I love dessert and almost always need to finish a meal with something sweet. This lovely recipe is inspired by Indian flavours and the country’s love of floral notes. It is a soufflé but don’t be afraid, it has never failed me and always rises to the occasion with the pomp and gravitas of a presiding maharaja. It might seem like a long recipe of many stages, but it comes together quite easily. I like to eat the dish by making a dent in the middle of the soufflé and pouring in the cream, so every bite is an ethereal mix of cloud-like pomegranate, sweet-sour raspberries, fragrant rose and rich cream. My ramekins hold 150ml; try to stick to that volume, or the cooking times will be affected.
Makes 4, can be doubled
For the rose and raspberry cream
Start with the soufflé. Whisk 25ml of the pomegranate juice into the cornflour. Bring the remaining juice to a boil and reduce to 125ml; it takes around four minutes and you will need to pour it back into the measuring jug to check (don’t worry if it slightly over-reduces).
Add the 30g of sugar over the heat and, once it has dissolved, whisk in the cornflour slurry (it will thicken almost immediately). Return to a boil, whisking all the while, then boil for 1–11/2 minutes. Scrape into a container you can blend in (I use the same measuring jug and my stick blender). Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, butter the ramekins well and dust with sugar, turnin the ramekins so they are all well coated and tapping out the excess.
Take 50g of the berries, mash well and push through a nylon sieve. Stir into the cream with the sugar and rose water. Fold in the whole raspberries, taste and adjust the sugar and rose water to taste.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Whisk the egg whites until they reach soft peaks, sprinkle in the extra 11/2 tbsp sugar and
continue whisking until the meringue is glossy and firm.
Blend the pomegranate mixture until smooth once more. Place in a large bowl and whisk in around one-quarter of the egg white mix. Then, using a large spoon, carefully fold in the rest, trying to keep the lightness as you incorporate all the little lumps. Do not over-mix. Spoon equally into the ramekins and flatten the tops with a palette knife or other knife. Run the tip of your thumb around the inner rim of the ramekins and place on the middle shelf of the oven.
Bake for eight to nine minutes, or until well risen and slightly golden on top. Serve immediately with the rose and raspberry cream.