Thursday, February 3, 2011
Individual Chocolate Soufflés
I don't have anything funny or charming to say about these so I'll just be blunt. These chocolate soufflés are amazing. Stop what you're doing and make them. Make them for someone you love on Valentine's Day. Make them for yourself on Valentine's Day. Make them for someone you love or for yourself tonight. They are delicious and seriously easy and a great way to show off your making-delicious-and-seriously-easy-things-that-look-super-elegant prowess. Because, after all, soufflés are pretty classy. There's an accent in their name and everything.
Individual Chocolate Soufflés
Adapted from The Ghirardelli Chocolate Cookbook
The big change I made from the original recipe was in the type of chocolate. The original recipe calls for 2 ounces of bittersweet chocolate (I imagine semisweet would be fine too) but I had baking chocolate, which is totally unsweetened. After looking up conversions in the cookbook, I replaced the 2 ounces of bittersweet chocolate with 1 ounce of baking chocolate plus 1 tablespoon of sugar. If you're using bittersweet or semisweet which I imagine most of you are, double the amount of chocolate and omit the extra sugar.
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of granulated white sugar
1 ounce unsweetened or baking chocolate bar, chopped into small pieces
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons milk
1 large egg yolk
2 large egg whites
Confectioner's sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush two 1 1/2 cup or four 1/2 cup ramekins with melted butter. Sprinkle the bottom and sides with 1 tablespoon of sugar.
2. Combine chocolate and 2 tablespoons of milk in a heat proof bowl. Using a double broiler or a microwave, gently heat the chocolate until just melted. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining 2 teaspoons of milk.* Allow to cool slightly. Whisk in egg yolk.
3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat egg whites at high speed until soft peaks form. Add remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar and continue to beat until stiff. With a rubber spatula, fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until combined, then fold in remaining egg whites being careful not to deflate. Divide among prepared ramekins. (The soufflés may be prepared ahead up to this point and refrigerated for up to 2 hours. Bake straight from refrigerator, adding 3 minutes to the baking time.
4. Bake in large ramekins for 20 minutes; bake in small ramekins for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, dust with confectioner's sugar, and serve immediately.
*This step wasn't in the original recipe but I think it's important. Adding the cool milk to the hot chocolate tempers the chocolate, that is, it brings its temperature down faster to prevent it from burning (even if just melted and off the heat, chocolate can still burn and turn grainy from the residual heat in the bowl). Especially if melting in the microwave (which I did because I'm lazy) tempering is really important. You can also temper it by leaving like 1/4 of the chocolate unmelted, and then adding it when the melted chocolate is off the heat, allowing the residual heat to melt the remaining chocolate and lowering the overall temperature.