There seem to be various dishes that Fanny Cradock thinks she can make anything into. Omelettes can be almost any conceivable flavour, savoury or sweet. Choux Buns can be filled with an extraordinary array of goodies, and some baddies too. However Fanny's very favourite dish is the soufflé. She's is always whipping one up at a moments notice, especially when the faces in the crowd show fear and disbelief that it will remain standing proud. Fanny has no fear when it comes to soufflés. She even makes an ice-cream version.
It all sounds a little strange, I mean a soufflé is baked and an ice-cream is, well, not usually. Unless it's a Baked Alaska. Soufflés are the ultimate in wow and wobble. Ice-creams are, well, stiff and static. How on earth will Fanny combine the two?
Fanny starts with soft fruit, which can be anything that happens to be available - strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, peaches, apricots or even Victoria Plums. They must be the Victoria variety apparently. I have some stray brambles lurking in my freezer from a foraging expedition last autumn. Fanny doesn't favour the bramble as we know, but I'm sure I can convince her.
Fanny insists the fruits are sieved to a purée, unsweetened. Emulsification will simply not do. To this she adds some simple stock sugar syrup, made simply by gently heating sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. Then boil it for a few minutes. Fanny asks me to whip my cream until it is piping consistency and beat my egg whites very stiffly indeed. Of course I comply, still a little unsure of what will happen next.
Fanny instructs poor Dianne to cut a length of cartridge paper two inches taller than the soufflé mould, and to attach it securely as a collar with tiny scraps of sellotape. Tiny scraps mind, no un-necessary wastage, which presumably Dianne had done sometime before to warrant such a warning. So then, the beaten cream is beaten into the purée, and the very stiff egg whites are folded in before the mixture is poured into the collared-mould for freezing. Fanny includes some detailed pictures showing Dianne preparing the finished iced soufflé for presentation, just incase you haven't got it yet. Dianne cuts the scraps of sellotape carefully, and removes the collar. Presto! She reveals a firm, but light and airy, smooth and perfectly set ice-cream 'soufflé' inside. It doesn't collapse when served, but may melt. Have no fear.