Thursday, September 2, 2010

My New Most Favorite Dessert!

Chocolate Souffles!  Yes, I attempted them.  Yes, they fell after sitting 25 minutes out of the oven. And, oh my goodness, they were so decadently delicious! My husband suggested them, in joking I believe, and I decided to go for it. 
Fresh out of the oven - pretty 1.5 inch rise!
The recipe I used made enough batter for 4 ramekins, with a little left over for tasting! 

Chocolate Souffles:
3.5 ounces finely chopped, good quality, unsweetened chocolate (any chocolate will do, bittersweet or semisweet.  I just had some fancy unsweetened on hand.)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus for preparing the molds
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1.5 large egg yolks
1.5 tablespoons warm water
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoons, plus approximately 8 tsp.
4 large egg whites, room temperature

Brush 4 ramekins with soft butter, then coat with sugar. Set an oven rack in lower third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

Put the chocolate, approximately 8 tsp. of sugar (omit this sugar if you are using bittersweet or semisweet chocolate), and butter in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with an inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching, the water. Stir the chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Taste chocolate to make sure sweetness is correct - add more sugar to mixture if necessary, according to your tastes. Set aside.

Combine the egg yolks and warm water in a bowl and beat until frothy. Gradually add 1 tablespoon sugar, and continue beating until ribbons form, about 5 minutes. Very lightly fold the yolks into the chocolate mixture. (Rinse the bowl well, if using again for beating the egg whites.)

Put the egg whites in a large non-reactive bowl. Beat on medium until frothy; then gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and increase speed to high. Beat until the whites hold a stiff but not dry peak.

Working quickly, fold about a third of the egg whites into the chocolate to lighten; then fold in remaining whites until blended. Gently ladle or spoon the souffle mixture into the ramekins, and place on a baking sheet. The shape on the top of your finished souffle will reflect the unbaked shape exactly, so, if you want a straight top, flatten it and, if you want a rounded top, mound it up.
Immediately bake until the souffle rises about 1 1/2 inches from the ramekins, and the tops are touched with brown, about 14 - 16 minutes.
So pretty out of the oven! They smelled like the most perfect brownies.
The top of the souffle had the crunch of a meringue cookie, while the inside was light and airy.  Mix those wonderful textures with a smooth, dark chocolate taste, and we have the most perfect desert ever invented!
Both mine and my husband's souffle ended up like this - all gone!
We have two souffles left.  I stored them in the fridge overnight, and I am really excited to see how they are when fallen and cold.  I'm expecting a pudding, kind of.  =)

Happy Baking!

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