Grand Marnier Souffls with Orange Crme Anglaise

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Makes 4 one-cup soufflés or 8 one-half cup soufflés


 Butter and sugar for coating ramekins
 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
 ½ cup whole milk
 4 large egg yolks
 ¼ teaspoon vanilla
 1 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
 ¼ teaspoon salt
 1 tablespoons Grand Marnier
 4 egg whites
 ½ cup sugar
   Crème Anglaise:
 2 cups half and half
 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
 2 large eggs
 ½ cup sugar
 1 tablespoon orange zest
 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier


Souffles:  Preheat oven to 400°F.  Generously butter 4 one-cup or 8 half-cup ramekins and coat with sugar, knocking out the excess.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and whisk in the flour.  Cook the roux, whisking, for 3 minutes.  Gradually add milk and cook, whisking, until mixture is thick and pulls away from the sides of the pan.  Transfer to a medium bowl and cool for 5 minutes.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the yolks, vanilla, orange zest, salt, and Grand Marnier.  Whisk this mixture into the milk mixture and set aside. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the whites until they hold soft peaks.  Gradually beat in the sugar and continue beating until it holds stiff peaks.  Do not overbeat.  Whisk about ¼ of the meringue into the yolk mixture and then fold the rest of whites in with a rubber spatula.

Spoon batter into ramekins filling them just to the rim. Place the ramekins in a large baking dish and add enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Bake in the middle of the oven until puffed and golden, about 20 minutes.

Crème Anglaise:  In a medium saucepan combine the half-and-half with the vanilla bean; bring just to a boil and remove from the heat.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and the sugar until well combined.  Add about one half of the scalded half-and-half in a slow stream, whisking.  Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens (about 165°F on a instant thermometer).  Strain into a fine sieve into a metal bowl set over a larger bowl of ice water.  Let it cool, stirring, and stir in the orange zest and Grand Marnier.  Chill the sauce, covered, for at least 2 hours or until very cold.  Do ahead:  the sauce may be made 2 days in advance and kept covered and chilled.

Assembly:  Transfer soufflés to dessert plates.  With 2 forks, pull open the center of each soufflé and pour some crème anglaise into the opening.  Serve immediately.