Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Recipe: Individual Chocolate Soufflés

Based on a September 1996 recipe from Cook's Illustrated published as "Make Ahead Chocolate Soufflé".  Prepared for dinner on December 25, 2012. Makes 8 individual soufflés.


5 tablespoons unsalted butter
⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
⅛ teaspoon table salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange liqueur
6 large egg yolks
8 large egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar


  1. Soften 1 tablespoon butter
  2. Coat the insides of eight 1 cup ramekins with the butter. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over the coated ramekins and refrigerate.
  3. Separate the eggs using three bowls to prevent contaminating the whites with any broken yolks. Use a small bowl to collect the white from each egg. If there is no contamination with yolk, pour the white of each egg into the second bowl and the yolks into the third. Collect 6 yolks and 8 whites.
  4. Gently melt the chocolate (break the bars into small pieces) and 4 tablespoons butter in a bowl set inside a sauce pan of barely simmering water.
  5. Remove the bowl from the sauce pan and stir in vanilla extract, orange liqueur, and salt.
  6. Add ⅓ cup sugar and 2 tablespoons water to a small sauce pan. Bring to a bowl then simmer until the sugar dissolves.
  7. With a mixer running, slowly add the sugar syrup to the egg yolks.
  8. Beat the yolk mixture until tripled in volume, about 3 minutes.  
  9. Fold the egg yolk mixture into the chocolate.
  10. With cleaned beaters, beat the egg whites until frothy.   
  11. Add cream of tarter and continue beating to soft peaks.
  12. Add confectioner's sugar and beat to stiff peaks. 
  13. Stir one-third of the beaten whites into the chocolate mixture.
  14. Gently fold the remaining whites into the chocolate mixture until just combined.
  15. Fill each ramekin, cover and freeze until ready to bake, at least 3 hours.
  16. Place oven rack in lower-middle position and heat oven to 400°.
  17. Bake souffés until fully risen and cooked through, 16-20 minutes.
  18. Serve immediately.
Coat eight ramekins with 1 tablespoon butter then 1 tablespoon sugar and refrigerate.
Using three bowls separate eggs, retaining 8 whites and 6 yolks.
Gently melt together the butter and chocolate.
Off heat, add liqueur, salt, and vanilla to melted chocolate.
Bring sugar and water to a boil then simmer until sugar dissolves.
Slowly mix sugar syrup into egg yolks.
Beat yolks until tripled in volume.
Fold chocolate mixture into beaten yolks.
Beat eggs to stiff peaks, adding cream of tarter and confectioner's sugar along the way.
Mix one-third of the eggs into the chocolate then gently fold in the remaining egg until just combined.

Add mixture to ramekins, cover with plastic, and freeze.
Bake soufflés at 400° until fully risen and set, about 16-20 minutes.

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