New Year, more eats!
Soufflé is a baked egg-based dish which originated in early 18th century France, the term being derived from souffler meaning ‘to blow’, ‘to inflate’, or ‘to puff’. There are both savoury and sweet variations, one of the most popular of which is the classic chocolate soufflé.
Adapted from Serious Eats.
Serves: 2 | Ready time: 1 hour
- 1½ tablespoons of softened butter, for greasing
- 1½ tablespoons granulated sugar, for coating ramekins
- 1¼ tablespoons (0.6 ounces) heavy cream
- 1¼ tablespoons (0.6 ounces) milk
- 1¾ tablespoons (0.88 ounces) dark 71% cacao chocolate, chopped
- 1¾ tablespoons (0.88 ounces) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1¾ tablespoons (0.88 ounces) cocoa powder
- 3½ tablespoons (1.75 ounces) water
- 1 cup (4.45 ounces) egg whites, from approximately 4 eggs
- 3½ tablespoons (1.75 ounces) granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Confectioners’ sugar for garnish
1) Preheat the oven to 390°F with the convection fan turned off. Liberally butter two ramekins, making sure to butter right to the edge. Sugar the buttered insides evenly, tapping out the excess and set the ramekins aside.
2) Place the chopped chocolates in a large bowl. Combine the milk and cream and bring to a boil. Immediately remove the liquid and pour over the chopped chocolate. Allow it to stand for a few minutes, then stir with a rubber spatula until smooth.
3) Set a pot with a few inches of water on the stove over medium heat. Place the bowl of melted chocolate over it. Add the water and cocoa powder and stir frequently, until the mixture becomes thick, glossy, and smooth, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the bowl from the pot, but place it back on top of the hot water if necessary. The goal is to hold the mixture so it is warm, not hot.
4) In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites on high using a whisk attachment until they begin to get foamy. Slow the mixer speed and add the sugar and salt gradually, then return to high speed and whisk the egg white mixture to firm, glossy, smooth peaks.
5) Sacrifice about ¼ of the meringue by mixing it thoroughly with the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining meringue, taking care not to deflate. As soon as there are no more white streaks, pipe the mixture into the prepared ramekins just to the top, then smooth the tops with an offset spatula. Place the ramekins on a sheet tray and bake in the centre of the oven for 12 minutes for a soufflé that is wet on the inside, 13-14 minutes for one that is more dry.
6) Sprinkle confectioners’ sugar on top as garnish. Serve immediately.
👨🍳 Notes from Mr. Chuckles
Mr. Chuckles has attempted this in the past with mixed results, but this time it turned out perfectly! Our soufflés were a delightful combination of rich dark chocolate and light, airy cake.
The key is to get the ingredient proportions just right. The base (in this case, the chocolate and cocoa) provides the flavour while the beaten egg whites produce the ‘lift’. The original recipe lists the ingredients in ounces which we converted into tablespoons, but it may be more effective to invest in a baking scale for this.
High quality chocolate makes this even better. Our favourite chocolatier in Toronto is SOMA, where we found this award-winning microbatch collection of Porcelana dark chocolate. For the unsweetened chocolate, we ended up using semi-sweet chocolate chips that we had leftover in our kitchen cupboard.
An alternative to the confectioners’ sugar is to serve with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Mmmm.
If you’d like to prepare the soufflés in advance, wrap each ramekin in plastic and set in the fridge for up to one day. Bake for 15 minutes and enjoy!