Almost a year ago my friend invited me to Le Récamier (4 Rue Récamier, 75007 Paris) for her birthday. A lovely place with only a dozen of tables outside in warm season (so, do not forget to book one in advance). The specialty of this place is soufflé. Classic French soufflés include those with salmon, cheese (of course), raspberry and chocolate. I tried salmon soufflé and fell in love with it straight away: so fluffy, with light flavours, and simply delicious! I thought I could eat at least three or four portions in one go! Since then I promised to myself to learn how to do soufflé. —AnastasiasKitchen
Start with the cherries. Take out the pips and blend the cherries into a smooth purée. Then add sugar and mix everything gently with a spoon.
Heat up the purée in a small sauce pan. As soon as it starts boiling, add starch and cook for 30 seconds. Always mix with a spatula or a wooden spoon. After 30 seconds, take it off the heat and keep on mixing until the starch dissolves and the mixture thickens. In case some starch particles do not disappear, you can run the purée through the sieve. Put the mix into the freezer for 10 minutes to cool down.
Now let's make the ramekins ready: cover the inside with a good layer of melted butter and then spread cocao powder on top of it. Both are very important, because they will help the soufflé rise. Once cocao powder touches butter, it will welt; so, put at least two layers of powder so that there are no wet patches. (A piece of advice: put half of a tsp of powder into the ramekin and then start gently spinning it around, so cocoa spreads itself; then add a bit more of cocoa and repeat the movement. This technic is very easy and helpful.) Place ramekins into the fridge for a few minutes. (You can use any small ramekin with the volume, ranging from 250 ml to 400 ml.)
Finally, the egg whites. Mix the egg whites with sugar until super stiff. Your mix will increase in volume at least three times and will be so thick and solid, that if you take some substance with your hand, it will not melt or change its form.
Take out the cherry purée from the freezer and gently mix with the egg whites until smooth. Put the mixture into the ramekins.
Preheat the oven 180C/356F/fan and bake for 8 minutes sharp. (If you use 400 ml ramekin as I did, you might want to keep the soufflé in the oven for an extra 2-3 minutes.) Voilà! Serve warm with a bit of shaved chocolate.