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November 29, 2007

Dark Chocolate Souffle

So usually I make the monthly Chocolate Therapy challenge the first day or two, but this month I was missing part of what I needed. I didn't have any Souffle ramekins!!! One of the reasons we picked this is it was a great excuse to GET ramekins, but of course it was a busy month and I didn't make it to the store until this week! So today I finally made the Souffle and tomorrow I'm planning on making the Brulee.
Everyone knows that souffle's are "fancy", and pose a bit of a difficulty. Reading more about it the reason souffle's rise is that the bubbles in the whipped egg whites expand when heated. So as the souffle's cool they drop. But that said I don't remember ever eating a souffle, so I wasn't sure what to expect.

Dark Chocolate Souffle
makes 2 6 oz souffle

1 ounce heavy cream
4 oz. 70% cacao dark chocolate
1/2 tablespoon butter
2 large eggs separated
A dash of cream of tartar
1/6 cup sugar

Prepare two 6 ounce souffle ramekins by applying a layer of cold butter to the interior of the ramekins. Pour some granulated sugar into the ramekin and shake and roll the ramekin to coat the bottom and sides with sugar. Coat all the way up the side to facilitate the rise. The sugar sweetens the side, and makes it crunchy.
Melt the butter, cream, and chocolate in the double boiler, then turn off the heat. Whisk the two egg yolks into the chocolate. It will seize, just stir until smooth.
In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until the egg whites reach soft peaks. Add the sugar to the egg whites and continue to beat until you reach stiff peaks. Adding the whites a little at a time, fold them into the chocolate mixture
Pour the batter into the two prepared ramekins. Fill them at least 3/4 of the way up (mine went to the top). They can be prepared to this point beforehand and refrigerated for up to three days, leave out for 2 hours before cooking. Place the ramekins on a baking pan and place the pan in the oven on a rack set in the middle position. Bake the souffle's for 15 minutes at 375°F.

It was actually very easy and quick to make. I doubled the batch and it made 4 instead of 2 just fine. They were very large servings, and as it cooled and shrank it got more dense. I used quality chocolate with a great flavor and was pleased with the flavor and texture. I think I might have overcooked it by a min or two. I had some surprise visitors show up and was a bit distracted and couldn't find my oven mitt. So next time I'll cook them 13 mins. and see what I think.
My friend at Duff's ABC's wasn't impressed with the first recipe we choose. She didn't care for the flavor, not strong/rich enough. So I decided to try this one instead. It's a little simpler, and uses a darker chocolate, so I thought it might work out better. While it wasn't the Chocolate Nemesis it was pretty good. Where the Nemesis was so dense and moist (even creamy/smooth) that it just needed a bit of whipping cream to balance it, the Souffle was moist, but airy, a bit gritty/dry(if that makes any sense, like extra moist dense cake, I'm not very good at describing food, I'd make a terrible food critic, I just KNOW what I like, but can't describe it well) it needed some creamy vanilla Ice cream to balance it best.