Want to “wow” your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day? How about serving a bittersweet chocolate souffle for dessert?
I know what some of you are thinking — souffles are temperamental and difficult to make. I’m here to tell you that’s not true, and to prove my point, I’m sharing a detailed recipe for a showstopper classic chocolate souffle.
I use a souffle dish but any straight-sided baking dish that’s deeper than it is wide works. As far as size, when you pour batter into the dish, it should come most of the way up but with room to rise.
Now don’t forget about those folks who may be living alone or not able to get out. Send a card or give them a call – a thoughtful way to share the love.
Classic chocolate souffle
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus extra for buttering 1-1/2 to 2 quart souffle dish
1/3 cup sugar plus extra for coating dish
8 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons vanilla
8 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Generously butter souffle dish with extra butter.
Coat bottom and sides with extra sugar, then turn upside down and tap out excess. It’s important that sugar covers all the butter on the sides for a good rise.
Melt chocolate and 4 tablespoons butter in bowl over a pot of simmering water or on low in a nonstick pan.
When there are a few unmelted pieces, remove from heat and stir. This smooths chocolate out. Let cool a bit.
Meanwhile beat yolks with 1/3 cup sugar, salt and vanilla on medium speed until thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes or so.
Whisk in yolk mixture into chocolate mixture.
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until mixture is fluffy and forms glossy, stiff peaks when beater is lifted out.
Gently whisk in 1/4 of egg whites into chocolate mixture. This lightens it up, then carefully fold in rest of whites in 2 additions. A few white streaks are OK.
Spoon batter into prepared dish. Rub thumb around inside edge to create a bit of space between dish and souffle mixture. Optional but helps souffle rise.
Put souffle on baking sheet and put in oven. Don’t open oven for first 20 minutes to allow for rising. Then you can take a quick peek. Insert a knife gently into center to check.
It’s done baking when it rises above rim and browned a bit on top. Souffle will feel fairly firm and a bit giggly in center. This takes about 25-30 minutes. Mine was done in 25 minutes. Lesser time gives a runnier, soft set souffle; more time a firmer one.
Serve right away sprinkled with powdered sugar, because souffles fall after a few minutes out of the oven, due to hot air bubbles contracting when they hit cooler air.
Easy vanilla sauce
All you do is allow high quality vanilla ice cream to melt. The easiest way is in the refrigerator or on the counter. Now if you’re in a hurry, you can melt it over very low heat on the stove. As soon as it is almost melted, remove from the heat and give it a stir.