Heaven to bite into! This is one of those desserts you need to plan ahead for and you want to serve warm. It may sound intimidating, but it’s extremely easy to nail if you follow the instructions carefully. After trying recipes from several chefs, I’ve found my winner! And with some raspberry coulis drizzled down the middle? OMG!
Generously brush four 5-oz. ramekins (vertical strokes from the bottom to the rim) with softened unsalted butter. Set that in the fridge for five minutes. Repeat with another coating of butter, then dust with a coating of either granulated sugar or finely grated chocolate (yum) and set them on a sheet pan covered with parchment. Don’t omit this step!! The granules of sugar or chocolate act like ball bearings and help the soufflé lift off in the oven!
Refrigerate until ready to fill and bake.
4 oz (113 g) dark chocolate
Can you use just any chocolate?
70% Dark chocolate is my preferred chocolate for fine chocolate desserts but since chocolate is truly an individual preference, go with what you love!! Callebaut, Lindt, Guittard, Vahlrona, Ghirardelli and Scharffen Berger are all wonderful. You can buy them in bars, chunks, or “callets” (chocolate morsels that resemble chocolate chips but which are formulated for melting rather than baking).
Using a large knife, chop the chocolate into small pieces and set in a bowl on top of a pot with an inch of simmering water (also called a bain marie or double boiler). Don’t let the bowl touch the water or it will heat it too quickly. A gentle melting is what you want here. Once it’s melted, set the bowl on a dishtowel on the counter to wait for the roux.
2 T (28 g) unsalted butter
2 T (15 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup+ 2 tsp. (132 g) cold whole milk
1/4 tsp salt
2 large FRESH egg yolks (36 g)
In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add all-purpose flour and stir for one minute until a light peanut butter color. Reduce to low heat, add COLD milk and whisk it until it thickens.
Using a spatula, add the roux to the melted chocolate and stir together along with the salt.
Once it’s incorporated, add the egg yolks and mix. The mixture should be smooth and shiny.
4 large FRESH egg whites* (120 g) at room temperature
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
2 T (25g) white sugar
*Pro tip: crack your eggs on flat surfaces; it will give you less shell shatter
In the bowl of your mixer, (make sure your mixer and whisk are very clean and absolutely dry), whip the egg whites and cream of tartar. (If beating with a hand mixer, make sure your bowl is either stainless steel, glass or ceramic because plastic bowls easily retain oils).
Once the egg whites are foamy, add the sugar a little at a time. Don’t overbeat! The peaks should hold their shape, resemble a stiff shaving cream and have a shine. If you go too far, they will look curdled. If this happens, sorry, but you’ll have to start over.
Add 1/3rd of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and stir aggressively to mix well. Doing this before you fold in the rest lightens the mixture and preps them for the rest. Gently fold in the rest of the egg whites, stopping when you can’t see any more white.
Remove the ramekins from the fridge. Pour the soufflé mix to the top of each ramekin and use a knife to level the top. Pinch your thumb and index finger together and go along the top edge of each ramekin so the edge of the soufflé doesn’t touch the ramekin at the top. This will allow it to more easily rise.
Bake at 375°F (191°C) for 12-15 minutes in center of the oven. Dust with a sifting of either cocoa or powdered sugar and serve/eat immediately.
For extra fun, make a hole in the top and drizzle some raspberry coulis down the middle!
1/2 cup (116 g) frozen raspberries, defrosted
2 T (24 g) white sugar
1 T water
Place the raspberries in a food processor or blender and puree them.
Heat the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. Drizzle into the raspberries and pulse until blended.
Drizzle a spoonful into the center of your soufflé for a delicious compliment to the chocolate flavor!
Other delicious toppings: a dollop of whip cream, a cannula (spoonful) of vanilla ice cream, fresh raspberries, chocolate shavings, or a fruit syrup of your choice.
Adapted from recipes and techniques by Chef Gordon Ramsay, John Mitzewich (Chef John) and Chef Jeffrey Buben.