl oz/1 l)

From Tasting the Wine Country by Sharon O'Connor, page 86