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Monte Cristo Souffle

6 eggs
3 oz caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
3/4 oz powdered gelatine
3 tbsp water
3/4 pint double cream
4 large Cadbury's Flakes
Small pkt ratafia biscuits
3-4 tbsp Kirsch or Maraschino (we use about 3 tbsp from a jar of Maraschino cherries)

Use a large dish and put an upturned glass in the middle; when the souffle is set remove the glass and fill the space with the ratafia biscuits soaked in Maraschino

Separate the eggs. Beat the yolks, sugar and vanilla essence in a large bowl over a pan of hot water until thick and creamy and the whisk leaves a thick trail.

Dissolve the gelatine in a small bowl with the water, over another pan of hot water.

Whip the cream until thick but not too firm (not to hold in peaks).

Lightly crush 3 of the flake bars.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff.

Remove the yolk bowl from the pan and re-whisk the egg mixture for a few minutes. Then fold in the gelatine, followed by the cream, then the egg whites.

Spoon a layer of one quarter of the mixture around the outside of the upturned glass, then sprinkle with about 1/3 of the crushed flakes. Repeat these layers twice, then finish with a final layer of mixture.

Allow to set in the 'fridge. Before serving, soak the ratafia biscuits in the Maraschino. Pull out the upturned glass and fill the hollow with the soaked biscuits and any remaining liquid. Crumble the last flake over the dessert then serve.

Other recipes are available. This is our traditional Christmas Day dessert - rather 'lighter' than Christmas Pudding.

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