I love things that look difficult but are in fact quite easy.
Soufflé is one of those desserts that people assume is terribly difficult to make. I think it goes back to cartoons and movies where someone is making a soufflé that comes out tall and perfect only to have it collapse in spectacular fashion. When I was in culinary school I dreaded soufflé day, knowing that they were so terribly hard to make. I quickly discovered the opposite. Yes, a souffle can collapse, but if properly constructed, and eaten quickly, you will have puffy, yummy, moist goodness every time.
My go-to soufflé recipe uses a roux, but when I saw this meringue based soufflé on Cannelle et Vanille I knew I had to give it a try. First thing I did was convert the measurements from metric to standard. I also figured the traditional volume measurements*. The next thing I did was play with the ingredients and add some spices that I always enjoy with chocolate. When the weather turns cool I turn to spices, and I feel bitter chocolate benefits from some spicy, robust warmth. Watch your baking time on these. If you are like me and have a windowless oven you will want to start checking for doneness at the 15 minute mark. Nothing is worse than an overcooked soufflé. You can serve these with powdered sugar, and even some vanilla ice cream. I like them plain, with the shiny imperfect top.
Spiced Dark Chocolate Soufflé Yield 4 to 6 servings
Adapted from Cannelle et Vanille
For preparing the ramekins:
3 tablespoons very soft butter
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons grated chocolate
For the soufflé:
3 ounces (3/4 cup) Dutch-processed cocoa
1 1/2 ounces (1/3 cup) cocoa
12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) water
1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
2 whole cloves
1 vanilla bean, split and the seeds scraped out
1 1/2 ounces dark (72% or higher) chocolate, chopped
1 egg yolk
2 egg whites
4 ounces (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon) sugar
1 ounce grated or finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate
Using a pastry brush butter the insides of the ramekin, making sure to brush the butter in upward strokes. In a small bowl mix the sugar and grated chocolate until well combined. Pour mixture into the first ramekin and turn so all the buttered sides are coated. Pour the excess into the next ramekin and repeat until all the ramekins are coated. Place the ramekins in the refrigerator until ready to fill.
Heat the oven to 350F.
In a medium saucepan bring the water, cinnamon stick, cardamon, cloves, and vanilla bean with the seeds to a boil. Turn off the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove the spices, add all the cocoa and whisk well. Heat the mixture over medium heat until it comes to a boil and thickens. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, about five minutes. Once cooled whisk in the egg yolk.
In a medium bowl whip the egg whites with the salt. Once they reach soft peaks begin to slowly add the sugar and whip until the mixture reaches medium-stiff peaks.
Working in three batches, fold the egg whites into the cocoa paste until the whites are uniformly incorporated. Fold in the grated chocolate.
Divide the mixture into the ramekins, filling nearly to the top. Bake until the soufflé rise, the time will vary depending on the size of your ramekins, but for six servings it will take about 15 minutes. Do not over-bake.
*I did this to avoid the issues that my Raspberry and Chocolate Ganache Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream has had with readers who do not use a scale – and, you really do need to invest in a scale if you have not already. It will only serve to make you a more precise baker.
Just Desserts Elimination Challenge … Challenge!
As you can see above I did not have time to do my petit four for the challenge this week … trust me when I say I am BEYOND busy, but some other bloggers did!
Marye from Restless Chipotle made Pumpkin Pecan Perfection and they do look perfect! Yum!!
Over at The Twisted Chef she mad TWO kinds of petit fours, and i would eat them both all up!
Also, Bravo has a preview for tonight’s show to share below!