Sunday, November 23, 2014

Phyllo and Sweet Potato Souffle with Cardamom Spiced Meringue

Phyllo and Sweet Potato Souffle with Cardamom Spiced Meringue
Here's the crown jewel of your Thanksgiving table.  Hands down.  It's beautiful and delicious, traditional and twisted!

Of course, you can use your own sweet potato souffle recipe for the filling, but PLEASE make the cardamom spiced meringue for the center.  It's a GAME CHANGER.  In fact, when I make this again on Thanksgiving Day, I'll leave less of an overhang on the phyllo dough, so I can add more of the meringue into the center of the souffle. It's the one thing that people were wanting more of when I served this up as a test dish!

Remember to try and use ingredients that are all at the same (room) temperature.  Using cold cream cheese and eggs with super hot baked yams may give you scrambled eggs in your souffle mix.  It will also not mix well, or get fluffy and smooth.   Be patient with this's WELL worth the wait!

Phyllo and Sweet Potato Souffle with Cardamom Spiced Meringue

For the Shell:
  • non-stick vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 18-20 phyllo dough sheets (one roll), thawed
Phyllo and Sweet Potato Souffle
with Cardamom Spiced Meringue

For the Souffle:
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 3 eggs, beaten, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted, plus 1/2 stick cubed (cold)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups praline pecans, chopped (I LOVE Trader Joe’s brand!)
  • pinch of salt

For the Cardamom Spiced Meringue:
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Wash and wrap the sweet potatoes in foil, place in the oven and bake for about one hour.  Remove from heat, allow them to cool for a few minutes and remove foil.  When the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel the skin off and roughly chop the sweet potatoes.  Allow the chopped sweet potatoes to cool for about 10 minutes, until they’re almost room temperature.  Place the sweet potatoes in a food processor.  Reduce the oven heat to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray an 9”x3” springform cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Separate 2-3 sheets of the phyllo dough at a time and spray them well with cooking spray.  Lay them inside the cake pan, pressing them into the bottom and corners of the cake pan, leaving about 2” of the corners sticking up over the edge.  Be sure to completely cover the inside of the cake pan and use the entire roll of phyllo dough. Set aside.
  3. Add the agave nectar, eggs, cream cheese, milk, butter, and salt to the food processor with the sweet potatoes.  Mix on high speed for about 30 seconds until the mixture is fluffy, smooth and combined.
  4. Pour the mixture evenly into the center of the phyllo dough shell. 
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped praline pecans and flour. Mix until combined and sprinkle the entire mixture over the sweet potato mixture.  Evenly place the cubed butter on top of the pecan mixture. 
  6. Fold the hanging phyllo dough corners back over the top of the cake pan, so they inward toward the center of the soufflé.  Very loosely cover with aluminum foil (I just tented a sheet on top) and bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
  7. While the soufflé is cooking, make the meringue:  In a double boiler, heat the egg whites and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved, whisking constantly  Be careful not to let the egg whites cook.
  8. Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, add the egg white mixture to the bowl and mix on high speed for 8-9 minutes, until fluffy, tripled in volume and with stiff peaks.  Add in the vanilla bean paste, cardamom and pumpkin pie spice and mix for one additional minute until combined.
  9. Remove the soufflé from the oven, remove the foil and pipe or spoon the marshmallow meringue into the center of the soufflé. Return the soufflé to the oven and cook uncovered for an additional 10 minutes to brown the phyllo dough and the meringue.
  10. Remove the oven and allow to cool before serving. Carefully remove ONLY the side panel of the springform pan before serving. 

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