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When we planned out the recipe for this month we felt the challenge of a soufflé would be be refreshing, but it’s safe to say that we underestimated the intricacies of truly understanding and mastering a french soufflé. Needless to say, 6 different recipes, 20 plus ramekins of soufflé to test and too many burnt tongues later we present to you the ‘In Our Kitchen’ Chocolate Soufflé.
We started out with a typical French soufflé, but we felt the addition of egg yolk (though scientifically helpful), over powered the soufflé and turned it into a sweet omelette. We used a few recipes as measuring sticks but we found there was too much chocolate in most, so we decided to tweak our base recipe. Overall we decided we wanted a rich, moist, well balanced soufflé that was more like a mousse than an omelette. Those qualities, along with the addition of dulce de leche (courtesy of Alton Brown), make this the easiest, and most rewarding chocolate soufflé.
Of all the dishes you can make in the oven, these have to be the easiest to marvel at. Once they are set in the oven, grab a drink and park yourself in front of the oven and watch the magic happen.
The inclusion of xantham gum is needed if you’d like a stiffer structure in the soufflé, allowing it to rise evenly and keep it’s shape once it’s out of the oven. Traditionally this is accomplished with egg yolks, but as we mentioned, it felt too egg-y when we incorporated egg yolks.
Feel free to add a splash of acid when whipping your egg whites, it will help denature the egg white, creating a stiff and rich creamy texture.
Dulce de leche is the perfect compliment to this soufflé, but feel free to use your imagination: raspberry coulis, vanilla pudding, butterscotch, the list is endless.
Make sure the bowl in which you beat the egg whites is completely free of any oils. Use a metal or glass bowl as plastic releases oils.
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 3 oz. dark chocolate
- 3 egg whites
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp. butter
- ½ cup super fine sugar
- 2 tsp. butter (for ramekin dusting)
Dulce de Lèche
- 2 cups whole milk
- ¾ cup organic cane sugar
- ½ vanilla bean
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Prepare ramekin dishes by rubbing with butter.
- Melt dark chocolate with whipping cream and butter in a double boiler until completely mixed. Add cocoa powder. Mix thoroughly. Set aside melted chocolate mixture and allow to cool completely.
- Whip egg whites until soft peaks form. Once soft peaks have been formed, add sugar in 2 tbsp. increments. When the egg whites form soft peaks, they are done. Be sure to not over mix the egg whites, as this will impede the souffle's ability to rise.
- When chocolate base mixture has cooled completely, fold in egg whites - quickly. Fold from the bottom of the mixture, coming over top it and repeating until just incorporated. You don't want any noticeable streaks or white or brown.
- Pour batter into ramekin dishes. Run thumb around the inner edge of the ramekin dish. This will help with the souffle raising.
- Moisten finger and flatten the top of the batter in the ramekin.
- Bake for 15 to 20 min. on the middle oven rack. Bake until souffle has risen about 1- 1 ½ inches above rim of ramekin.
- Serve immediately with a couple tablespoons of the Dulce de Lèche over the soufflé.
Dulce de Lèche
- Combine the milk, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds in a large, 4-quart saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, add the baking soda and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered at a bare simmer. Stir occasionally, but do not re-incorporate the foam that appears on the top of the mixture.
- Continue to cook for 1 hour. Remove the vanilla bean after 1 hour and continue to cook until the mixture is a dark caramel color and has reduced to about 3/4 cup, approximately 30 to 60 minutes.
- Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to a month.