CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE DAY
Who knew!? Tuesday, February 28th is Chocolate Soufflé Day! What a great excuse to eat chocolate!
Cheese soufflés may be better known, but I am thinking this chocolate one is more up my alley. A soufflé is a type of cake made from a custard base and egg whites beaten to a soft peak.
Some people may be intimidated by the fancy French name, but here are a few tips from Megan Morgan to get you started! http://www.thekitchn.com/light-and-airy-5-tips-to-make-a-perfect-souffle-every-time-170747
- For Fail-Proof Meringue, Add Acid! This is not required by any means, but if you have trouble getting your egg whites or meringue to peak properly, you can always add a little lemon juice or cream of tartar to help strengthen the structure of the mixture.
- Don’t Overfold: The tendency with many people is to really whip the whites into the base mixture. This is a mistake. You want to gently fold in the whites only until the point where the streaks of white disappear. Until you do this a few times, you’ll probably feel as though you’re under-mixing. Chances are: you’re not.
- Use Fresh Room Temperature Eggs: Your eggs will act the way you want them to if they’re room temperature. Whipping cold eggs is harder work and you won’t get as much lift.
- Level off the Top of Your Soufflé With a Knife: You don’t have to do this, but you know that magical flat top that soufflés have when you order them at restaurants? That’s achieved with the swipe of a flat knife on the top of your soufflé.
- Use the Bottom Oven Rack: Generally speaking (although each oven is certainly different), the bottom oven rack is what you want to use to achieve lift. So for anything light and airy that needs rise, bake on the bottom.
- Use the Right Dish: The sides need to be straight. Really anything you can put in the oven with straight sides.
Weeknight Tip: Did you know that you can make a soufflé ahead of time and bake them when you’re ready to serve them? This is a great party tip — make them the day before, cover and refrigerate them and let them warm to room temperature before you bake. They can be refrigerated for up 2 to 3 days.
Easy Chocolate Soufflé
2 tablespoons butter, plus additional to coat the baking dish
1/3 cup sugar, plus additional to coat the baking dish
1 1/3 cups (8 ounces) chopped chocolate or chocolate chips (the higher quality, the better)
6 eggs, room temperature, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt plus 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Powdered sugar, whipped cream or ice cream, for serving (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Butter and then add a layer of sugar to a 1 1/2 quart soufflé/baking dish.
- Melt the butter and chocolate in a heat-proof bowl (either in the microwave or over a saucepan of simmering water). Whisk in the egg yolks, vanilla, and pinch of salt. Set aside.
- Beat the 6 egg whites until foamy. Add the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cream of tartar. Continue beating to soft peak stage and slowly add the sugar. Then, beat to stiff peaks stage.
- Fold the egg whites into the chocolate base mixture by spooning in a small dollop of egg whites, stirring to combine. Then add the rest of the egg whites, folding slowly and carefully until combined.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared dish and bake for 30 to 32 minutes. This is important: Do not peek while the soufflé is baking!
- The soufflé will be puffed up and appear somewhat moist in the cracks when you remove it from the oven. Then, it will quickly deflate.
- Serve immediately with powdered sugar and whipped or ice cream, if you wish. Store your leftovers in the fridge (I like the soufflé cold the next day, too!).