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Recipe File: Dark Chocolate Souffle
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Fracesca
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:34 pm    Post subject: no ramekin Reply with quote

i need to make this tomorrow but i don't have any ramekins....would it be fine to use a big container for the whole thing then just slice after?
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Debbie
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:08 am    Post subject: Won't the bubbles go away? Reply with quote

I was just wondering, I want to try this recipe out for an event but I would be busy on the day itself. You have said that it can be made before hand and kept in the fridge. But won't the air bubbles go away after keeping it that long in the fridge? I tried a different chocolate souffle recipe before and i had just beat it and kept it on the counter for a few minutes. When I came back the bubbles had risen to the top and there was a liquid at the bottom spoiling the whole thing and no matter how much I beat it again, it never became fluffy like it should. So I'm wondering, how can you keep it that long without spoiling the essence of the souffle?
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Chef George
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:47 pm    Post subject: Chocolate souffle Reply with quote

Wow - so many interesting questions & problems, and the thread lives on after 4 years!

Debbie - about bubbles rising and liquid falling to the bottom - that can occur with plain egg whites, as the albumin slides off the bubbles and accumulates beneath. It's easy to whip the liquid back in, but not after you've folded the chocolate mixture. At that point, any more whipping will deflate the entire mass, as fat (in chocolate) inhibits bubble/foam formation. I'm guessing that your whites were not adequately beaten to stiff peaks before you added the chocolate; if they were, it should hold for hours, as he said.

It is possible to beat the whites too much, as which point they become "dry" - they're so stiff that it's hard to fold the chocolate in. So don't overdo it.

Fracesca - you can't really slice a large souffle; just scoop out large individual servings with large spoons. And that's suboptimal, as upon exposure to the cool air and probably cold serving plates, the souffle servings will deflate rapidly. It's so much more impressive, tho not always possible, to use smaller individual ramekins for each person.

As for gas vs. electric ovens, the heat retention in both is such that any temperature swings will be insignificant. Almost every restaurant oven is gas.

As mentioned, thin foil ramekins conduct heat so rapidly that the sides will cook/burn before the inside is hot enough to rise. Some users seem to have had success with them, but I'd be careful.

Whether you prefer these cooked through or still custardy in the center is your choice.

Souffles do rise by being pushed up by the expanding hot bubbles; they don't climb. Bread dough rises in a bowl lined w/ oil; it's not climbing, either.

Cream of tartar is available in any grocery spice section. Its purpose is to acidify the whites just a bit, which lends a bit of strength to their foam. You can also do this w/ a few drops of lime/lemon juice, and some say that copper mixing bowls do this by forming a little cupric acid. Nothing magic, and you can do just about as well without any of this, just good strong beating. And room-temp whites whip up faster than cold ones. So do fresher ones.

Many souffle recipes begin with a flour- or corn starch base, into which you add flavors - chocolate, orange, vanilla, whatever. Here, the cream and butter "stand in" as the base. You don't whip the cream, so exactly what percentage fat it is isn't important at all - regular table cream, whipping, high-fat whipping, etc. Similarly, the butter isn't critical - salted or not, French or American, etc.

You can play around with most aspects of this, or any recipe. Probably the critical aspects are whipping the eggs whites to stiff peaks, folding the chocolate in gently, so as not to deflate the delicate foam, and having the oven hot enough to heat the mixture pretty quickly without burning the top and sides. Otherwise, % chocolate, milk vs. dark, etc are pretty open to variation.

Good luck!
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Calvinator
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:40 am    Post subject: Preparing the ramekins Reply with quote

Mix a little cocoa powder with the sugar for an interesting touch.
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Pastry Diva
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:53 am    Post subject: TOO MUCH Chocolate?? Reply with quote


I am just flabbergasted by all the people who want "LESS" chocolate!!

The recipe flat out tells you that this is a VERY intensely chocolate souffle. If you are looking for something LESS chocolatey, maybe this just isn't the recipe for you? Huh? Or maybe you should look for a vanilla souffle??

Sheesh! Disbelief
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 337
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was years before I got around to using cream of tartar in beaten egg whites, but it really does make a difference.
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Chez Sunfleur
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:23 am    Post subject: Delicious...Absolutely Delicious Reply with quote

Made these tonight for a dinner party with a raspberry sauce and whipped cream. They were wonderful. I was going to do the extra egg white thing and totally forgot and added the extra yolk as well. I was nervous I ruined the batter, but wasn't going to turn back. They turned out wonderful. I added a drop of lemon juice and made sure the sides were super coated. I only coated in butter and they didn't stick a bit. As a matter of fact, when they began to deflate, they shrunk in from the sides of the ramekins. No sign of a sticking issue anywhere. I wanted to STRESS that you CAN make up ahead of time and they will be FINE. Because you stated you could do so, I made them 4 hours in advance and set them aside on the counter. When we all finished eating, I put them in the oven for 17 mins. They rose beautifully. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!!
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Briel Cavil
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:56 pm    Post subject: Excellent recipe, and one question. Reply with quote

I made this last night for the first time ever, after watching Master Chef and watching them literally sweat over souffles. Your directions and photos made it crystal clear! It was fun to make, and even more fun to eat!
Is it possible to make it without the yolks? Or should I find a different dessert if I'm trying to cut a little fat and cholesterol?
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1018
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes, you can likely leave out the yolks with no effect.

adding the yolks back is common in most souffles for a bit of added richness to the taste.

given the cream and chocolate and butter,,,, I suspect you won't miss them.
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Penny
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:08 pm    Post subject: This amazing chocolate souffle Reply with quote

I found this recipe about three years ago and it's the jewel in my dessert repertoire. I felt I must, although overdue, write and thank you for this, it has NEVER failed. I usually double the recipe and use smaller ramekins and store them in the freezer so I always have a spectacular dessert ready. I take them out of the freezer about an hour before they need to be cooked, and my fan electric oven does the job perfectly. Recently, I started serving them with a spoonful of Nigella's Seville Orange ice cream and the contrast is superb, but plain or served with anything else, they are a winner. Thank you!
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global foodie
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:34 pm    Post subject: Silicone floral large muffin molds with bain marie okay? Reply with quote

Thank you for the great recipe and to all who have posted comments and suggestions! I really appreciate all the technical advice!

These days, I almost exclusively bake in silicone. I read above that silicone is not recommended due to the way it cooks the souffle. However, I wondered whether a bain marie would correct any problems caused by the silicone?

Of course, after baking, I would unmold the souffles so that the floral bottoms show on top. I was thinking that if the souffles suffered in the inversion, then I would re-heat a bit to fluff them a bit. Do you think that this sounds good, or do you think that the maybe warmer service offered by the heat-retaining ramekins trumps my molds' decorative looks?

Thank you for any advice you can give me!
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1018
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

actually - tho I've never tried it - I think the bain marie would make things worse.

souffles are pretty soft / spongy to begin with - "over baking" them can add a bit more firmness - but it's a multiple edge sword - too long a bake and the souffle gets rather dry and grainy.

the trick I've found to create a free standing unmolded souffle - only done with sweet / aka dessert souffle - is an outer and somewhat harder/firmer 'crust' - which I accomplish by preheating the (ceramic) baking dish - which becomes an exercise in oven mitts and not burning your fingers. . . .

I put the buttered/floured ramekins on a baking dish or baking stone, pre-heat to about 300'F (too high & you burn the flour....) then slide out the oven rack and fill with the souffle mix.... something is needed to catch the drips/spills - it happens....

the water bath of course prevents the baking container from "over heating" - hence no / less 'crusty' formation. which is the 'complaint' on the silicone molds - they do not transfer the heat so readily as to crust up the outer surfaces.
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 337
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dilbert wrote:

the trick I've found to create a free standing unmolded souffle - only done with sweet / aka dessert souffle - is an outer and somewhat harder/firmer 'crust' - which I accomplish by preheating the (ceramic) baking dish - which becomes an exercise in oven mitts and not burning your fingers. . . ..


Ohhh! I like that idea. Will give it a try some time.
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global foodie
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:41 pm    Post subject: can this souffle be used for free form souffle pancakes? Reply with quote

Thanks so much Dilbert! For some reason, I thought that the posted objection to the silicone was that it got too hot. My mistake! I completely understand that it would not get hot enough. I also have cast iron muffin molds, but it sounds like I should just go with ramekins.

The reason I started looking at this recipe was an interest in souffle pancakes, which I love. Here is a link for a photo. http://www.urbanspoon.com/rph/37/451863/1147352/hawaii-cream-pot-souffle-pancakes-with-bananas-house-made-salted-caramel-photo

Do you think that I could just prep a large baking dish, maybe pre-heat it as you suggested, then ladle the souffle mix onto the baking dish to treat it like a griddle. I don't really care about the circle shape, but I do want it to look appetizing.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1018
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think you'll get the height doing it 'spooned' on to a griddle.

by total accident I 'discovered" a neat finger food - souffle mix, into a piping bag, big diameter serrated tip, pipe out "(cheese) straws / shapes" onto a hot stone.

it does puff up, but that dish looks to have 2-3inches of height - definite 'in the mold' technique from what I see.
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