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The secret ingredient in this recipe is the
coconut milk, which isn't a dairy product at all, but the liquid from the
tropical fruit. Buy it in Asian markets or in the specialty section in
grocery stores. The egg-yolk base can be made ahead, and then refrigerated
until needed. Gently reheat it over low heat before continuing. Thirty minutes
before serving, whip the egg whites and fold them into the base. The air beaten
into the egg whites gives this dessert its loft and texture. It will start to
fall when it comes out of the oven, and certainly when it is being served, so
take it to the table in all its glory and spoon it onto serving plates in front
of your guests.
Soft butter and granulated sugar for
the soufflé dish
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg white, at room temperature
¾ cup coconut milk, 6 ounces, stir before measuring
4 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided in 2 portions
1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
cup flaked, sweetened coconut
1 tablespoon dark rum
oven to 375°F (190°C).
Generously butter an 8-cup soufflé dish.
Separate the 3 eggs, dropping the whites into the bowl of a heavy-duty
mixer and the yolks into a small bowl.
Whisk a little
of the coconut milk with 1 tablespoon of the sugar and the flour.
Bring the rest of the coconut milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan.
Whisk it into the sugar-flour paste.
Return to the pan.
to a boil, whisking.
Boil for a minute, to cook the flour.
from the heat.
Whisk in the butter.
Let it cool for a minute,
then whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time.
Stir in the coconut
whites with the whisk attachment on the mixer, starting on medium speed.
When they start to froth, add 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until they
become opaque and increase in volume.
Add another tablespoon of
sugar and beat until they start to become firm, then turn up the mixer
speed, add the remaining tablespoon of sugar, and beat until they are
stiff but still glossy.
The whites will hang in soft, droopy peaks
from the whisk when it is lifted from the bowl.
Fold about a
fourth of the beaten whites into the egg-yolk base, then turn the base
into the mixing bowl and fold in the rest of the whites by hand.
It's better to leave a few clumps of white showing than to over-fold.
mixture into the soufflé dish.
Bake it on the middle shelf of the
oven until the soufflé rises and the top browns, about 25 minutes.
Serve the soufflé at once at the table.