Been wanting to try my hand at making soufflés for a while, and finally had the chance to do it last Friday night when I have a friend over for dinner. I was not a big fan of soufflés but, I just needed to see what the type is about. It is crazy expensive to eat these dessert in the restaurants so I am curious just how difficult it is to make them. Turns out, with the right recipe, it is not difficult at all. There are tonnes of soufflé recipes online, but I thought the one in this book looks reliable enough. So that was the one I went with in the end.
Makes 3 4oz soufflés
18g granulated sugar, plus more for the ramekins
64g dark chocolate couverture, chopped
15g unsweetened chocolate couverture, chopped
2 large egg whites
Pinch of cream of tartar
80g whole milk
1 large egg yolk
Icing sugar (optional)
1) Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 180C fan.
2) Butter 3 4oz ramekins and coat them in granulated sugar, tapping out the excess. Put 3 raspberries into each ramekin and press them down to flatten.
3) Put both chocolates in a heatproof bowl and melt them over a bain-marie, stir until just melted and leave to cool.
4) In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk the milk and cornstarch together until it comes to a boil. Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the melted chocolate a little at a time. Stirring to incorporate before pouring more.
5) Add the egg yolk to the chocolate mixture and stir until completely smooth and emulsified.
6) Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and whisk using a stand mixer until foamy. Then add the granulated sugar and continue whisking until soft peaks.
7) Add a quarter of the egg whites meringue to the chocolate mixture and whisk gently to lighten. Then, add the remaining whites and fold gently until no streaks remain.
8) Divide the mixture equally between the ramekins. Flatten the mixture by running a spatula over the edge of each ramekin, then, run your thumb around the top rim of each dish to pull the batter away from the rim to promote even baking.
9) Fill a roasting pan with hot water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
10) Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the soufflés are risen and set. The top and sides should look dry, but the soufflé should still be wet in the center.
11) Remove from the oven by carefully lifting each ramekin out of the water bath. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve immediately.
Originally I was going to exclude the raspberries but was glad I did not. The tartness of the berries really added an extra dimension to the otherwise mundane chocolate dessert. It was really light and fluffy.
Since I had an extra soufflé, I ended up refrigerating it. Now I know why soufflés are served immediately, as it tends to topple after a while, and after a night in the refrigerator, the texture appears to have become more dense, almost like a chocolate mousse. Which ironically, I ended up enjoying more. Still, this is definitely an impressive dessert when having people over. And it really does not cost a bombshell.