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Coconut Souffle with Tangerine Chocolate Sauce

Angelic and voluptuous, this dessert with its saucy lick of tangerine chocolate is the kind that brings an appreciative lull to table conversation.

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup toasted coconut, see note
4 egg yolks
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup coconut cream, such as Coco Lopez
6 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush the inside of a 5-cup souffle dish with half the melted butter, carefully coating the inside rim. Place dish in freezer for 5 minutes. Brush the dish with remaining butter. Sprinkle the inside of the dish with 1/3 cup toasted coconut. This helps the souffle to climb.

Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk in 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the flour. Scald coconut cream in a medium-size heavy saucepan over high heat. Whisk the scalded coconut cream into yolk mixture in a thin stream. Return the yolk mixture to the pan, set over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking steadily. Cook until bubbly and thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and keep hot. (If you are not going to assemble the souffle now, reheat this mixture when you do.)

Beat the egg whites on low, adding the cream of tartar, and gradually increasing the speed to high. Sprinkle in the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar as the whites start to stiffen. Continue beating until the whites are firm and glossy but not dry.

Whisk one-quarter of the whites into the hot yolk mixture to lighten it. Gently fold this mixture back into the remaining whites with a rubber spatula.

Gently spoon one-third of the souffle mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of the toasted coconut on top. Spoon half of the remaining souffle mixture into the dish and sprinkle with the remaining coconut. Spoon in the remaining souffle mixture. Smooth top of the souffle. Run tip of a paring knife around the inside edge of the dish to clear a path for the rising souffle.

Bake until puffed and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. To test for doneness, gently poke the dish with a wooden spoon. The souffle should jiggle just slightly. Serve immediately with a spoonful of Tangerine Chocolate Sauce. Makes 4 servings.

Note: To toast coconut, spread over a baking sheet and bake in a 325-degree oven until lightly toasted, about 5 to 7 minutes. Watch carefully. Coconut burns fast.

Tangerine Chocolate Sauce

1/3 cup heavy or whipping cream
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons tangerine liqueur (see note), or fresh tangerine juice, or a couple of drops of tangerine oil

Scald the cream in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the chocolate and cook over low heat until completely melted, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the tangerine liqueur, to taste. Serve warm. Store, covered in the refrigerator. Makes 3/4 cup.

Note: The Belgian tangerine liqueur, Mandarine Napoleon, is available at some state liquor stores. It costs $29.99 for a fifth.

Steven Raichlen's "Miami Spice"

Thursday, July 05, 2001

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