This delicate chilled dessert is light and airy--a perfect finale for a summer meal. My guests are often pleasantly surprised to find out that the souffle is made from only white wine, sugar, and eggs, with a little gelatin and cornstarch for body. It is easy to make and can be decorated glamorously with whipped cream and sugar-frosted grapes, or simply with fresh strawberries. The orange-apricot sauce provides a citrusy accent that complements the flavors of the souffle.
For healthy people, the potential of Salmonella food poisoning from raw eggs is quite small. It is greater for those who are pregnant, elderly or very young, and anyone with a compromised immune system.They should avoid them.
Use eggs that have been properly refrigerated, are clean with unbroken shell, that are grade AA or A eggs. Refrigerate all broken eggs and cooked dishes with eggs if not eaten within an hour.
- For the souffle:
- 7 eggs, separated, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 cups medium dry white wine (think Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Albarino)
- 1 package unflavored gelatin
- Pinch cream of tartar
- For the sauce:
- 8 ounces apricot preserves
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
- For the decoration (optional):
- 16-20 red or green grapes, with stems
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 cup superfine sugar or processed granulated sugar
- 4 ounces heavy cream, whipped until stiff and lightly sweetened
2. Dissolve the gelatin in a little reserved wine or water. When softened, add it to the wine mixture and stir to blend well. Remove the pan from the heat and beat the mixture with a handheld electric mixer or whisk until cool and thick. This process may be speeded up by transferring the mixture into a metal or glass bowl and setting it in another bowl filled with ice while beating.
3. Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and beat until stiff but not dry. Using a rubber spatula or your hands, gently fold the egg whites into the wine mixture, mixing until just blended, and pour into a 6-cup souffle mold or glass bowl. Cover and chill for at least 6 hours or overnight.
4. For the sauce: In a small saucepan, heat the preserves with the orange juice and lemon zest until melted, then boil until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat, stir in the Grand Marnier, and cool to lukewarm.
5. Prepare the garnish: In a flat dish, beat the egg white just until frothy. Pour the sugar into another flat dish. Holding each grape by its stem, dip it into the egg, then into the sugar, forming a thin coating. Put on a plate to dry, then remove the stem.
6. Beat the cream until stiff. Using a pastry bag fitted with a decorative star tip, pipe small rosettes onto the souffl . Put the frosted grapes on top. Serve a generous spoonful on each plate, add a couple grapes, and ribbon the sauce over the souffle.