A chocolate souffle is a sure thing for ending a romantic Valentine's Day meal on an indulgent note, but once you realize that the dessert with the touchy reputation isn't so difficult, you'll turn to it as a great do-ahead show stopper for any occasion. [ TOM WALLACE • firstname.lastname@example.org _ Assignments #20027301A_ January 31, 2013_ SLUG: 60251 Baking020713_ EXTRA INFORMATION: Step by step illustrations for Baking Central By Kim Ode.
Chocolate SoufflÉ √
Note: Quality chocolate is important; look for bittersweet in the 70 percent cacao range. The recipe is for two 8-ounce servings, but you also can make four smaller servings with 4-ounce baking dishes. Check smaller soufflés after 16 minutes. (Extra soufflés will fall, but still are delicious, chilled, the next day.)
• 1 to 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, for molds
• 1 to 2 tbsp. granulated sugar, for molds
• 2 oz. good quality bittersweet chocolate, melted ( 1/2 c. if using chips or discs)
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla
• Optional add-ins (choose one): 1/4 tsp. cinnamon or 1/2 tsp. espresso powder or 1 tbsp. rum (or other liqueur)
• 2 eggs, room temperature, separated
• Pinch of salt
• 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
• 1/4 c. plus 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or wait until later; see below).
Using your fingers, thoroughly coat two 6- to 8-ounce baking dishes (ramekins, coffee mugs, anything deep and straight-sided) with butter. Pour 1 tablespoon of sugar into one dish, then cover with plastic wrap. Shake gently to generously coat all surfaces. Pour remaining sugar into second dish and repeat, adding more sugar if necessary.
Melt the chocolate in a medium metal bowl set over a small pot of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted. Stir in vanilla and, if desired, an optional flavoring (cinnamon, espresso powder, rum or liqueur). Keep warm.
In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with salt and cream of tartar until the whites hold soft peaks when the beaters are turned off and lifted. Continue to beat on high while gradually adding 1 tablespoon of sugar until the whites hold stiff peaks and look glossy. Don’t overbeat. Set aside.