Kind of a cross between a souffle, without the addition of egg yolks, and light and fluffy meringue, these impressive desserts are actually surprisingly easy to make, yet leave a big impression. The addition of spice whipped cream and an apple, cranberry or fig compote takes the dessert from beautiful and unique, to sinfully delicious.
Maple Meringue Souffles
6 large egg whites (reserve the yolks for another use – I made a silky Bearnaise, recipe to come shortly)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups high quality maple syrup (it is worth it to use good maple syrup)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Turbinado sugar, for coating ramekins
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Using a pastry brush, coat 8 (10-ounce) ramekins with melted butter. Sprinkle evenly with the turbinado sugar. Set aside on a baking sheet. Add maple syrup to a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until it just boils, about 6-8 minutes (keep an eye on it as it will overflow if it gets too hot in a full boil.) Add egg whites and salt to a mixer and beat at medium speed until foamy, 3 or 4 minutes. Pour hot maple syrup in a thin stream over egg whites, beating at medium speed then at high speed until stiff peaks form. Add baking powder; beat well.
Spoon evenly into prepared ramekins, allowing it to rise above the rim a bit if desired (they won’t fall as the baking powder stabilizes them when cooking.) Bake at 425° for 13 minutes or until puffy and set. Meanwhile, add the cream to the chilled bowl with the cinnamon, vanilla and sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form with a whisk or a mixer, then scoop into a pretty serving bowl. Serve each souffle individually, passing the whipped cream, and an apple, cranberry or fig compote, if desired.
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