Tony Fleming's Blackberry Soufflé

This is Tony Fleming's blackberry souffle dish for the TV series Britain's Best Dish. Tony and I discussed souffles at length following the show, and in part my mini souffle project is inspired by those conversation.


For the blackberry purée:
350 g blackberries
35 g caster sugar
For the blackberry and elderflower granita:
225 g blackberries
250 ml elderflower cordial
Juice of 2 lemons

For the blackberry soufflé base:
1 tbsp blackberry liqueur, such as crème de mûre
10 g cornflour
100 g caster sugar
For the pastry cream:
250 ml full fat milk
½ vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out
50 g caster sugar
3 medium egg yolks
25 g plain flour

For the blackberry soufflés:
3 medium egg whites
30 g caster sugar
Icing sugar, for dusting
8 blackberries, to decorate
For the almond brittle (optional):
125 g butter
150 g caster sugar
50 ml double cream
1 tsp pectin
50 ml liquid glucose
175 g flaked almonds, chopped

For the cranachan (optional):
70 g honey
70 g oatmeal
200 ml double cream
½ vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out
3 tbsp whisky, preferably blackberry
3 tbsp malt whisky
15 blackberries
For the blackberry sauce (optional):
25 ml blackberry liqueur, such as crème de mur


For the blackberry purée:Put the blackberries and sugar together with 25ml of water into a pan and bring to the boil. Break the blackberries down with the back of a spoon, then simmer on a low heat for 8–10 minutes until the blackberries are well cooked and mushy. Transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth, then push through a sieve and chill.

To make the blackberry and elderflower granita:Put the blackberries, elderflower cordial and lemon juice into a food processor and blend until smooth. Pass through a sieve and pour into a shallow metal tray, then freeze. Fork through the granita at 30-minute intervals to ensure even freezing.

For the blackberry soufflé base:
Put 250g of the blackberry purée into a pan and bring to the boil. Mix the blackberry liqueur and cornflour in a small container and then mix in 1 tablespoon of the hot purée. Tip it back into the pan and simmer for 5 minutes until thick. In a separate, very small pan, gently heat the caster sugar with 50ml of water until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and continue to cook until it reaches 120°C (hardball stage). Pour half of this into the blackberry purée (making smaller quantities of the sugar solution makes it difficult to check the temperature). Combine and chill in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4 and generously butter six 130ml soufflé moulds and line with sugar. Brush the butter in an upwards direction from the base of the dish to the rim. This will encourage the soufflés to rise. Chill the moulds in the fridge and, once the butter is hard, paint lines of blackberry purée inside each mould and return to the fridge.

For the pastry cream:Boil the milk with the vanilla pod and seeds and leave to cool slightly. In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg yolks and flour. Whisk in the infused milk and return to a clean pan. Remove the vanilla pod and cook gently for 5 minutes until thickened and then chill in the fridge.

To make the soufflés:Whisk the egg whites and caster sugar in a bowl until soft peaks form. In a separate bowl, combine 50g of the blackberry soufflé base with 100g of the pastry cream. Beat in 1 spoonful of the egg whites and then gently fold in the rest. When folding in the last lot of egg whites, do this thoroughly but very carefully so as not to knock out any air.

Divide the soufflé mixture evenly between the six moulds; run your thumb around the rims to clean them and this will help the soufflé to rise straight and evenly. Bake for about 6 minutes until risen and golden.

To serve:Remove the soufflés from the oven, dust with icing sugar, place a blackberry on top and put on plates. Add the blackberry and elderflower granita. The chef suggests serving this dessert with cranachan and almond brittle (methods follow).

To make the almond brittle (optional):Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4 and line 2 baking sheets with silicon mats. Put all the ingredients except the almonds, into a pan and warm through. Stir in the almonds until well combined and then spread onto the prepared baking sheets in a thin layer and leave in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set. Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven, leave to cool slightly and then cut the brittle into triangles and wrap each triangle around a ramekin to curve until set.

Meanwhile, prepare the cranachan. Toast the oatmeal until golden. Boil 30g of the honey and add toasted oatmeal, continue to cook for 1 minute and spread on a tray to cool. Whip the cream to soft peaks with the vanilla seeds, remaining honey and 2 tbsp of each whisky. Chop the blackberries and mix with 1 tbsp of the blackberry purée and remaining whisky.

Spoon a little of the blackberry mix into the bottom of four shot glasses then add a layer of the pastry cream and sprinkle with oatmeal. Keep layering it up until the glasses are full. Finish with a little blackberry mix and oatmeal to decorate.

To make the blackberry sauce (optional), heat 50g of the blackberry purée in a pan. Then add the liqueur and mix through.

Makes 6