Valentine’s day is coming up soon and these light and decadent chocolate soufflés are perfect desserts for a romantic tête à tête dinner. They’re easy to prepare and bake, but they have to be eaten as soon as they are out of the oven or they will deflate quickly (Unfortunately, my soufflés deflated within 5 minutes of taking pictures). An ideal soufflé has a crusty exterior and a super airy, cloud-like melting interior texture that has enough chocolate flavor to satisfy your cravings.
I am really fascinated by the science/chemistry involved in making chocolate soufflés. After doing a little bit of research I found out that the most important step in this recipe is beating the egg whites properly because this helps trapping air bubbles in the egg foam. When the soufflés are in the oven, the air expands and puffs up the small cakes. Now the best way to beat eggs whites is to have them at room temperature and place them in a clean* stainless steal bowl. Then whisk them with an electric mixer or in a stand mixture while gradually adding sugar until soft peaks form. Follow the rest of the instructions below!
*clean bowl with lemon juice and carefully rinse and dry.
Ingredients: (from the Chocolate Bible)
• 30 grams (50-70%) chocolate
• 30 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
• 120 ml water
• 1 egg yolk
• 20 grams cornflour
• 6 egg whites
• 90 grams caster sugar
• Icing sugar, sifted for decoration
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (355ºF)
2. Brush six 8 cm (3 inches) ramekins with butter and dust evenly with caster sugar, tipping out the excess.
3. Finely chop the chocolate and place in a bowl.
4. Stir cocoa powder and water into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
5. Pour the hot mixture over the chocolate, stirring until smooth, set aside until cool.
6. Blend in the egg yolk then the cornflour.
7. Put the egg whites into a clean bowl and whisk until frothy. Add 30 grams of the sugar a little at a time, whisking until the egg whites are smooth and shiny. Gradually add the remaining sugar, whisking until stiff peaks form.
8. Whisk 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Use a spatula and carefully fold in the remainder in two separate batches.
9. Divide the mixture evenly between the ramekins; smooth the surface with the spatula. Run your thumb around the tops of the ramekins to open a narrow (5mm) channel between the mixture and the rim.
10. Cook for 15 minutes, or until risen. As soon as the soufflés come out of the oven dust with sifted icing sugar and serve immediately.