There are plenty of different butters and purees available made purely from nuts, such as peanut butter, almond paste or hazelnut nougat. They all work great in desserts, so I thought a butter made from pumpkin seeds might work in sweets well, too. Although its taste resembles the hazelnut nougat flavor, at the same time it also has a nice pumpkin seed aroma. The consistency of the pure butter is quite thick and first it looks brown, but if you loosen it up with some water or other liquid its color turns into dirty green and the butter gets creamy again. It can be used in batters or creams to both flavor and color them. This also gave me the idea to try the pumpkin seed butter in a soufflé.
The soufflé batter itself is very simple since it contains only separated eggs, sugar, some orange zest and the pumpkin seed butter. Instead of bread crumbs or flour I used crushed pumpkin seeds to line the molds. As an accompaniment I cooked some very ripe and sweet butternut squash into a syrup like consistency, which I poured over the soufflé at the table. The soufflé was very delicious already on its own, but complemented with the bright orange velvety sauce: I believe anyone who loves butternut will call this dessert among his or her favorites.
Pumpkin Seed Soufflé with Butternut Squash Sauce
- 100 g butternut squash
- 2 tsp soft butter
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 3 eggs
- zest of 1/4 orange
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seed paste (about 50g)
- 2 tbsp sugar
- few drops lemon juice
- pinch salt
For the butternut squash sauce
Finely chop the squash and cook in 100ml water until very soft. Drain the squash and reserve the cooking liquid. Blend the squash into a fine puree and add as much cooking liquid as required to form a pourable syrup-like sauce. If the squash wasn't ripe enough, adjust with some sugar, honey or maple syrup to taste. Keep warm.
For the pumpkin seed soufflé
Grease 4-6 soufflé molds with soft butter. Blend the pumpkin seeds into a powder and sprinkle each mold evenly with it. Shake off any pumpkin seed powder which don't stick to the side of the buttered molds.
Separate the eggs. Add a pinch of salt and a few drops of lemon juice to the egg whites. Slowly beat until very stiff and shiny.
Grate the zest of a 1/4 orange and add to the yolks with 2 tbsp sugar. Beat until foamy. Add the pumpkin seed paste and, if necessary, 1-2 tbsp water (depends on the thickness of the pumpkin seed butter). Mix thoroughly. Carefully incorporate the egg whites, preserving as much air as possible.
Pour the soufflé base into the prepared molds and transfer to an oven-proof dish. Pour boiling water into the dish, so the molds stand halfway up in water. Put the dish into a 200°C / 390 F hot oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Serve immediately. You can serve it in the mold or remove the soufflé from the molds. Pour the hot butternut sauce over the soufflé at the table.