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Recipe File: Dark Chocolate Souffle
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Cooking For Engineers



Joined: 10 May 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 11:47 am    Post subject: Recipe File: Dark Chocolate Souffle Reply with quote


Article Digest:
Just the mention of chocolate soufflé can conjure up feelings of decadence and luxury. The ability to prepare a chocolate soufflé usually commands the admiration of the diners. However, the difficulty in preparing a soufflé has been somewhat exaggerated over time, and, although, most people won't even attempt it, soufflés can be quite simple to make. This dark chocolate soufflé is easy to make and can be the perfect finale to a romantic dinner.

This recipe is primarily dependant on dark chocolate, so be sure to use the best quality dark chocolate that you enjoy. I personally like Dagoba and Scharffen Berger chocolate.

Assemble the ingredients: 1 ounce (30 mL) heavy cream, 4 oz. (115 g) 70% cacao dark chocolate, 1/2 tablespoon (7 g) butter, 2 large eggs (separated into whites and yolks), a dash of cream of tartar, and 1/6 cup (35 g) sugar.
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Prepare two 6 ounce (180 mL) soufflé ramekins by applying a layer of cold butter to the interior of the ramekins. Use your fingers to apply an even, thin coat of butter to all parts of the ramekin including the sides. Pour some granulated sugar into the ramekin and shake and roll the ramekin to coat the bottom and sides with sugar. Several sources claim that the butter and sugar help the souffle rise, but this is not actually true. The butter and sugar are really there to add flavor of the crust and aid in the release of the soufflé from the ramekin (if desired).
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Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

Bring some water to a boil in a pot. Once the water boils, reduce the heat until the water just simmers. Place a small metal bowl over the pot to form a double boiler.

Melt the butter, cream, and chocolate in the double boiler.
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Stir to help the melting. Once the chocolate has melted, turn off the heat.
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Whisk the two egg yolks into the chocolate.
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The resulting mixture may look like the chocolate seized, but don't worry, it will smooth out once the egg whites are folded in.
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In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until the egg whites reach soft peaks. (The cream of tartar is added to egg whites to increase the acidity slightly. This allows the proteins to bind together a bit more easily making stronger bubbles to form the basis of the egg white foam.) This can be accomplished with a bit of effort with a whisk (took me about 5 minutes) or a hand mixer with a whisk attachment. The term soft peaks means the foam has reached the point where the egg whites stand up when the whisk (or your finger) is lightly dipped into the foam and gently lifted out. The tip of the peak should droop. If the tip stands up straight, then it has reached the stiff peaks stage.
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Add the sugar to the egg whites and continue to beat until you reach stiff peaks. Adding the whites a little at a time, fold them into the chocolate mixture.
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Without over mixing, fold the remaining egg whites into the batter.
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Pour the batter into the two prepared ramekins. Fill them at least 3/4 of the way up. Place the ramekins on a baking pan and place the pan in the oven on a rack set in the middle position.
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Bake the soufflés for 15 minutes. As it bakes, the air bubbles we've incorporated into the batter will start to expand, causing the entire souffle to rise. After fifteen minutes, the soufflé will have risen up out of the ramekin (the photo shows an example of a ramekin filled to the 3/4 full level). (Greater lift can be achieved by using three egg whites instead of two).

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Serve immediately in the ramekin. (Ramekins will be hot, so use some hand protection to transfer the soufflé.) As the soufflé cools, it will drop and become more dense. An alternate method of service is to remove the soufflé from the ramekin. This easiest accomplished once the soufflé has cooled a bit and a knife has been run along the sides. The soufflé can be inverted and tapped out onto a catching hand and then deposited onto a plate. Reheating the soufflé at this point will allow the air bubbles to expand again and the soufflé will rise back up (although not to its former size).
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Dark Chocolate Soufflé (serves two; recipe can be doubled)
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) and prepare two 6 oz. (180 mL) ramekins with butter and sugar
4 oz. (115 g) 70% cacao chocolatemelt in double boilerwhiskfold in egg whitespour into ramekinsbake 375°F (190°C) 15 min.
1/2 Tbs. (7 g) butter
1 oz. (30 mL) heavy cream
2 large egg yolks
2-3 large egg whiteswhisk to soft peakswhisk to stiff peaks
a dash (1/16 tsp.) cream of tartar
1/6 cup (35 g) sugar

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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1631
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was hoping to be able to provide this recipe earlier so readers of CfE would have time to prepare if they wanted to make this for Valentine's Day, but unfortunately, I didn't have much free time until now.

Hopefully, many will still find this recipe useful.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So what is is it that causes a souffle to fall as they are notoriously wont to do.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1631
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

re: causes for falling

If there is sudden or massive shock to the souffle (dropping it a couple inches might do it) or a blast of cold air could cause the air bubbles to collapse. Larger souffles (such as a 1-1/2 quart souffle) are more delicate because the sides of the souffle are where most of the structural support exists (the sides are cooked more and form a hard, but delicate, crust).
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jeanthibca
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 8:53 pm    Post subject: PAM istead of butter Reply with quote

You should use Pam instead of butter in the ramequin, so the soufflé sticks less to it. It is has good, but you still have to put sugar.
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MissM
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 3:10 pm    Post subject: My Favorite Dessert!! Reply with quote

Thank you SO much for this. I haven't had one in so many years, and they're my favorite, I can hardly wait to try it. And thank you SO much for this blog, its excellent!

Long Time Lurker,
MissM
http://oncomputerstips.blogspot.com
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LAN3
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my experience (which is witnessing my parents make soufflé-- I'm a batchelor and do not own ramekins) it is the temperature change that causes them to fall-- in short, never open the dang oven. The egg foam is what's holding all the air in, and until it cooks to firmness (so the soufflé can stand without relying on trapping the air), the air needs to stay warm. You don't have to tiptoe around the kitchen, but you should take the basketball outside, just in case.

Anyway, a fallen soufflé tastes almost as good-- it's denser and ends up tasting too rich, so go ahead and serve smaller portions with something else, like ice cream, and tell anyone who won't know better that it's fondant.
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googoosh
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reccipe, my friend bad day today, I made it for her to cheer her up Smile
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 6:20 pm    Post subject: High-altitude souffles Reply with quote

One problem I've noted especially with souffles is that when cooking at altitude, they do in fact live up to their temperamental reputation. Most substitutions are geared towards cakes, which either don't work with souffles, or render them chewy and tough. Any suggestions for cooking a souffle at nearly 7,000 feet? I'm frankly too discouraged at this point to even try.

BTW, your capcha is pretty easy to break, even automatically. You might want to investigate upgrading it. Of course, the problem with good capchas is that even humans have a hard time, so as long as it's working for you, nevermind.
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Alexandra
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 9:12 pm    Post subject: Falling souffles Reply with quote

I've heard that since souffles are so sensitive to temperature changes, making them in an electric oven usually produces a better result than a gas oven since the temperature is steadier. I've never made a souffle, and have always been scared to try since I have a gas oven. Is this a reasonable concern?
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Tom
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 5:45 pm    Post subject: multiplying recipe Reply with quote

The recipe states it can be doubled. Are any non-linear adjustments needed to triple or quadruple the recipe? Thanks.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1631
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:33 pm    Post subject: Re: multiplying recipe Reply with quote

Tom wrote:
The recipe states it can be doubled. Are any non-linear adjustments needed to triple or quadruple the recipe? Thanks.

Feel free to triple and quadruple when a recipe says "can be doubled". (It's easier to understand than - can be multiplied.) The length of time it takes for your chocolate to melt, etc. will be different however, but as long as you use 6 oz. ramekins, the baking time should remain about the same (unless you're making 80 of these and the oven has multiple layers of cold souffles when you start baking...
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lmerrill
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:52 pm    Post subject: Delicious and rich! Reply with quote

I made six of these little beauties last night. I did add the extra egg whites, and the extra puffiness was impressive. None of my guests, save one, could finish the whole thing, however. I served it with loosely whipped and sweetened cream. It was my first effort at any kind of souffle and I am grateful for the instructions you provide and illustrations as well.
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Gin
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried this over the weekend. I had used 3 ramekins instead of 2 as it appears that I have too much leftover batter. I didn't want to overfill the ramkins also since I'm not sure how much it rises. It turned out wonderful. Next time I will try it with 3 egg whites instead to see how puffy it can get. Thanks!
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trist
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 2:54 pm    Post subject: chocolate molten cake Reply with quote

hi michael!

as much as i lurrrrrve chocolate souffle, i was wondering if you have a recipe for "chocolate molten cake" instead? i would like to make one based on your recipe. Smile

trist
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