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Chocolate Soufflé

Chocolate Soufflé
Soufflés are spectacular and surprisingly easy to make. At author Maria Sinskey's house, a chocolate soufflé, still dangerously hot from the oven, is pounced on and quickly devoured with big scoops of vanilla ice cream. Just make sure your kids do not burn their tongues. You can assemble this soufflé up to 4 hours in advance and let it sit at cool room temperature until it goes into the oven.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, plus 1 Tbs. melted butter for
      brushing soufflé mold
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, preferably at least 70%
      cacao, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. heavy cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Directions:

Position a rack in the center of an oven with plenty of headspace for the soufflé to rise, and preheat the oven to 425°F. Brush the bottom and sides of a 6-cup soufflé mold with the 1 Tbs. melted butter, then coat with 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar; tap out the excess.

In a heatproof bowl, combine the remaining 2 Tbs. butter, the chocolate and cream. Set the bowl over but not touching barely simmering water in a saucepan and heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. Set aside in a warm place.

In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla and 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar until the mixture falls in a thick, wide ribbon when the whisk is lifted. Stir in the chocolate mixture.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar on medium-high speed until foamy. Slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar and beat just until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites, one-third at a time, into the chocolate mixture just until combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared soufflé mold, filling it to the rim.

Bake the soufflé for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F and continue to bake until the soufflé has risen about 2 inches above the mold rim, 25 to 30 minutes. Dust the top with the confectioners' sugar and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Family Meals, by Maria Helm Sinskey (Oxmoor House, 2008).