When Ghiradelli sent me a free sample of their delicious new dark chocolate called Midnight Reverie and Intense Dark Sea Salt Soiree as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I was immediately thinking of the luscious chocolate desserts that I would make using these samples. We all know that dark chocolate, when consumed in moderation, does have some health benefits. But have you taken a bite of a really dark chocolate, like 86% cocoa?? Its bitter!! that’s why its good for you, I guess. So I knew it was going to be hard relishing the chocolate just like that; it needed to be used in a dessert which would retain its flavor and nutrition value, yet make it more palatable.
Chocolate Souffle immediately came to mind. Not as hard to bake as a traditional Cheese souffle, even a novice baker can attempt this one and aim for success. Plus, it is kind of similar to a Molten Lava Cake, which I absolutely adore, so my decision was made. This recipe has been adapted from the Fine Cooking magazine. The original one, created by Nancy Oakes and photographed by Christopher Hirsheimer, pairs the Souffle with a Rum Whipped Cream. I chose to skip that altogether, and instead enjoyed the souffle with some homemade Coconut Ice Cream.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Bake Time: 20 mins
1/2 oz. (1 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp whole milk
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, (60-70% cacao) chopped
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
4 large egg yolks
Brush eight 6-oz. ramekins or souffle cups with the butter and coat evenly with 2 Tbsp of the sugar, tapping out the excess. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat the milk over medium-high heat until steaming hot. Add the chocolate and stir constantly with a rubber spatula until completely melted. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a large bowl and set aside to cool down.
Combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 2 Tbsp water in a another saucepan and set over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let sit at room temperature while you whip the egg whites.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the whites on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the whites. Increase the speed to high and beat until the whites hold medium peaks, about 1-1/2 minutes.
Mix the egg yolks into the melted chocolate until combined. Fold one-third of the whites into the chocolate mixture until totally combined. Add the remaining two-thirds of the whites and fold until no streaks remain.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared ramekins. Freeze until solid, at least 8 hours ahead, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap. (The soufflés may be made to this point up to 1 week ahead.)
Bake the Soufflés
When ready to serve, position a rack in the top third of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Remove the ramekins from the freezer and bake until the tops are puffed and cracked (either at the edges or on top) and the soufflés are barely set in the middle, about 18 to 20 minutes.
Serve immediately, with whipped cream, chocolate sauce or any ice cream of your choice.
The fact that you can freeze your souffle batter ahead of time makes it an ideal dessert for a large group while entertaining. Souffles are hard to pull off if you are under stress, so this gives you ample time to prepare your batter, then freeze it until the D-day! Moreover, chocolate is easier to bake, so you are more likely to get puffy cracked tops with decently-risen chocolate souffles, that will leave your guests asking for more!
If you enjoyed this recipe, I’m sure you’ll love this Flourless Chocolate Cake! Somewhere between a soufflé and a dense chocolate brownie, this is a dream-come-true for chocolate lovers!