Dark chocolate souffles have long been one of my husband's favorite desserts. So, when we had some guests over a month or two ago for a dinner party, and their contribution to dinner was making us four delicious chocolate souffles, he was thrilled. I promised that I would replicate the feat at some point. Since souffles are one of our featured recipes this month on A Kitchen In Brooklyn, I figured that now would be a good time to make him his favorite dessert with a bit of a raspberry twist.
I love raspberries and think that chocolate and raspberries make the perfect combination. Coffiners (my husband's family) are the opposite. Most (but not all) of them don't really care for raspberries at all. However, my husband is the exception. With a little prodding, I convinced him that he should eat his dark chocolate souffle with my raspberry Chambord cream sauce, and it worked. He loved it!
When I decided to make a raspberry chocolate souffle, I was torn between preparing a chocolate souffle with a raspberry sauce or a raspberry souffle (yes, it would be that lovely pink color) with chocolate sauce. In the end, I decided to do both, but start with the former. So, there will be a straight-up raspberry souffle coming your way soon.
The first step in preparing this recipe is to prepare a dark chocolate souffle. Like Emily mentioned in her soup post yesterday, I am also not good at following directions; I never was. As a kid when asked to color inside the lines in a coloring book, I never did - I drew my own picture. I'm still that way - I prefer doing things my own way, which occasionally gets me into a bit of trouble. However, souffles can be a little tricky, and unless you have made a lot of souffles, it's usually good to follow some sort of recipe, at least as a guideline - so even I am actually encouraging following directions here. If you do things a little off (i.e. not enough egg whites, open the oven in the middle, fold in the egg whites too hard etc.), your souffle will not rise, or worse, will make a mess.
I looked at a number of recipes, before deciding on how to prepare the souffles. A lot of the recipes I used made quite a bit more souffles than I was interested in, or had proportions I was not crazy about. Based on all the recipes I looked at, I came up with what I consider to be a very basic dark chocolate souffle recipe. I used the darkest (60% cocoa) chocolate pellets I could get my hands on at the grocery store.
First, spray 4 ramekins with PAM and dust with sugar. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place the ramekins aside on a baking sheet. On one burner, heat a large pot of water (to construct a double boiler - you could just use a regular double boiler if you have one). On a second burner, combine the milk and the cornstarch over medium heat and bring to a boil, and stir until it thickens. Once thickened, turn the heat off. Melt the 5 oz of bittersweet/dark chocolate in your makeshift double boiler and combine with the milk mixture. Transfer to bowl and mix in the egg yolks. Set this aside, and concentrate your attention on the egg whites.
Getting the egg whites right is key. If you do not get the result that I describe here, you should discard the egg whites and start again until they are just right. If they are not fluffy stiff peaks in the end, your souffle will not rise, and the entire experiment will be a waste of time. It's happened to the best of us, but if you follow these instructions, it should work out.
Put the egg whites in the basin of your stand mixer. Add the cream of tartar and beat for a minute or two until foamy. Then continue beating, on the highest setting there is, while gradually adding the sugar (1/6 of a cup - fill a 1/3 measuring cup halfway). Once the sugar is added continue beating for about three minutes, until shiny stiff peaks form. The result should be nice and fluffy and it should form a stiff pointed peak when you test the consistency with a fork or spoon.
Next, gently fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture. Gently! Don't beat it in, just fold gently with a spatula. If you are too rough in doing this, the souffle won't rise as well. However, fold enough to make sure the mixture is mixed in full.
Fill four ramekins. Then place in the oven right away (it is really important to have the timing right with a souffle, so make sure the oven is fully preheated by the time you get to this point). Bake for about 13-15 minutes (watch using your oven light) until they have risen fully. Don't open the oven until you are ready to take the souffles out no matter how impatient you are (I did this once and the souffle collapsed and was a disaster).
Serve the souffles immediately (they will fall in a couple of minutes, but still taste great) when they come out of the oven with the raspberry sauce, and some fresh raspberries. My husband happily devoured two of these in a matter of minutes (seriously)!