INGREDIENTS (Serves 4)
For the filling 140g Cru Virunga or other good quality dark chocolate
100ml double cream
40ml Drambuie or other liqueur like whisky, brandy, Grand Marnier
90g good quality mincemeat
For the soufflé 120g butter
120g white chocolate
5g baking powder
2g mixed spice
2g ground cinnamon
100g strong flour
2 eggs, separated
40g caster sugar
80g currants and sultanas, soaked in hot brandy
To serve 200ml whipping cream
2 splashes of brandy
100g jam sugar
½ vanilla pod
1 pinch mixed spice
METHOD Preheat the oven to 190°C. Begin by making the filling. Slowly bring the cream to the boil, remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until melted. Stir in the Drambuie and mincemeat and leave to set in the fridge. When set, mould into balls, roughly 125g each.
Line the inside of four 8x8cm stainless steel soufflé rings with silicone paper - you could alternatively use lined ramekins. You will need to buy vanilla sponge or savoiardi biscuits, flavoured with brandy, from a good delicatessen or bakery. Cut them into discs so that they fit inside the rings or ramekins.
Melt the butter and white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water ,being careful not to let it get too hot. Meanwhile, pass the baking powder, mixed spice, cinnamon and flour through a sieve into a mixing bowl. Mix the egg yolks into the warm chocolate and butter and then gently fold in the sieved flour mixture.
Separately, whisk the egg whites and sugar until stiff and then gradually fold into the flour and egg mixture. Half fill the moulds or ramekins with the mixture then place a ball of the filling in the middle and top up with the rest of the mixture. Bake the soufflés for 12 minutes.
In the meantime whip the cream and add a splash of brandy. In a saucepan heat the water, jam sugar and add the ½ vanilla pod and a pinch of mixed spice.
Remove the soufflés from the oven and loosen with a knife then carefully put onto warmed serving plates with a spatula. Serve with whipped brandy cream and spiced syrup. You can also serve with crème Anglais or vanilla cream.
Gary Lee, head chef, the Ivy, London