Jasmine Tea Souffle with Lemon Grass Ice Cream
- 1/2 cup loose jasmine tea leaves
- 1/4 cup loose oolong tea leaves
- 1 cup milk
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 2 Tahitian vanilla beans, split lengthwise and scraped
- 1/2 cup honey
- 10 eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup sugar (1/4 cup for yolks, 1/4 cup for whites)
- 6 to 8 buttered and sugared 6 ounce ramekins
- LEMON GRASS ICE CREAM:
- 3 cups milk, reduced with lemongrass to 2 cups yield
- 4 stalks chopped lemongrass, white part only
- 1/2 pound sugar
- 1 Tahitian vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
- 3/4 cup egg yolks
- 2 cups heavy cream
In a non-reactive saucepan on low heat, mix teas, cream, milk and vanilla beans/pods and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes then take off stove and let steep an additional 30 minutes. Strain infused liquid and re-heat with the honey to a simmer. In a stainless steel bowl whisk together the 10 yolks, cornstarch and 1/4 cup of sugar. Temper the yolks by adding only a ladle of hot infused cream to the yolks. Mix well then add tempered mixture back to the saucepan. On medium heat, whisk constantly until it thickens then cook an additional 3 to 5 minutes. A pastry cream texture should be achieved. Transfer base to a baking dish, seal with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator. Base can be made 24 hours in advance.
Pre-heat a sheet tray in a 375-degree oven. Whisk the egg whites with 1-tablespoon of sugar in an upright mixer equipped with a whip attachment on slow. In about 8 to10 minutes soft peaks will be achieved. Add the rest of the sugar and whip at high speed for two 5 second bursts. In a large stainless bowl, hand whisk the chilled infused cream base until smooth. Using a spatula, gently fold in the egg whites. Work quickly, but do not over mix. The base needs to be one homogenous color. Fill ramekins to the top. Drop each one from a height of 3 inches onto the counter to disperse any unwanted bubbles. Place on heated sheet tray and bake for 12 minutes. After 6 minutes the souffles will start rising. Check the rising souffles to see if any edges are getting caught on the rims of the ramekins; if necessary open the oven door and carefully slice the sticking part with a paring knife (you won't ruin the souffles if you work fast). The souffles will straighten themselves out. When the sides of the souffle are golden brown (the key to a souffle not falling is the crusty, golden brown sides), pull out of the oven and dust the tops with confectioners' sugar. Serve immediately with a scoop of lemon grass ice cream.LEMON GRASS ICE CREAM:
In a non-reactive saucepan, simmer milk with lemon grass and reduce by 1/3 percent. If there's enough time let the lemon grass steep in the milk overnight. Strain out lemon grass and heat with sugar and vanilla bean/pod. Bring to scalding. Hand whisk the yolks in a stainless steel bowl. Temper the yolks by adding only a ladle of hot milk to the yolks. Mix well then add tempered yolks back to the sauce pan. Whisk constantly on medium heat for 2 minutes. Strain and cool in an ice bath. When mixture is cooled add heavy cream. Follow manufacturer's instructions for your particular ice cream maker. Place in freezer before serving.
Place souffle on plate. Cut an opening in the top of the souffle and put a scoop of ice cream inside.
Wine Suggestion: Bonny Doon Muscat de Glaciere