Friday, November 9, 2007

Chocolate Souffle

Attempt #1 at this month's Chocolate Therapy challenge happened on Wednesday night with the stuffed peppers. I didn't make the creme anglaise sauce to go with it and I think it might of made a difference, I will be trying them again with it.

(Note that the photo is a minute or so after taking them out of the oven, they had already started to fall.)

The chocolate flavor was very light, the texture of the souffles was light and airy, (except for the parts that seem to have fallen, I think I needed to cook them longer. My ramekins are bigger and I have 4, so I thought I'd just make the recipe that way, but was getting nervous when the signs of readiness were finally showing at 38 minutes. They probably needed a few MORE minutes of cooking. (And the sauce.)

And I used the Hershey's Dark chocolate bars instead of a bittersweet baking chocolate and maybe thats part of the barely there chocolate flavor. So many variables. They were still good, but not as good as the chocolate cakes with liquid centers I have been making for several years for a good, easy but fancy looking, chocolate dessert.

Dark Chocolate Souffles

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks

5 large egg whites
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Place chocolate and butter in medium bowl. Whisk 1/4 cup sugar, flour, and cocoa powder in small bowl. Bring milk and vanilla to boil in heavy small saucepan. Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into sugar mixture to blend. Return mixture to same saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until thick paste forms, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Scrape mixture into bowl with chocolate and butter; stir until chocolate is melted (mixture may look curdled). Add egg yolks and whisk until mixture looks shiny and creamy. (Soufflé base can be prepared 1 day ahead. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface and refrigerate. Bring soufflé base to room temperature before continuing.)

Butter eight 3/4-cup soufflé dishes or custard cups; dust with sugar. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites until frothy. With mixer running, gradually add 3 tablespoons sugar, then salt; beat just until soft peaks form. Fold 1/3 of whites into soufflé base until well combined. Gently fold in remaining egg whites just to blend (some white streaks may remain). Divide batter among prepared dishes. Place dishes on rimmed baking sheet. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake soufflés until puffed above rim of dish, tops are flat, and edges are set, about 12 minutes. Serve immediately.

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