I know it’s a little late in the game for a Valentine’s Day recipe, but I just couldn’t resist posting this one. I must have been good this year, because I was lucky enough to recieve a sweet Valentine’s surprise in the form of this delicious indulgence this February 14th. Did I mention that Chocolate Soufflé is hands-down my absolute favorite dessert in the entire world? It’s enough to convert any non-chocolate fan into a full fledged chocoholic, and once you’ve had a good one, it’s bound to make into your top five dessert list (Tiramisu is totally losing that number 1 spot). For me, that happy moment was about a year ago in a little cafe in Astoria, Queens, called Mundo. Yes, that was good…
But this was better:
If for some strange reason, you still can’t imagine why Chocolate Soufflé is my favorite dessert, let me offer you Exhibit B:
Yes, there’s something about Chocolate Souffle that just seems inherently romantic, and sure, that made it particularly appropriate for the holiday that just passed. But guess what the best part is about telling (or better yet, showing) someone that you love them? It’s totally appropriate and 100% appreciated all year round, not just mid-February. So if you were having trouble thinking about what particular excuse you’d need to whip one of these babies up, search no further – because the truth is, you really don’t need an excuse!
In fact, all you need are some eggs, a nice rich bag of chocolate chip morsels, and a hand-blender (or one hell-of-a strong arm) and you’re pretty much set. Don’t believe me? The five-ingredient long list is below. So spend 10 bucks, take 30 minutes, and show someone just how important they are to you. Trust me, it’s totally worth scrubbing the chocolate off your kitchen floor the next morning.
Mini Chocolate Soufflés with Chocolate Sauce - Makes 4 6-oz Soufflés
For the Soufflé:
- 2 tsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 8 ounces of semisweet chocolate, fine chopped (chips work too)
- 4 large egg whites
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup of a flavored liquour (we used Pomegrate Liquour)
To start, preheat the oven to 400 F. Grease each of the 4 individual ramekins extremely well, and sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon of sugar.
Then, set up your double boiler, or if you don’t have one, a pot filled with about 1 inch of simmering water, topped with a glass or metal bowl. Add the chocolate to the bowl, and slowly melt, whisking consistently and adjusting the heat as needed to prevent scalding. Once the chocolate is smooth and melted, turn off the flame.
Next, in a mixing bowl which the egg whites with 1/4 cup of sugar until they are stiff and glossy. If you’ve ever made a merengue before, the expression is “stiff peaks” – essentially, you want the egg whites to be foamy, and hold their form in little peaks when you pull the beaters out of them. They should look like snow-capped mountains :) Once your egg whites have peaked, set them aside.
Back to the chocolate – add your egg yolks to the melted chocolate one at a time, whisking to combine. Then add your liquour, and whisk in the remaining sugar.
Now, the part that requires a little skill and patience. You want to very gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate. The important part is to do this slowly, and carefully, using a wide spatula to lift the chocolate sauce from the bottom of the bowl, over the egg whites, to maintain as much air as possible. After each fold, rotate the bowl 90 degrees. Under no circumstance should you whisk or stir this mixture – that is, unless you want it to be ruined. A soufflé will only rise if the air bubbles from the stiff egg whites is preserved, so fold gently, and carefully, until you have an evenly brown, airy, jiggly mixture.
After that, you’re pretty much golden! Pour the chocolate mixture into the ramekins, place the ramekins on a baking sheet, and bake them until they are puffed and somewhat firm, beginning to crack on top – about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and serve immediately with chocolate sauce and powdered sugar. And enjoy the thanks you will surely receive.
It really doesn’t get better than that…
For the Chocolate Sauce:
- Leftover semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Half and Half
To be honest, we were big-time winging it here, but I will say this – start by melting about 4 ounces of semi sweet chips. Once they are melted add a tsp of butter and a dash of half and half, whisking to combine, and taste it. Depending on your own preference, continue to add half and half until the sauce has reached your desired consistency – and this can range from Hershey’s-syrup-thin, to extremely thick and luscious. You get to eat it, so you get to decide. Just whatever you do, don’t forget the sauce.