au Chocolat (Chocolate Souffle)
Tips: While they are a bit temperamental, souffles really
aren't terribly difficult to make, despite the mystique that surrounds
them. To help ensure success, make sure there's nary a speck of
egg yolk in your egg whites; beat the whites in a large, absolutely
grease-free, non-plastic bowl. The whites and sugar must be beaten
only to a soft peak--don't overbeat them. And make sure the chocolate-yolk
mixture is cooled to room temperature before folding in the egg
whites, as it will deflate them if it's warm. This must be served
immediately after it's baked.
My favorite way
to serve this is accompanied by lightly sweetened whipped cream,
although you could use creme anglaise instead. If you don't care
for espresso, omit the instant espresso powder and water; substitute
2 Tbsp.of light rum or another not-too-strong liqueur that goes
well with chocolate (hazelnut, for example). Because this is made
with bittersweet chocolate, it would probably be more appreciated
by adults than children.
Place the egg yolks
in a large bowl; set aside. Place the 7 egg whites in a separate,
grease-free, non-plastic large bowl. Lightly cover the bowl of egg
whites; set aside at room temperature (do not chill--the whites will
not achieve maximum volume if they are cold when beaten).
- 4 eggs, graded
"large", separated, plus 3 egg whites, from eggs graded "large"
- 2 tsp. instant
- 2 Tbsp. warm water
- 5 ozs. good-quality
bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted
butter, cut into pats
- Pinch salt
- 1/4 c. pulp-free
orange juice, preferably freshly squeezed, warmed slightly
- 1/4 tsp. cream
- 3/4 c. granulated
In small cup, dissolve
espresso powder in warm water; set aside. In small heatproof bowl,
combine chopped chocolate, butter, and salt. Place over simmering
water on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl). Stir
frequently until almost melted. Remove from heat and hot water;
stir until melted and smooth. Stir in dissolved espresso. Cool until
Whisk egg yolks
lightly to mix. Whisk in warm chocolate mixture, then gradually
whisk in warm orange juice. Set aside to cool to room temperature,
whisking occasionally. Mixture will thicken as it cools--OK.
Adjust rack to center
of oven. Butter a 1-1/2 quart souffle dish (mine is white porcelain),
then sugar the dish by placing a couple of tablespoons of granulated
sugar into it (in addition to the amount called for in the recipe)
and tilting the dish until all buttered surfaces are sugared. Pour
out any excess sugar. Set prepared dish aside. Have ready the cream
of tartar and the 3/4 cup sugar.
When the chocolate-yolk
mixture is cooled to room temperature and the whites are at room
temperature, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Whisk the chocolate-yolk
mixture well to loosen it.
Add cream of tartar
to egg whites. With whisk beater of electric mixer or powerful hand-held
electric mixer, begin to beat whites at high speed. When whites
are very foamy and increased in volume, begin to add sugar, about
a tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until all sugar is added
and meringue stands in soft peaks (when beater is pulled away and
up from meringue, peaks form but curl over on themselves). Do not
overbeat!! Remove meringue from mixer, if used.
Add a large spoonful
of meringue to chocolate-yolk mixture; whisk in thoroughly to lighten.
Now, working quickly, add remaining meringue to chocolate-yolk mixture
in three additions. Use a large spatula to fold in each addition
and scrape bowl bottom and sides. Don't fold in the first two additions
too thoroughly; fold in the last just until no white streaks show.
Quickly turn into prepared souffle dish; mixture will be about an
inch below the top of the dish. Spread level and place in preheated
oven. Close oven door. IMMEDIATELY REDUCE OVEN TEMPERATURE TO 350
Bake souffle 40-42
minutes. When souffle is done, it will have risen a bit above the
edges of the dish, and the center will scarcely quiver (if at all)
when dish is lightly tapped. When baked for lesser amount of time,
the very center of the souffle will remain slightly "saucy".
Remove from oven;
serve IMMEDIATELY (a large spoon is helpful here). Accompany with
lightly sweetened whipped cream, and, if desired, fresh raspberries.
Lightly sweetened whipped cream or creme anglaise Fresh raspberries,
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