Dessert for grownups

What could be more refined - and indulgent - than a light-as-air soufflè made with french brandy?

Prune and Armagnac soufflés

This light dessert is easy to make - and eat.

¼ cup Armagnac

70g prunes, pitted

45g butter, plus extra

caster sugar

1 tbsp plain flour

1 cup milk

pinch salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

5 eggs, separated

icing sugar

chopped pistachios

Heat Armagnac in a saucepan over low heat. Add prunes, turn off heat, let stand for at

least 2 hours, then pulse together in a food processor to a paste. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease 6 x 1-cup-capacity ramekins with a little butter and dust with caster sugar (shake out excess sugar). Melt 45g butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add milk, stirring. Add salt, sugar and vanilla. Return to heat, stir until batter is thick and smooth, then cool. Stir in 4 egg yolks (discard extra yolk) and prune paste. Whisk egg whites until stiff; fold into mixture. Spoon into dishes. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until risen and golden. Top with icing sugar and nuts, and serve with pistachio crème. Pistachio crème

Pistachio crème

Spoon this velvety crème into the soufflés, or serve dollops of it with poached fruit.

Finely grind ¼ cup pistachios. Simmer 300ml double cream, ¼ cup milk, ¼ cup sugar and ground pistachios in a small heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Take off heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Lightly beat 3 egg yolks in a bowl and whisk into cream mixture. Cook over low-medium heat, stirring gently, for 10-12 minutes or until crème thickens. Strain and chill.

France's oldest brandy is alluring and elegant.

Armagnac

Sommelier Laiana Ryan

Elegance and sophistication (and a log fire) are the usual prerequisites for a tipple of Armagnac. Its history and composition are as alluring as the spirit itself. In fact, the story of France's oldest brandy began in 1411, with the region's first written reference to the distillation process.

Château du Tariquet Bas Armagnac 8 Years (51 per cent alcohol), $115

Made from 100 per cent folle blanche, which has been described as the king varietal of Armagnac. A subtle bouquet of vanilla and cinnamon leads into a palate of dark fruit cake.

1979 Comte de Lamaëstre Bas Armagnac (40 per cent alcohol), $140

This vintage Armagnac has an alluring aroma of south-east Asian spices with sticky caramel. Its roasted-hazelnut palate ends with a smoky finish.

Castarède Napoléon Armagnac 15 Years (40 per cent alcohol), $106

Founded in 1832, Castarède is the oldest of all the Armagnac houses. This blends the varietals ugni blanc, folle blanche and colombard. An earth-driven nose with intoxicating dried plums.the perfect dessert

From: Sunday Life

The story Dessert for grownups first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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