It doesn't have to be Valentine's Day for me to eat chocolate. Or to make something involving chocolate (and then eat it). Even if it is somewhat fancy and elaborate.
But since Valentine's Day is coming up and all, I have the perfect excuse to make this fancy, elaborate Chocolate Soufflé. Because there's just something so romantic about the idea of whipping up this magical dessert that's somehow both incredibly decadent and light as air at the same time. Not a bad idea to wear a cute apron while you're baking, maybe. (Stilettos optional.)
The only possible problem I can imagine running into with this Valentine's Day treat? Not wanting to share. Which kind of defeats the purpose, but it might be worth it anyway ...
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 3 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 egg whites
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- pinch salt
- pinch cream of tartar
- Heat oven to 375° F. Use 1 tablespoon of the butter to grease one 16-ounce or two 8-ounce ramekins. Coat the ramekins with the cocoa, tapping out the excess.
- In a large bowl, over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and remaining butter. Stir occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Whisk in the yolks one at a time until smooth. Set aside.
- In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites with the sugar, salt, and cream of tartar until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Gently fold the egg-white mixture into the chocolate. Spoon into the ramekins. (The recipe can be made to this point up to 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)
- Bake until puffed and set, 40 minutes for a 16-ounce soufflé, 20 minutes for two smaller ones. (If baked directly from the refrigerator, add 5 to 10 minutes.) Serve immediately with Custard Sauce.
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee, vanilla extract, or orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
- Heat the milk in a Pyrex measuring cup in the microwave for 2 minutes on high, or in a small saucepan over medium heat until small bubbles appear on the side of the pan.
- In another small saucepan, over medium-low heat, whisk the egg yolk with the sugar and cornstarch and slowly add the warm milk. Whisk constantly, until the mixture thickens to the consistency of heavy cream and coats a spoon lightly. Do not boil or simmer or the egg will scramble. Remove from heat. Stir in the coffee, vanilla, or orange flavoring.
- Pour the Custard Sauce into a small bowl. Serve warm or chilled. To chill, cover and refrigerate at least 1 1/2 hours or up to 1 day ahead.