Infallible Chocolate Soufflés
Chef Tyler Florence explains that soufflés seem like a huge deal to make and they often get a bad rap: you do a ton of work, but you don’t know if the soufflé will rise in the oven, or, once it’s done baking, if it will fall before you get it to the table. This method, however, takes away that fear. Using xantham gum, which is available at most health food stores and larger grocery stores, helps the eggs stay foamy, which results in a light and airy soufflé that won’t fall.
- 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the ramekins
- 2 Tbs. sugar, plus more for coating the ramekins
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 cups (12 oz./375 g) chopped bittersweet chocolate
- 8 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease four 6-fl. oz. (180 ml) ramekins with butter, then coat with sugar, tapping out any excess.
In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the 4 Tbs. butter, the 2 Tbs. sugar, the salt and chocolate and warm just until the mixture melts. Remove from the heat and stir very well so the chocolate is completely smooth. Let cool slightly.
Separate the eggs into two large, clean bowls. Lightly beat the egg yolks and add the chocolate, stirring well to incorporate the mixture and prevent the eggs from scrambling.
Using a balloon whisk or in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, start to whisk the egg whites. Slowly incorporate the xanthan gum as you continue whisking the egg whites until you have stiff peaks.
Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in three batches: the first third should be well blended, but fold in the remaining two batches more gently to retain the volume of the egg whites.
Pour the batter into the ramekins, filling to the top. Using a knife, scrape the top of the batter to smooth the surface and remove any excess. With your forefinger and thumb, pinch the rim of each ramekin and run the edge of your thumb around the inside rim. (This trick makes the soufflés rise straight up while baking.)
Place the ramekins on a baking sheet or directly on the oven rack. Bake until a gentle tap jiggles only the center of the soufflé, 17 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Inside the Test Kitchen: 120 New Recipes, Perfected, by Tyler Florence (Clarkson Potter, 2104)