Bittersweet Chocolate Souffles for Valentine's Day
From our archives:
I miss Paris lately and I want to go there very badly. I miss the way that the light comes into Sainte-Chapelle through her soaring stained glass windows on rainy afternoons. I miss watching tennis in the Jardin du Luexembourg and strolling past the statues of the French queens. I miss perpetual strikes, Metro performers, chic women, and elegant men. I miss having coffee, fresh orange juice and a croissant while standing at a bar and reading the paper every morning. February is a bleak month; one grows tired of winter, but spending the last weeks before spring in Paris would make the time pass so much more quickly.
I'm not going to Paris any time in the very near future because I have a new travel companion who isn't quite up to the amount of walking that Paris requires--yet. So until she's ready to put on her mary janes and walk through museums and Metro stations on her own two feet, Paris will just have to wait.
Unsurprisingly I've been cooking a lot of French food lately: if I can't be in Paris right now, I might as well eat like I am. I made these chocolate souffles the other night and thought that they'd be a good thing to post for Valentine's day. They're fairly simple and extremely rich, so make them in small ramekins.
- 6 large egg whites
- 5 large egg yolks
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used Callebaut)
- 1/4 cup sugar plus extra for dusting the ramekins
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons coca powder
- 2 tablespoons cold espresso (optional)
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter eight ramekins and dust lightly with sugar.
- Combine 1/4 cup sugar, cocoa power, and flour.
- In a medium sauce pan, boil the milk and optional espresso. Once the milk is boiling gradually whisk it into the sugar mixture. Place the milk and sugar mixture back on the stove, cook over medium heat stirring constantly until it thickens into a thick paste.
- Take mixture off the heat and stir in the chocolate and butter until the chocolate is completely melted and incorporated.
- Whisk in the egg yolks.
- Beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the salt. Continue to beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
- Slowly fold one third of the egg whites into the souffle base until thoroughly combined. Then carefully fold the other two thirds in--don't worry if there are a few streaks.
- Divide the batter among the ramekins, bake for about 20 minutes or until the edges puff up above the rim of ramekins--the center may still be a bit wobbly. Dust with powdered sugar.
- Serve immediately with a dollop of whipped cream or some vanilla gelato---souffles fall after they're out of the oven for a few minutes.
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- Regina Leoni