Chocolate Souffle

I taught my students to make a chocolate souffle yesterday.  Look at their results!  Even more stunning than the one I made at home . . .

We’re often put off my dishes that have many steps, and I would have to say that a souffle takes a while to pull together.  But it’s worth the extra steps and time!  Always consider, when simplifying your life, that there will be things worthwhile that are not so simple (like puppies . . .)

Souffles have three components:  a white sauce with added egg yolks, ingredients to flavor, and whipped egg whites.

First, the flavorings:  melt 7 oz of semisweet chocolate and 1/3 cup very strong coffee in the microwave or double boiler.

Stir until the last chunk of chocolate is incorporated, then let cool.

Next, butter a 2 1/2 quart souffle dish.

Make the white sauce, or Bechamel, by adding 1/3 cup of milk to 1/3 cup all purpose flour and stirring until smooth. We’re making this backwards, not starting with a roux (butter and flour), although all the same ingredients will be incorporated.

Once these are smooth, gradually add 1 2/3 cups milk, stirring with each addition.

Then add 3 tablespoons of butter and heat over medium high until bubbles form around edge of pan.

Let simmer gently for 2 minutes.  If heat is too high, brown bits will form on the bottom of the pan, so lower heat just enough to avoid this.

The white sauce will thicken.  Then take off heat.

Let cool until no more steam arises.  You can gently whisk to facilitate this, or let it cool on it’s own and separate 6 eggs.

Add 4 yolks, one at a time, to the white sauce, whisking.  The other two yolks will not be used . . .

Add 1 tablespoon vanilla.

Add in the cooled chocolate mixture, whisking.

 

The mixture will darken . . .

Pour the 6 egg whites into a bowl . . .

 

Beat the egg whites with 1/8 teaspoon salt until foamy.

 

Then gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating until peaks are stiff and shiny.

Then, add a good scoop of whites to the chocolate/white sauce to lighten it up.

Pour the lightened chocolate/white sauce into one side of the beaten whites bowl.

Fold in, slicing through the middle of the bowl of whites all the way to the bottom, then following the bottom of the bowl to one side and all the way up, and flipping the spatula or large spoon with mixture over as it comes to the top.

Once all the clumps of egg whites have been broken up (don’t overstir!) pour into the buttered pan.

You may add a foil collar by tearing off a sheet of foil longer that the diameter of the bowl (to overlap it). Then fold the foil in half lengthwise, and wrap around the bowl. Secure with a pin or small toothpick.

You may also create a top hat — run a finger or spoon about 1 inch in from the side in a complete circle.

Then bake at 375 for 50-60 minutes (start checking after at least 25 minutes).  Depending on your oven, this could take more or less time.  When the dish is pushed, contents should not jiggle, and a long toothpick should come out clean from the center.   Dividing the souffle into smaller ramekins will make this cook faster . . . Whew!  Not simple. But simply gorgeous!

 

 

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