Foolproof Chocolate Soufflé

Foolproof Chocolate Soufflé

Chocolate Soufflés are heavenly! Rich, indulgent and soft as feather- there is something magical about soufflés.

I believe that everyone should try making a chocolate soufflé at least once in their lives to fall in love with these decadent desserts. Imagine yourself carrying these hot domed cups of pure deliciousness and in that moment, you would feel like a cooking superstar! Soufflé’s recipe is one of those recipes wherein there is a longer list of ‘what not to do’ compared to instructions.

Chocolate Soufflés is very close to my heart as it is the very first dish I made for my husband many many years ago! These days it is a quick comforting indulgent dessert which we enjoy on cold wintry evenings.

The secret behind making a perfect soufflé is being organised and planned. People often worry about their soufflé collapsing! Cooking/ baking is a science and soufflé proves that theory right. It is the science of cooking which makes the soufflés fall so quickly. The delicate structure of the whipped egg foam is not sturdy enough to support its own weight, once the heat of the oven is no longer there to help hence, they collapse once out of the oven.  Soufflés that have started to slump a little are still just as delicious as when they first came out of the oven — plus you won’t burn your tongue!

Many people are scared of soufflé. But really, truly I am here to tell you that it’s absolutely do-able. Not only is it do-able, but it is also something you can easily master on an average old weeknight. Try this recipe and you will soon be calling yourself a Soufflé expert!

Ingredients

For Chocolate Base
145 gm dark chocolate (70% )
55 gm dark chocolate (85%)
Meringue
265 gm of egg white
40 gm of sugar
Soufflé Moulds
butter for greasing
caster sugar for dusting

Directions

Step-1

Brush the soufflé moulds/ramekins with softened butter then dust with caster sugar. Tap out any excess sugar that collects in the bases of the moulds/ramekins.

Preheat the oven to 170°C/150 fan/gas mark 3.

Step-2

Melt the chocolate over a bain marie until it is melted. (If you have a thermometer keep the chocolate temperature at 40C). Set the bowl over a small saucepan of barely simmering water — make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the surface of the water. Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally, until completely smooth.

Cool the chocolate slightly. Let the chocolate cool until still very loose, but just slightly warm to the touch.

 

Step-3

Whisk the egg whites with the sugar until stiff peaks form. The meringue is perfect when you just lose the shine from the egg whites.

Step-4

Using a spatula, carefully fold the egg whites into the melted chocolate until fully incorporated, trying not to knock out the air as you do so. The trick to do it is that you do it in small batches of egg white.

Using your spatula, cut through the centre of the mixture, scoop the spatula underneath, then gently lift and flip the mixture over onto itself; this is called folding the egg whites into the base (it helps prevent deflating them too much). Continue until you see no more visible egg whites in the base.

Step-5

Spoon the mixture into the ramekins, tap the ramekin gently on the worktop then use a knife to scrape off the tops to create a level surface. Run a thumb nail around the inside rim of the ramekins (this helps the soufflés rise evenly without catching on the sides).

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

Serve immediately with a dusting of icing sugar. You can serve ice cream with it.

Tips & Variations

  1. Measure and weigh all the ingredients before you start cooking. Lay them all out in the order you will be using them, so you can move seamlessly from ingredient to ingredient.
  2. I prefer to use the two types of chocolate however you can just use one.
  3. Prepare and grease the soufflé dishes/ramekins before you start making the soufflé mixture.
  4. Make sure all the equipment you are using is scrupulously clean and grease-free (except for the soufflé dishes, which will need to be greased). Greasy spoons, bowls, or whisks stop egg whites from rising sufficiently. This can make the soufflé collapse.
  5. Ensure all your ingredients, especially the eggs, are at room temperature. Do not use cold eggs.
  6. Preheat the oven so once the soufflé is ready to be baked, it can go directly into the oven.
  7. Mix the whites into the base in stages: Mix the whites into the base in three separate batches. This helps lighten the base incrementally; if you added the whites all at once, not only would it be harder to stir them in evenly, but you’d also end up deflating them too much.
  8. You don’t have to level off the top of the soufflé with a knife, but you know that magical flat tops is achieved with the swipe of a flat knife on the top of your soufflé.
  9. Do not open the oven door: Tempting as it is to peek, it’s best to gaze upon your dessert through the window rather than open the door. Changes in temperature will mean less poof in your soufflés.
  10. The serving dishes should be assembled and ready before the soufflé goes in the oven. Don’t start to cook unless you know you can serve it directly to the table. Within a matter of minutes from removing it from the oven, a soufflé will slowly start to sink. If you want to show-off, then get the soufflé to the table as quickly as possible.

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