This week we made frozen desserts: ice creams, sorbets, granités, and a couple of molded desserts like parfait glacé and this beautiful Gran Marnier soufflé glacé:
The trick to getting a nice rim above your ramekin is to wrap stiff acetate strips around the ramekins, trimming them so that they rise about two fingers above the dish. After making the soufflé base, which is quite thin until you freeze it, you pipe it into the baking dish and all the way above the acetate, using a small offset spatula to flatten the top to the height of the acetate strip.
Then, if you want an extra-fancy decoration, you can quickly candy some oranges. This process usually takes several days of boiling the fruit in a sugar syrup and gradually increasing the saturation of the syrup to completely preserve the fruit. However, if you know they’re going to be consumed fairly quickly, you can do a quick version and have a great decoration for your soufflé.
We chose to used clementines for their size (a regular orange would have been larger than our soufflé cups), but one added bonus was their lack of seeds. It make for a quick, easy, delicious process. The rind is not quite as soft as it would be if you were to candy it for several days, but it’s perfectly edible with a nice balance between the cloyingly sweet sugar syrup and a little bit of remaining bitterness from the pith and rind.
Yield: 10-20 candied slices, depending on the size of your pot and your willingness to candy multiple batches.
12 oz sugar [The amount of sugar and water you need will vary depending on how large your pan is, but keep the ratio of 2 parts sugar to 1 part water.]
6 oz water
2 medium clementines
1. Prepare a 2:1 simple syrup by combining 2 parts sugar to 1 part water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. A large, shallow pan works best so you can fit more clementines at once. Stir just to dissolve the sugar. Bring the syrup just to a boil and then reduce the heat to med-low. Try to stabilize the syrup around 180º.
2. Meanwhile, wash the clementines and thinly slice them. Once the syrup has reached about 180º, add the clementine slices, being sure not to overlap them. Allow them to steep in the syrup until they turn translucent, which could take up to 60 minutes depending on how well you control the temperature. Do NOT allow the syrup to boil, as this will dissolve the inner membrane of the clementine.
3. Once the slices are translucent, transfer them to a parchment paper-lined, greased sheet pan (or a Silpat, if you have one) and leave them in a low oven (about 200º) just until they dry out enough to hold their shape. Use as a garnish as desired, or for a delicious snack. I suspect these would taste excellent dipped in some high-quality dark chocolate.