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Kennebunk, Maine, is so inviting. Little inns and bars, along with great eating spots, dot the main avenue. On a recent visit there, I stayed at the White Barn Inn: the definition of charming. This historic inn was once a boarding house and has recently been beautifully refurbished. The classic character remains with elegant furnishings; you can still feel the floor slant and squeak a bit, allowing you to imagine how life might have been back another century ago.
The dining room is not to be missed. As a food writer, I am used to elegant restaurants where the atmosphere can sometimes be more enjoyable than the food the chef is preparing. At White Barn Inn, the quaint and slightly rustic interior belie how professional and outstanding the service is, from the wine sommeliers to the waiters. This place truly stands out. If I lived on the East Coast, I would find myself returning back to celebrate any celebration I could dream up.
These raspberry souffles were the finishing touch to our amazing meal. I hope you'll try these souffles for any special occasion, but they would be perfect for Valentine's Day. Executive Chef Derek Bissonnette sent me his recipe, and I have tweaked it for all of us home cooks.
The meringues are whipped, becoming light and glossy, and the fruit base is carefully incorporated into the egg white mixture for the souffles. They are spooned into sugared souffle dishes and baked until golden brown and puffed up a few inches.
I like to serve the hot souffles with a chilled mound of raspberry infused whipped cream. You could also spoon over a custard sauce or dust with confectioners' sugar. Light and puffed up, these soufflés fulfill our desire for a sweet dessert without it being too heavy. A glass of raspberry liqueur to drink alongside would be a lovely accompaniment.
1 tablespoon sugar
For the base:
10 ounce package frozen raspberries
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Cornstarch
2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur
For the souffles:
2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur
6 egg whites
1/3 cup sugar
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
1. Butter and sugar 6 (5-ounce) ovenproof ramekins. Set aside.
2. Defrost the raspberries and puree in a blender or food processor. Pass through a fine sieve over a small saucepan to create a smooth raspberry puree.
3. Add the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons liqueur to the raspberry puree and whisk to blend. Make sure there are no lumps.
4. Bring raspberry puree up to boil on medium-high heat and whisk constantly until base is thickened and starch is cooked out (about 1 to 2 minutes) Cool, and cover with plastic wrap to avoid skin. Base should be made in advance.
5. When ready to make souffles, combine base with remaining 2 tablespoons liqueur in a small bowl and whisk to blend together until no lumps remain.
6. Whip egg whites with 1/3 of sugar on medium speed in an electric mixer. Once foaming up add remaining sugar until meringue is stiff and holding a peak.
7. With a rubber spatula, fold the fruit mixture into the base until it is as homogenous as possible without deflating the egg whites. Spoon into the prepared ramekins and refrigerate up to 4 hours ahead of baking.
8. When ready to bake preheat oven to 350 F. Cut around the edge to leave a clean separation before baking for easy release and bake approximately 10 to 11 minutes or until puffed and nicely browned. Remove from oven and using potholders transfer each ramekin onto a small dish, and dust with confectioners' sugar. Serve immediately.
This article is written by Diane Rossen Worthington from Seriously Simple and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.