Ricotta-Vanilla Soufflé on Strawberry Carpaccio
Strawberry slices form a pretty fruit doily under vanilla soufflés. The lovely presentation is garnished with bittersweet and white chocolates and caramelized pistachios.
- Caramelized Pistachios
- Confectioner's sugar - 1/4 cup
- Pistachios - 50 to 60, shelled
- Unsalted Butter - 1/4 cup, softened
- Sugar - 3 tablespoons
- Eggs - 3, separated
- Sugar - 1/4 cup
- Ricotta - 8 ounces, 10% fat
- Juice of 1/4 lemon
- Pinch of salt
- Vanilla bean - 1
- Ripe strawberries - 2 quarts, stemmed
- Strawberry Puree - 1/2 cup
- Lemon Juice - 1 tablespoon
- Bittersweet Chocolate - 2 ounces, melted (optional)
- Caramelized pistachios - (above), broken and crushed into small pieces
- Mint leaves - 4, cut in chiffonade (very thin strips)
- White Chocolate - 1 ounce, melted (optional)
To make the pistachios: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Put the pistachios in a large pie pan or baking dish and sprinkle with the sugar. Place in the oven and roast 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to coat the pistachios. Remove; turn out on a silicone liner or oil pan, and let cool. Chop and/or crush into small pieces; set aside. The pistachios may be prepared a day or two ahead and stored in an airtight container
To prepare the soufflés: Preheat the oven to 425 F. Butter four 3-inch ramekins. Put sugar in the first ramekin and roll it around until the inside of the mold is completely coated. Dump the sugar into the next ramekin and repeat; continue until all ramekins are coated. Discard any remaining sugar. Line a deep baking pan with parchment paper.
Beat the egg whites until foamy in a deep bowl. Sprinkle with half of the sugar, then continue beating to very soft peaks. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and beat to soft peaks. In a clean bowl, whip the egg yolks with the ricotta, lemon juice, and salt. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the yolk mixture; blend well. Fold a large spoonful of egg white into the yolk mixture to lighten it, then fold in the whites in 3 additions, being careful to preserve the volume. Fill the ramekins 2/3 full with the soufflé mixture, filling carefully with a spoon; do not get any of the mixture on the sides of the ramekins above the 2/3 point. Place in the prepared baking pan and fill 2/3 of the way up the sides of the ramekins with hot water. Bake 15 minutes, until puffed.
To prepare the carpaccio and plates: Slice the strawberries horizontally into very thin circles. Lay strawberry slices in a radial pattern over each of four dessert plates, coating the plates with the slices. Put the strawberry puree in a squeeze bottle and drizzle over the strawberries. Roll an 8-inch circle of parchment paper into a small cone and fill with melted bittersweet chocolate. Snip the tip to make a tiny opening and drizzle the plates with chocolate. Sprinkle with crushed caramelized pistachios. Strew a ring of mint chiffonade around the perimeter of each plate.
To serve: Place a soufflé in the center of each prepared plate. Roll an 8-inch circle of parchment paper into a small cone and fill with melted white chocolate. Snip the tip to make a tiny opening and draw parallel lines of chocolate on top of each soufflé. Place half a tablespoon of pistachios on the top.