Thursday, March 01, 2007

Chocolate Soufflé For Two

This was my first soufflé, and I'm very proud of it. It's scaled down from a recipe in the Gourmet cookbook to fit in a smaller soufflé dish, a 1-cup ramekin.

-2 1/3 tablespoons sugar. (And a little more to dust soufflé dish.)
-1 1/2-2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
-2 large eggs
-pinch of salt

Step 1: Let eggs sit at room temperature for half an hour.

Step 2: Separate eggs, and discard ONE of the yolks.

Step 3: Put a rack in the middle of the oven, preheat to 375.

Step 4: Butter soufflé dish and sprinkle in sugar, knocking out the excess.

Step 5: Melt chocolate carefully, carefully, stirring until liquid and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in egg yolk.

Step 6: Beat egg whites with mixer until they "hold soft peaks." This means that the egg whites have become more frothy than foamy.

Step 7: Add the sugar a little at a time, beating all the while, then whip the hell out of the mixture until you've got "stiff peaks": something that behaves almost like a bubble bath.

Step 8: Stir about a third of this egg and sugar mixture into the chocolate, mix it well, and then gently, gently fold the rest of it in.

Step 9: Spoon the chocolate-egg-and-sugar mixture into soufflé dish. Run a fingertip around the inside lip of the dish to help soufflé rise evenly.

Step 10: Bake until puffy and crusted on top: 24-26 minutes.

Served with slightly sweetened whipped cream!

This soufflé worked like a dream, even though my oven has approximate Magic Marker lines rather than temperature markings. The only complicated part was melting the chocolate; it wanted to remain soft and solid and burn rather than liquidify, but once I added the egg yolk, it went runny all at once. Very mysterious. Next time I want to put pomegranate seeds in the whipped cream.


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