Souffles (for Two)
Tips: A nice dessert for a Valentine’s Day
meal, these are simultaneously very rich, not too sweet, very chocolatey,
and very light. They’re no big deal to make, but souffles
are not patient; for maximum volume, they must be served immediately
after they’re baked. The perfect accompaniment is lightly
sweetened whipped cream, and perhaps a good cup of coffee. Make
sure you use good-quality chocolate here, and remember if it isn’t
smooth in the bar, it won’t be smooth in the end product.
I use Callebaut chips, but you can use any good brand. If you’d
like your souffles less bittersweet, use a lesser amount of unsweetened
I’ve seen a lot of negative opinions of alkalized (Dutch
process) cocoa powder in the past few years. Personally, I think
there are good brands and brands that are less good, the same situation
you’ll find with any other product. I like Dutch process cocoa
powder, so I continue to use it. But for such a small quantity,
I think you can get away with using non-alkalized unsweetened cocoa
powder, although I haven’t tried making the souffles that
You’ll need a whisk, an electric mixer (a handheld is ideal
here), and two ten-ounce ramekins, preferably made of white porcelain,
which will show off the dark chocolate color of the souffle. My
ramekins measure 4-1/4 inches top diameter by just under 2 inches
Yield: 2 servings
- 2 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped or as chips
- Few grains of salt
- 3 Tbsp. boiling water
- 1 to 2 tsp. unsweetened alkalized (Dutch process) cocoa powder
- 1 egg yolk, from an egg graded “large”, at room
- 2 tsp. vanilla (see Note)
- 2 egg whites, from eggs graded “large”, at room
- 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- Lightly sweetened whipped cream
Adjust rack to center of oven; preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter
two ten-ounce heatproof ramekins, then coat the inside of each with
sugar, tapping out any excess. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum
foil. Place the prepared ramekins on the lined sheet, and set all
aside near your work area.
In medium heatproof bowl, combine bittersweet chocolate and salt.
Pour boiling water on top. Allow to stand for a minute or two, then
whisk until smooth. Scrape bowl with rubber spatula. Whisk in cocoa
powder briskly until smooth. Allow to cool until at room temperature
(this shouldn’t take long, even if you use a metal bowl),
then whisk in egg yolk (the yolk will dramatically thicken the chocolate
mixture---OK). Whisk in vanilla.
In small, nonplastic bowl with clean, dry beater(s), beat egg whites
at high speed until frothy and increased in volume. Add sugar in
three additions and beat until just before whites hold a stiff peak.
Add a large spoonful of the beaten whites to the chocolate mixture
and whisk in well to loosen. Add remaining beaten whites in two
additions. Fold in the first addition (not too thoroughly), then
fold in the second just until batter is of an even color. Do not
Divide evenly among prepared ramekins, which will be a bit over
three quarters full. Immediately place into preheated oven. Bake
for 20 to 23 minutes. During baking, souffles will rise over edge
of dish, especially in center. The lesser baking time will yield
a souffle still “saucy” in the center, so your consistency
preferences determine baking time here.
As soon as souffles are done, CAREFULLY remove baking sheet from
oven. Using a broad-bladed metal spatula, immediately transfer each
souffle onto a dessert plate. BE CAREFUL! SOUFFLES ARE HOT! Serve
at once, preferably with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
Note: If you’d like to use a liqueur in
place of the vanilla, feel free to do so. Use a flavor that goes
well with chocolate, such as orange or coffee. Make sure your liqueur
is not so strong that it overwhelms the chocolate flavor!
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