A light, aromatic fruit dessert that can easily be served at a dinner-party. Some people are needlessly nervous about making soufflés; they are in fact no more difficult to prepare than most other desserts, as I hope this recipe proves. What matters most is getting the timing right – at worst, your guests will have to wait a few minutes for their dessert. The other thing to remember is that any drop in temperature causes a soufflé to drop, so do not open the oven door once they have begun baking and serve as soon as they are cooked. (Serves 4.)
2 large or 3 small ripe bananas, peeled (about 250 g flesh)
2 tbsp acacia honey
30 g corn starch (Maizena), plus 1 tbsp for dusting
1 tsp vanilla essence
125 ml coconut milk
Juice of 1 lime or lemon
A pinch of salt
Some butter for greasing the ramekins
A pinch of icing sugar or lightly toasted coconut shavings to decorate
Lightly butter four ramekins up to the rim and dust buttered surfaces with corn starch. Pre-heat oven to 210°C.
Mash bananas with a fork and stir in lime- or lemon juice, honey and vanilla essence. Add egg yolks and stir to obtain a smooth cream.
In a small saucepan, combine corn starch with 2 tbsp coconut milk and stir until smooth. Add the remaining coconut milk and cook until thickened, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Remove from heat; after 5 minutes, add banana-egg-yolk mixture and combine well.
In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs whites with a pinch of salt until firm. Carefully fold in coconut-banana mixture. Spoon into ramekins, smooth the tops with a spatula, place on a baking sheet and slide into the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes, depending on the size of the ramekins; the soufflés are ready when they are well-risen and their surface is golden.
When the soufflés are ready, dust, if desired, with a pinch of icing sugar and/or some lightly toasted grated coconut and serve immediately.