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NOVEMBER 1998
RECIPES

Laid-Back Fudge

Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce

German Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Baklava

Souffle au Chocolat (Chocolate Souffle)



SweetSpot

 


Souffle 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.

  • 4 eggs, graded "large", separated, plus 3 egg whites, from eggs graded "large"
  • 2 tsp. instant espresso powder
  • 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 of tartar
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
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).

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 just warm.

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 DEGREES F.

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.

For Serving:
Lightly sweetened whipped cream or creme anglaise Fresh raspberries, if desired

6 servings


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