Praline Soufflé

Tall and proud, this fluffy praline soufflé is nutty and buttery all at the same time. You could dig a hole with a spoon and pour a rich praline crème anglaise in the center and add “creamy” to the description, but that may give you the urge to run around in circle and screaaaaam after just one bite. Beware!

The key to a successful soufflé starts with the egg whites – they have to be without a trace of yolks in them. When you beat egg whites, you’re mixing air into them. The protein in the egg whites forms a kind of skin around the air bubbles but if there’s any fat present, the skin can’t form. So make sure the mixing bowl is very clean too. And you don’t want to over-beat them and have too thick a mixture that it won’t fold into your soufflé. I remember making praline soufflé in cooking school in France and how the cooking instructor would make us beat the egg whites by hand in large copper mixing bowls while shooting loudly to “not over-whip the whites, *%&@!!”  He had a point!

The recipe calls for praline paste which is easily found in Europe but not so much in the US.  Don’t panic though, I’ll show you how to make your own and it’s well worth the extra effort. It’s essentially an almonds and hazelnuts brittle turned into a paste in a food processor. It’s so much better than peanut butter you’ll want to eat it with a spoon. Make a crème anglaise to serve on the side and stir in the remaining praline paste. Vanilla ice cream would work too. Enjoy!

  • Praline Soufflé

  • Serves 6
    • For the praline paste:
    • 1/2 cup blanched almonds
    • 1/2 cup blanched hazelnuts
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 vanilla bean, split
    • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
    • For the pastry cream:
    • 2 cups whole milk
    • 1 vanilla bean, split
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/3 cup cornstarch
    • 6 egg yolks
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 tablespoon Armagnac (optional)
    • For the praline soufflé:
    • 1 cup pastry cream (see above)
    • 4 eggs, yolk & white separated
    • 1/2 cup praline paste (see above)
    • 8 egg whites
    • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • powdered sugar
    • butter + sugar for ramequins
    • For the praline paste:
    • Preheat the oven to 350′F.
    • Place the almonds and hazelnuts on a baking sheet and place in the oven until light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool.
    • Combine the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water in a saucepan, add the vanilla seeds to the pan and bring to a boil. Cook until it turns into a light caramel. Add the toasted nuts and continue cooking until the mixture turns to a deep amber color while stirring with a wooden spoon. Pour the caramelized nuts mixture onto a baking tray lined with a silpat. Cool for at least 30 minutes.
    • Break the nut brittle into pieces and place in a food processor. Process until you obtain a powder. Add the peanut oil and process until the mixture turns into a paste.
    • For the pastry cream:
    • Put the milk in a medium saucepan and place the vanilla bean and seeds in it. Bring to a boil.
    • Meanwhile, whisk the yolks, the sugar and the cornstarch in a medium bowl until smooth. Add a little bit of hot milk to the mixture and whisk until smooth. Scrap the mixture back into the milk saucepan and place over medium heat while whisking constantly until the mixture thickens and boils for a few seconds. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and Armagnac until fully incorporated and smooth. Remove the vanilla bean. Place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the custard and cool.
    • For the praline soufflé:
    • Preheat oven to 350′F. Brush the inside of 6 large ramequins with soft butter and coat with sugar. Tap out the excess and chill the ramequins.
    • Place 1 cup of pastry cream in a large bowl and whisk in the egg yolks. Whisk in the praline until smooth. Set aside.
    • Place 12 egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk on medium until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and keep beating until the whites form soft peaks. Slowly add the sugar until the whites form stiff peaks.
    • Fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the praline custard and then gently fold in the remaining whites.
    • Fill the ramequins almost full with the mixture. Remove the excess sugar from the rim of the ramequins and place them on a baking tray. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until puffed and golden. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately.
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  • Grubarazzi

    Oh good god in heaven. This is gorgeous.

  • http://cestpasmoijeljure.wordpress.com Dr. CaSo

    Sorry, but this looks way too complicated for me to make… except if you could come here and show me how to make them :D How’bout next Friday? ;)

  • http://mjskitchen.com Mjskit

    What an awesome souffle!!!!  Your pictures are breathtaking and the recipes makes my mouth water.  Fantastic recipe!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peter-Minaki/560410552 Peter Minaki

    Perfect souffle…no more nightmares from cooking school and washing kitchens with toothbrushes!

  • http://www.vodkitchen.com Jon @ vodkitchen

    Looks fantastic – I love making souffles and this will definitely go on my list!

  • Stacey Snacks

    I love the mirror image….2 souffles are better than one!

  • http://pencilkitchen.blogspot.com/ PencilKitchen

    aww praline! souffle!

  • Chris Chang

    I know you have no idea who I am, but you really are an inspiration especially for an inexperienced home cook like me! I go to your blog for awesome ideas and I always learn something new! Everything you make, makes me drool…and this is no exception! Awesome job as always!

  • Anonymous

    Um, YUM! I have only attempted a soufflé once or twice…after the ones you have posted here I would rather let you make them for me :)

  • Cristina in Uruguay

    OMG!!!You got me at “nutty & buttery”!!!

  • Anonymous

    The souffle looks amazing! For the chocoholic in me, I would replace the praline creme anglaise with a decadent praline chocolate sauce. Yes….

    Side note: David Lebovitz posted this recipe’s link last night on his Facebook page (so that was a preview for me ;) ). 

  • http://www.ouichefnetwork.com Oui, Chef

    Another gorgeous creation, my friend.  I’m with Stacey, the reflection in the photo looks good enough to eat!  I too remember getting barked at by chef while hand whipping egg whites, sweating like a pig all the while.  Ahhh…the good old days!

  • Anonymous

    Words to live by!

  • Anonymous

    I know who you are.. you’re Chris Chang! :)
    Thanks for the nice words, and welcome!

  • Anonymous

    Ah the good old days! Thank you, Steve. 

  • Anonymous

    You solved the mystery! I’ve got a zillion visits from a Facebook account today. Now I know why. 

  • Anonymous

    That was easy! :)

  • Anonymous

    Oh, I’m sure you can handle Rachael!

  • zenchef

    haha.. good try! :)  

  • zenchef

    Thank you!

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    Really lovely!  Love the reflection in the picture too!:) 

  • Cucina49

    Wow, that is an astonishing souffle–gorgeous and really light-looking.  Plus I adore pralines, so this whole thing just says “buzzed” to me.

  • alice

    to my dearest zenny, i apologize for not having time to check blogs anymore. but i wanted to say YOUR PHOTOS ARE KILLING ME!!! i love them!!!!! now, let’s talk about this trip to france together.  my sister in law just went and every time she talked about one of her meals, i just about died.   ;)

  • Anonymous

    My photos are nothing compare to yours! But thanks anyway. :)
    It would be so much fun to meet you guys in France. We need to make it happen!!

  • http://pickyin.blogspot.com Chang Pick Yin

    I made your chocolate soufflé before and was over the moon with it. Totally agree with the barking chef, beating whites by hand made me learn what the right texture is, and I almost always overbeat when using the machine.

    This reminds me of the chocolate peanut butter soufflé with praline ice cream I recently had. Also, I dig your new dark background photos.

  • http://www.kitchenriffs.com kitchenriffs

    Good recipe and a great job writing it up – excellent post.  Love the black acrylic – isn’t that fun to play with?  Really good job capturing the steam on the second photo.  Fun post – thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=767180363 Ana Anastassia

    i’m scared of souffles… and i’m not sure i can find praline paste in australia, but i think the homemade way to do the paste is doable… i’m going to try this!!!!!!! i’m really scared of souffles….. but i’m going to try!!!!
    Thank you for sharing this =)Your writing makes it very easy to understand and dear God, the photos!!!! How temptinggggg

  • http://www.dinnersanddreams.net Nisrine

    This is one gorgeous souffle. Simply perfect.

  • http://twitter.com/Kaypachatravels Mica Ivealis

    Just woke up and had breakfast, but if I had an oven in my apartment here in Chiang Mai I would be all over this now. Making sure my next place has an oven so I can try your mouth watering delights. Beautiful photos. I’m sharing!!