This is one of my favorite recipes to serve to friends. Although the soufflés include egg and cream, don’t think for a minute they will be heavy—on the contrary, they are fantastically light. Add the freshness of the tarragon and the earthy mushroom cream and you’ll want to make these more than once.
– PREPARATION TIME 30 minutes, plus making the stock.
– COOKING TIME 12 minutes.
– 3½ ounces scallops, rinsed.
– 1 extra-large egg.
– ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons whipping cream.
– 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter.
– 1¾ cups roughly chopped button mushrooms.
– 1 tablespoon roughly chopped tarragon leaves, plus 4 tiny tarragon sprigs.
– 4 tablespoons Vegetable Stock.
– sea salt and freshly ground white pepper.
Step 2: Line a plate that fits inside a large steamer basket with parchment paper, then put four 2-inch chef’s rings, 2 inches deep, on top, making sure they do not touch each other. Cut out four bands of parchment paper 3 inches long and 2 inches deep and use to line the chef’s rings. The paper needs to sit snugly inside the rings with the ends overlapping.
Step 3: Remove the scallop mix from the refrigerator and trim the pastry bag to a ½-inch opening. Pipe the filling into each ring until two-thirds full and about ½ inch below the rim, making sure you hold onto the ring to stop it slipping. Cover the plate loosely with plastic wrap so no condensation can get in, yet the soufflés have space to rise. Bring a large saucepan of water to a simmer, with a steamer insert on top. Put the plate of soufflés in the steamer, cover, then turn the heat down as low as possible and steam 12 minutes, or until risen. Turn the heat off, remove the lid and leave the soufflés to rest 2 minutes.
Step 4: While the soufflés are cooking, make the mushroom cream. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the butter and mushrooms and sauté 3 to 4 minutes until they just turn golden brown. Add the chopped tarragon and toss to combine. Add the stock and the remaining cream and bring to a simmer, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a blender and blend to a fine, light, foamy puree.
Step 5: Divide the mushroom cream into four warm bowls. Remove the plate from the steamer and carefully take off the plastic wrap then, using a small metal spatula, transfer a soufflé to the middle of a bowl of mushroom cream. Slide out the spatula, holding the edge of the ring so it doesn’t move around. Lift the ring off and gently peel away the paper lining. Repeat with the remaining soufflés, then top each one with a tiny tarragon sprig to serve.