Today: Don't be scared of chocolate soufflé! Yossy has a classic recipe, plus three essential tips for success, to help you tackle the iconic Valentine's Day dessert.
If the word soufflé has you quaking in your boots, you can now rest easy -- with a few pointers, even the most nervous cook can pull off this decadent dessert.
At its very simplest, chocolate soufflé is made from a base of melted chocolate and egg yolks lightened with meringue and baked until tall and impressive. So basically, if you can melt chocolate and whip egg whites, you can make a soufflé.
Here are a few tips for success:
First, make sure all of your ingredients are room temperature, especially the eggs. Room temperature egg whites will whip up tall and strong and will provide structure for the soufflé.
Second, don’t peek in the oven while the soufflés are baking! Opening the oven will cause a draft that could make the soufflés fall, and fallen soufflés are sad.
Lastly, serve the soufflés immediately after they come out of the oven. The most important thing to know about soufflé is that it will wait for no one. When it comes out of the oven, it's time to serve, so be ready to go. For extra richness, use a spoon to make a little pocket in the center of the soufflé and fill it with chocolate sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
1/3 cup sugar, plus more to coat the soufflé dishes
6 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 tablespoon instant coffee or espresso granules
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
6 large egg whites
Powdered sugar, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving
Preheat oven to 375º F.
Generously butter six 8-ounce ramekins and sprinkle them with sugar. Place the dishes on a baking sheet.
Chop the chocolate and melt it in a double boiler set over a pan of simmering water. When the chocolate is melted, whisk in the egg yolks, instant coffee, vanilla, and salt.
While the chocolate is melting, whip the egg whites in a stand mixer until foamy.
With the mixer running, slowly stream in the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Stir 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten. Then gently fold in the rest of the egg whites -- a few streaks are okay.
Neatly divide the mixture between the prepared ramekins. If any soufflé batter gets on the rims of the dishes, wipe it away with your finger.
Bake until the tops are set and beginning to brown, but the centers jiggle slightly, 15 to 20 minutes. Resist the urge to open the oven!
Dust your soufflés with powdered sugar and serve immediately with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Photos by Yossy Arefi