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The Ivy Christmas pudding soufflé

Made at The Ivy | Serves 8

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Original Beans Virunga is a 70% cocoa solids chocolate from the Congo. One tree is planted for every 100g sold, contributing to the replenishment of the Congolese rain forest.

For the filling
140g Original Beans Virunga or 70% good quality dark chocolate
100ml double cream
40ml Drambuie (or other liqueur like brandy or Grand Marnier)
90g good quality mincemeat (home-made is best!)

For the soufflé
180g unsalted butter
180g white chocolate
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch mixed spice
Pinch ground cinnamon
150g strong flour
3 medium sized free range eggs, separated
60g caster sugar
120g currants and sultanas, soaked in 40ml of heated brandy
Caster sugar for dusting

To serve
200ml whipping cream
2 splashes of brandy
100ml water
100g caster sugar
½ vanilla pod
1 pinch mixed spice

Preheat the oven to 190ºC / gas mark 5.

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 40g each in size (about the size of a walnut!).

Brush the inside of 8 regular sized (between 8cm & 9.5cm) ramekins with softened butter and then dust with caster sugar, shaking off the excess.

For the soufflé, melt the butter and white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, being careful not to let it get too hot (otherwise it will split), stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, sieve the baking powder, mixed spice, cinnamon and flour into a mixing bowl. Mix the egg yolks into the warm chocolate and butter mix and then gently fold in the sieved flour mixture. Add the doused currants and sultanas at this point and gently stir in. In a separate bowl, 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. Using a palate knife, smooth the top until flush with the ramekin. Make a slight indentation with your thumb around the edge. This will allow the soufflé to rise and prevent it from snagging. Place the soufflés in the oven for 16 minutes on a baking tray – it’ll be ready when golden on top and well risen.

In the meantime, whip the cream and add a splash of brandy. In a saucepan heat the water, sugar and add the vanilla pod and a pinch of mixed spice. Remove the soufflés from the oven and put onto warmed serving plates. Dust with icing sugar and serve with whipped brandy cream and spiced syrup. You can also serve with crème anglaise or vanilla cream.

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