It’s always exciting to come across a new recipe to try at home – especially one that’s been a hit on your safari! Those of you who have travelled to some of our camps in Botswana may have tried Freedom Nxele’s delicious chocolate soufflé while ending off your day in the Delta.
The good news is that his winning recipe is now available for all to try and enjoy – a small taste to take home with you from your African adventures.
Freedom started his career as a chef at the Fern Hill Training College where he achieved a diploma in Professional Cookery.
His talent as a chef has since seen him travel to countries far and wide where he has gained valuable experience.
“I started my work as a senior chef de parte at Fern Hill Hotel which is a five gold star and then was employed at Everglades Hotel as the Sous Chef and later as Head Chef. After finishing my two year contract I went to an exclusive international Deli of Spar group in Zululand, another five star establishment, and worked as their kitchen manager.
“I then moved to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where I worked as a Head Chef, running three five star Italian kitchens of SYAHYA Hotels & Resorts (a Middle Eastern Hotel Group). After completing a year contract I then got offered an Executive position in Dubai at the International French Accor Hotel group.
“I am currently in Botswana as a Premier Chef Trainer with Wilderness Safaris. There is nothing I love more than waking up to the sound of hippo and elephant!”
Freedom moves around our Premier Camps in Botswana where he trains our chefs and delights guests with his incredible creations.
So without further delay…
Freedom’s Chocolate Soufflé
Yield: Makes 2 to 4 servings
Active time: 20 minutes (baking)
Total Time: 45 minutes
- 1/3 cup sugar plus additional for sprinkling
- 5 oz bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
- 3 large egg yolks at room temperature
- 6 large egg whites
- Accompaniment: light sweetened whipped cream
- Special equipment: a 5 ½ to 6-cup glass or ceramic soufflé dish
- Preheat oven to 375 °F. Generously butter soufflé dish and sprinkle with sugar, knocking out excess.
- Melt chocolate in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove bowl from heat and stir in yolks (mixture will stiffen).
- Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until they just hold soft peaks. Add 1/3 sugar, a little at a time, continuing to beat at medium speed, then increase high speed until whites just hold stiff peaks. Stir about 1 egg cup white into chocolate mixture to lighten, then add this mixture to remaining egg whites, folding gently but thoroughly.
- Spoon into the soufflé dish and run the end of your thumb around the inside edge of the soufflé dish (this will help the soufflé rise evenly). Bake in the middle of the oven until puffed and crusted on top but still jiggly in the centre, 24 to 26 minutes. Serve immediately.
Freedom’s tips on how to make a perfect soufflé:
- For a fail-proof meringue, add acid! This is not required by any means, but if you have trouble getting your egg whites or meringue to peak properly, you can always add a little lemon juice or cream of tartar to help strengthen the structure of the mixture.
- Don’t over fold: The tendency with many people is to really whip the egg whites into the base mixture. This is a mistake! You want to gently fold in the whites only until the point where the streaks of white disappear. Until you do this a few times, you’ll probably feel as though you’re under-mixing. Chances are: you’re not.
- Use fresh room temperature eggs: Your eggs will act the way you want them to if they’re at room temperature. Whipping cold eggs is harder work and you won’t get as much lift.
Stay tuned for Part 2: The Perfect Crème Brûlee