The word souffle intimidates me. It reminds me of a smoking oven with a beeping fire detector or an uppity french restaurant with no crumbs on perfect white linens. Sigh, but I really love souffles, especially chocolate…what’s a girl to do? For Valentine’s weekend I decided to tackle the chocolate souffle – the Effortless and Exquisite way! I decided to experiment a little and maybe cut a few corners, but the final result was relatively simple and delicious and not all that pricey. It took about 10 minutes to prepare the ingredients and another 10 or so for baking. The cost for 6 servings is roughly $5 so a perfectly affordable treat to impress guests or that special someone.
|Chocolate Souffle with Melted Chocolate Center|
|Chocolate Souffle Ingredients|
|Grease Ramekins very well|
Melt chocolate using a modified double boiler or a real double boiler. I used a small pot filled with an inch or so of water with a bowl on top. Heat the water to medium hot and place the bowl on the pot.
|Homemade Double Boiler|
Pour the chocolate into the bowl and allow to slowly melt.
|Melt Chocolate Gradually|
|Stir, stir, stir|
|Egg whites ready to beat|
Begin beating egg whites. An electric mixer is easiest to use. Gradually add sugar a bit at a time as they are beating.
|Add sugar a bit at a time|
Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. This will seem like an eternity.
|Egg whites with soft peaks|
After chocolate melts, whisk in the butter, cocoa, and a pinch of salt.
|Ingredients ready to whisk|
Whisk ingredients into chocolate until the mixture is completely smooth with no lumps.
Gently fold beaten egg whites into chocolate 1/3 at a time and blend well.
|Fold egg whites into chocolate|
Once batter is complete, refrigerate for about 15 to 20 minutes to firmly set. I think this makes it easier to handle but you don’t have to do this. Conversely, you can make up the recipe a few days ahead, leave in the refrigerator, and bake just before eating.
|Cover bowl before refrigerating|
Remove the bowl from the refrigerator when ready to bake. The batter will be just set on the top.
|Batter ready to bake|
Spoon into ramekins so they are about half full. Do not overfill past 2/3 of dish or you will have a mess. Using the remainder of the chocolate chips bag, take a pinch from bag and press into the center of each ramekin.
|Chocolate chips into dish|
Press gently into batter – but not all the way through to the bottom.
|Ramekin ready for the oven|
The ramekins will be incredibly hot. Allow to sit on the counter to cool for about 5 minutes. Invert a plate on top of the ramekin and flip. The pre-greased dish should release the souffle very easily. Be very careful as you can burn your skin.
|Flip the ramekin onto plate|
You may dust the top of the souffle with powdered sugar. Also berries, ice cream, creme fraiche, or chocolate sauce would make a delicious garnish.
|Powdered sugar garnish|
Serve warm so the melted chocolate center oozes out. So Good!!