This recipe is primarily dependant on dark chocolate, so be sure to use the best quality dark chocolate that you enjoy. I 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.
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).
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.
Stir to help the melting. Once the chocolate has melted, turn off the heat.
Whisk the two egg yolks into the chocolate.
The resulting mixture may look like the chocolate seized, but don't worry, it will smooth out once the egg whites are folded in.
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.
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.
Without over mixing, fold the remaining egg whites into the batter.
Pour the batter into the two prepared ramekins. Fill them at least 3/4 of the way up. They are now ready to be baked.
The best part of making soufflés is that they can be prepared to this point beforehand and refrigerated for up to three days. On the day you plan to serve the soufflés, take them out of the refrigerator about two hours before you plan to serve them so they can warm up a little. If you don't take them out of the fridge early, then bake them for an extra minute or two.
Place the ramekins on a baking pan and place the pan in the oven on a rack set in the middle position. Bake the soufflés for 15 minutes at 375°F (190°C). 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).}?>
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).
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 chocolate||melt in double boiler||whisk||fold in egg whites||pour into ramekins||bake 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 whites||whisk to soft peaks||whisk to stiff peaks|
|a dash (1/16 tsp.) cream of tartar|
|1/6 cup (35 g) sugar|