Choosing Picky's dessert was a bit more difficult than choosing what to make for his special dinner. I thought about making a cake, but I also wanted to make him a souffle. So I decided to make both! I knew the souffle would be smaller and perfect for just me and Picky, so I made that the night of his birthday. On Friday nights, Picky plays cards with a group of friends and I thought he could celebrate his birthday properly with his friends with a cake.
So on to the souffle! I have made a cheese souffle before, but never a chocolate one. The cheese one was fairly simple since I just followed Julia Child's instruction on how to make it. Since I am in the middle of moving, Julia is currently packed away in a box. I searched my favorite cooking websites online and then it hit me. Martha Stewart! Of course, she will have the perfect chocolate souffle recipe. Hers was a bit complicated and involved many steps, but egg whites don't scare me. Cake scares me, as you will see in my next post. Anyway, on to the recipe!
Adapted from Martha Stewart
This produced a souffle that reminded me of the most chocolate-y brownie, but without the density. It was so yummy! I would probably serve it with whipped cream sweetened with a touch of honey next time.
- Unsalted butter, room temperature, for dish and collar
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for dish
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 2 ounces best-quality bittersweet chocolate (about 1/2 cup), finely chopped
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)
- Position rack in center of oven. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut a parchment collar about 20 inches long by 6 inches high. Brush the top half of one side with butter. Butter sides only of a 1-quart souffle dish; coat with an even layer of sugar; set aside.
- In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together 1/4 cup sugar and milk. Bring to a boil; remove from heat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup sugar, the flour, and egg yolks. Slowly pour the hot-milk mixture into the egg-yolk mixture, whisking constantly.
- Transfer milk-and-yolk mixture to saucepan. Whisk over medium-high heat until mixture thickens, about 40 seconds. Make sure to whisk along side of pan to prevent scorching.
- Remove pastry cream from heat, add chopped chocolate, and whisk until melted. Add cocoa powder; whisk until combined. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine egg whites and cream of tartar on low speed until frothy. Increase to medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add 2 tablespoons sugar. Increase mixer speed to high, and whisk until stiff but not dry peaks form.
- Whisk chocolate pastry cream to loosen and release steam, add 1/3 of the egg-white mixture, and whisk vigorously until mixture is combined and lightened.
- Using a rubber spatula, lightly stir remaining egg-white mixture to loosen; this will keep you from overmixing the souffle. Fold remaining egg whites into lightened chocolate cream.
- Transfer souffle mixture to prepared dish, and smooth top with a spatula. Secure parchment collar around dish with kitchen twine so that the collar extends 3 inches above the dish. Or you could do what I did, carefully place the buttered parchment paper inside the souffle dish, making sure it extends up above the souffle dish an then carefully pouring the mixture in. This worked for me. Place in oven, and bake for 10 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, and cook for 20 minutes more for a creamy center or 25 minutes more for a slightly drier center.
- If desired, dust souffle with confectioners' sugar; serve immediately.