Tuesday, November 16, 2010

individual chocolate soufflés


Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose Soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge! Dave and Linda provided two of their own delicious recipes plus a sinfully decadent chocolate soufflé recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe found at the BBC Good Food website.



I've made soufflés before, but it had been awhile, so I was pleased to see them as our challenge this month.  I made both a savoury and a sweet soufflé, but I wasn't pleased with the crab and artichoke creation.  The flavour was only okay, and it didn't have the rise I was hoping for.  So I dusted off another recipe and tried individual chocolate soufflés instead.  Success!

The annoying part was trying to take pictures of them before they started to fall.  I did my best!



Individual Chocolate Soufflés
(recipe adapted from The America's Test Kitchen "Family Baking Cookbook")

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped course
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into four pieces
1 tablespoon espresso (or 1 T strong instant coffee mixed with 1 T water)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 large egg yolks, room temperature
8 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar


1.  Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Grease eight 6-ounce ramekins.  Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar into the ramekins and shake to coat evenly; tap out any excess.  Set the ramekins on a large baking sheet.

2. Melt the chocolate and butter together in the microwave in a large bowl, stirring often, 1 to 3 minutes.  Stir in the espresso, vanilla and salt and let the mixture cool slightly.






3. In a medium bowl, whip the egg yolks and remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar together with an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture triples in volume and is thick and pale yellow, 3 to 8 minutes.  Fold the egg yolk mixture into the chocolate mixture (this is the soufflé base).  Thoroughly clean and dry the beaters.

4. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar together with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute.  Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and whip the whites until soft, billowy mounds, about 1 minute.  Gradually whip in the confectioners' sugar until the whites are glossy and form stiff peaks, 1 to 3 minutes.

5. Fold one-quarter of the egg whites into the soufflé base until almost no white streaks remain.  Fold in the remaining egg whites until just incorporated.  Divide the batter evenly among the prepared ramekins, wiping any filling from the rims with a wet paper towel.

6. Secure a strip of foil that has been sprayed with vegetable oil spray around each ramekin so that it extends about 2 inches about the rim.  Bake the souffs until fragrant, fully risen and the exterior is set but the interior is still a bit loose and creamy, 10 to 14 minutes.  Serve immediately.