Remember Your Valentine with Chocolate Souffle


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Valentine’s Day goes hand in hand with flowers, presents and chocolate.  February 14 falls on a Saturday this year and that means expectations are even higher. If you prefer to stay home and avoid the reservations nightmare of tables for two, I’ve got the perfect dessert recipe to impress your significant other without trapping yourself in a kitchen for an entire day.

Soufflé recipes generally stop people in their tracks, but if you follow a few simple techniques, they are super easy to make and anyone who indulges in them will surely be impressed. 

Before we get started on the recipe, the most important thing to remember is that water and chocolate are long time enemies.  As long as you respect this relationship, you have nothing to worry about.  Be sure to completely dry any utensils used in the process.  This applies to egg yolks as well.  If any yolk or water gets into the egg whites, they will not aerate properly.  The last thing to know before getting started is that investing in good chocolate is important for the best results here. So reach for the bag that costs a little extra.  You’ll be glad you did.

Chocolate Soufflés

Makes 3-4  2” ramekins (ceramic containers)
 

Ingredients

3 tbsp. whole milk
5½ tbsp. sugar, divided, plus additional for dusting
4 oz. semisweet chocolate
2 egg yolks
3 egg whites
Confectioners' sugar

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Combine milk and 4 tbsp. sugar in a small saucepan and stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves.  Stir in chocolate and cook until melted, 1–2 minutes. Transfer to a glass bowl and cool for 5 minutes, then beat in egg yolks.

2. Beat egg whites in a nonreactive bowl until foamy, then sprinkle in remaining sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.

3. Generously butter three to four small ramekins, (about 2”deep)  then lightly dust with sugar. Mix one-third of the beaten egg whites into chocolate mixture, then very gently fold in remaining whites, one-third at a time. Do not over mix. Spoon batter evenly into prepared dishes.

4. Make sure that oven racks allow soufflés enough room to rise as much as 2'' above the dish. Bake until soufflés have risen, about 25 minutes. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

Soufflés begin to deflate after about 2 minutes and must be served immediately upon exiting the oven.  However, if you wanted to make these the day before, you may freeze the soufflés in their ramekins overnight.  Place them in the oven frozen and allow a little extra time for baking. 

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