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Chilled Apricot and Almond Souffle

ingredients

serves 6
2/3 cup (125 g) 4 oz dried apricots
4 tbsp (60 ml) almond-flavoured liqueur
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup (125 g) 4 oz caster sugar (superfine granulated)
1 1/4 cup (1/2 pint) 300 ml fresh whipping cream
20 ml (4 level tsp) gelatine
4 oz (100 g) ratafias

accompaniments (you may need these)

method

1. Soak the apricots overnight in cold water.

2. Prepare a 1.1 litre (2 pint) souffle dish with a paper collar and stand a slim, well-oiled bottle in the centre.

3. Cook the apricots in their soaking liquid in a covered pan for about 45 minutes until tender.

4. Strain, reserving the liquid; puree the fruit in a blender with 60 ml (4 tbsp) of the juice and 30 ml (2 tbsp) of almond liqueur. Leave until cold.

5. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until thick. Gradually whisk in the apricot puree, keeping the mixture thick. Whip the fresh cream until softly stiff and stir half into the apricot mixture..

6. Soak the gelatine in 60 ml (4 tbsp) of water in a small bowl. Dissolve by standing the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Fold into the souffle mixture.

7. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, fold into the mixture and spoon into the prepared dish. Refrigerate to set. Soak 75 g (3 oz) ratafias in the remaining liqueur and crush the remainder. Remove the paper and bottle from the souffle. Fill the centre with soaked ratafias. Decorate with the remaining fresh cream and crushed ratafias.

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