Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chocolate Souffle

For some time, SP has been wanting to make chocolate souffle. I wasn't too excited - mostly because souffle is one of those dishes with a reputation for being difficult - in this case, easily collapsing.

But it was Valentine's Day, a good excuse for a special dessert, and we weren't baking any treats (like cookies), and he wanted to make me a surprise dessert, so he decided to made Dark Chocolate Souffles.According to wikipedia, a soufflĂ© is a light, fluffy, baked cake made with egg yolks and beaten egg whites combined with various other ingredients and served as a savory main dish or sweetened as a dessert . The word soufflĂ© is the past participle of the French verb souffler which means "to blow up" or more loosely "puff up" — an apt description of what happens to this combination of custard and egg whites.

The Dark Chocolate Souffle recipe SP used is from Cooking for Engineers.

We have lots of ramekins since we both had creme brulee sets before moving in together. We now have 2 torches and about 14 ramekins! But we only needed 2 - SP buttered and sugared 2 ramekins. He got out the scale to measure ingredients for the souffle batter.
He melted together the chocolate, butter, and heavy cream and then whisked in 2 large egg yolks. He set that bowl aside and in a separate bowl whisked together 3 egg whites and a dash of cream of tartar. Then he added the sugar to the egg white mixture and whisked until he got stiff peaks. Next step: folding the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture.He poured the mixture into the ramekins and then refrigerated the ramekins while he made dinner.

*Note: I saw some disagreement online about whether or not one could refrigerate the prepared batter in ramekins until ready to bake. We refrigerated ours, probably for about 2 hours, and the souffles turned out fine.

After dinner, he baked the souffles on a cookie sheet for 15 minutes at 375.After he took them out of the oven, we let them cool for a bit and I took some photos. Then it was time to dig in!SP removed mine from the ramekin, put it on a plate for me, and brought it to me in the living room where I was curled up under a blanket and watching the Olympics. I don't think I've ever had a souffle before. I wasn't sure what to expect. I was a bit apprehensive, not just because of the delicate and difficult reputation but also because I was stuffed, really stuffed, from dinner, stuffed almost to the point of not wanting dessert (gasp!-me not want dessert?!) and the souffle looked very big - like a giant, dense, rich muffin. I feared not being able to eat much and thus disappointing SP and hurting his feelings. He did so many wonderful things on Valentine's Day - the homemade waffles, the lamb chops dinner, he got the new mailbox on the post outside and shoveled the snow away from it, he did 4 loads of laundry...I shouldn't have worried. Looks can be misleading. The souffle was so light & airy and just melted in my mouth. Not at all like a thick, dense, rich chocolate muffin. So good. Really good. Chocolaty. We each had a tiny part right on top and in the center of the souffle that seemed as if it could have been cooked a bit longer, but oh my gosh. A very, very yummy dessert.

Many, many thanks to my wonderful fiancee for an excellent Valentine's Day (even though we don't like the holiday!!).


  1. Oh wow! You both are truly amazing! And talk about a catch, I am going to have to get Greg to talk to Jared!!

  2. Wow! What a Sunday you had! Those look amazing. I'm so impressed he even tried to make those since souffles are supposed to be so hard to make.

  3. I was pleasantly surprised how non-fussy this recipe was. Part of the reason is the smaller ramekins -- putting a souffle in a large wide dish results in the middle having little support, but in the little ramekins the stiff sides are close enough to the delicate center to help hold it up.