Soufflés are one of those desserts that make me fall in love with cooking, all over again, every time. Light and airy concoctions are born from simple basic ingredients... and watching the dessert fly out of its ramekin makes me smile instantly. There is just something magical about soufflés. The one featured here is a chocolate souffé. It was my favourite of all the ones we made at school (chocolate is usually a winner in my book) but the liqueur-infused soufflé was quite delicious too.
Soufflés are actually pretty easy to put together, but have to be served immediately when done because they deflate fast...very fast. I had never made them in individual ramekins before, but I think I will make them like this from now on. There is just something special about being served your very own risen goodness.
All the egg whites used for our soufflé day were made by hand....so it is fair to say that by the end of the day I felt like my right arm was missing a hand... I now definitely have a soft spot for all the pre-beater era cooks.
Recipe (for 4 individual ramekins)
100g of bittersweet chocolate
15g butter (and extra to coat the ramekins)
2 egg yolks
4 egg whites
125 mililiters of milk
15g of sugar (and extra to coat the ramekins)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
10 ml of rum
Preheat your oven to 400 F. Coat your ramekins by rubbing the inside with room temperature butter and then adding the granulated sugar. Tap off excess. Refrigerate until needed.
Place a bowl over a bain-marie, and melt the chocolate in it on low heat. Do not stir until the chocolate has melted. In a pan, heat the flour and butter until the mixture thickens and is homogenized (this is called a roux). Add the milk and whisk well for about 2 minutes. The mixture will be quite thick.
Remove the mixture from the heat and add it to the melted chocolate. Add the egg yolks one at a time. Then add the rum and vanilla and gently mix all the ingredients.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites (with a pinch of salt). When soft peaks form, add the sugar. Beat to stiff peaks but not overbeat to prevent the mixture from becoming dry. Fold in 1/4 of the egg mixture in the chocolate to make the batter lighter. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Try to not overbeat and to keep the mixture airy by folding it in very gently.
Spoon the mixture into the ramekins. Reduce the heat to 375 F. Bake for 10-12 minutes. After a couple minutes of cooking time check to see if any of the sides of the mixture are sticking to the ramekins. If they are, gently un-lock them with a sharp knife by separating the soufflé from the container. Do not dock your knife vertically into the ramekin though, or it will cause the soufflé to deflate.
Once baked, sprinkle with confectionar sugar. Serve immediately. Enjoy!