Woolworths and MasterChef South Africa
I think you will note the first ever commercial banner on my site (on the right hand side). This is a large step for me and while the banner is not for paid advertising on my blog, it does announce my affiliation with Woolworths. I’m honoured and excited to have been appointed one of four official Woolworth’s bloggers for MasterChef SA. Woolworths is the pantry sponsor for the series.
As a food and wine loving community, we have been a-buzz and a-flutter since last year awaiting South Africa’s first MasterChef series – after all we have cooking and blogging friends who entered the competition and some who are contestants, and chefs from our community who are either judges, working in the background on the show or will appear in later episodes. It’s a truly proud moment for all of us.
The first in my contributions to the MasterChef themes is on Eggs. I submitted three recipes and this Rich Dark Chocolate Soufflé with Honey Almond Cream was featured on Woolworth’s Pantry page. I also encourage you to have a look at my easy step-by-step Healthy Poached Eggs with a Spicy Tomato Chilli Sauce and my fantastic all-in-one Bacon and Egg Breakfast Cups too.
The Humble Egg
Most people who cook regularly (chefs and home cooks alike) will attest to the incredible nutrition contained in and the versatility of the humble egg. When the pantry and fridge are bare, a frittata or omelette made with left over veggies and herbs will feed a family. On other occasions, an egg can be dressed up as the perfect brunch- poached eggs on steamed asparagus for example or in a light-as-air soufflé for dessert. I understand that the more complicated dishes can seem daunting. The answer to perfecting these egg dishes lies in two very simple aspects. Firstly make sure you get the freshest, and best quality free range eggs and secondly practice! When you remove fear from the equation, anything can be achieved in the kitchen. Cook with confidence and the eggs will know who’s the chef.
Soufflé – have no fear
For many, soufflés are possibly one of the most intimidating egg dishes to prepare. Reluctance to try what is really a very delicious and rewarding dish, probably hinges around a combination of factors. Old wives tales (close the windows, never open the oven!), the almost immediate flop factor and fear of the unnerving French trained skill set needed. I can tell you, you can make a soufflé with ease. It does not need to look restaurant perfect. It will rise if you follow the tips I’ve set out. This soufflé uses dark chocolate (use the best quality bar or chips you can find, at least 60- 70 % cacao) and is served with a soft meringue-like honey cream, with the delicate nuttiness of toasted almonds for crunch. It is airy and mousse-like in texture and bound to the highlight of the meal. The souffle mixture can be prepared the night before and the meringue cream about two hours in advance. Once the soufflés are in the oven, you should start ushering your guests to the table as it must be served immediately.
Inspiration for this recipe found here: http://www.
Dark Chocolate Soufflé with Honey Almond Cream
Makes 3 standard soufflé ramekins or 6 small ones
200 g good quality dark chocolate chips or bars, chopped up
125 ml fresh cream
2 extra large egg yolks
Pinch of salt
6 extra large egg whites, room temperature
2 T white sugar plus extra for sprinkling in ramekins
Softened butter, for brushing ramekins
Honey Almond Cream
2 extra large egg whites, room temperature
4 T honey
125 ml fresh cream
60 ml flaked almonds, toasted.
Butter ramekins with a pastry brush using upward strokes. Leave ramekins in the fridge for 5 minutes. Remove and butter again in the same fashion. Sprinkle each dish with sugar, tilting to coat completely and tapping out excess sugar. Arrange the ramekins on large baking sheet or tray.
Set a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water, add the chocolate and cream and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water. Stir egg yolks and salt into chocolate mixture. Set aside to cool slightly.
In an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form on medium speed. You can also do this by hand using a large whisk.
Gradually add the sugar, beating until semi-firm peaks form. With a rubber spatula, fold 1/4 of beaten egg whites into chocolate mixture to lighten. Fold remaining egg whites into chocolate mixture in 2 lots.
Divide chocolate mixture among prepared ramekins, filling dishes half way. Tap the ramekin on a hard surface and then fill till the top and smooth with a palette knife.
This can be made the night before. Cool and then cover with cling film and refrigerate.
Heat oven to 160 ˚Celsius. Place tray with ramekins in on middle shelf and bake for 12 minutes. Turn heat up to 180˚Celsius. Bake for another 10 – 12 minutes until soufflés have risen.
Timing will depend on your oven so watch closely.
Remove and serve immediately with Honey Almond Cream.
Honey Almond Cream
Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in medium bowl until it thickens and soft peaks start to form. Gradually add honey, beating until soft peaks form.
In another bowl whip the cream until stiff.
Fold egg whites into the cream, gently mixing. Mix the toasted almonds through.
Can be made up to two hours in advance and stored in the fridge.
This post forms part of the series of recipes I am preparing for Woolworths, the food sponsor for MasterChef SA. It is a Food and the Fabulous Endorsed project and I will be remunerated for it