Pillow of Heaven: Dark Chocolate Molten Souffle

I know that it has been a long time. These past two weeks have been absolutely hectic, tiring, and excruciatingly stressful. Who knew college would be crazier the second time around? Haha, perhaps I did last semester, but I conviently chose to forget until 50 plus pages of endless DNA drawings, crooked fairy tales, and technical jargon greeted me every night. Life can be hard at times, and even though this semester is going to be a struggle, I know I can get through it.

Speaking of overcoming challenges has anyone been watching Masterchef lately? I never once thought that I would get so invested in a show midway through its season, but when I watch these home cooks compete each week, they become increasingly relatable to me. I feel connected with their struggles and their dreams. Against all oppositions, both physical and social, these amazing individuals are defeating the odds and are chasing their passions for food. Their triumphs this week almost made me tear up with joy. It’s always beautiful to watch, and I wish the two remaining competitors, Christine and Josh, the best of luck as they head into the season finale next week!

On last weeks episode, the bottom two cooks were asked to make three different souffles in one hour, during one of the most intense pressure tests ever. As much as I was sitting there, nervous on the edge of my seat, watching them battle it out, I couldn’t help thinking about how much I wanted a souffle to eat. Everything looked so light, fluffy, and playfully colored, but best of all, it all reminded of me of the idea that sometimes decadence can appear without the residual guilt. As souffles are mainly egg whites, they are low in the calories and high in the temptation factor. How bad could that be?

I used a Giada de Laurentiis recipe as a template for my creation. Coming from me, that might sound a little weird since I don’t care for her very much, but since this recipe looked traditional while still playing around with a molten chocolate center, I knew I had to give it a try. I switched some things up though. Instead of using primarily milk chocolate as she does, I used a bittersweet chocolate in the souffle base and flavored the molten center with an extra-bittersweet, 70% chocolate blend. Richly dark with mild, savory bitterness, this chocolate allows the flavor of the raspberry liquor in the molten center to shine through, and all together, it provides a palette pleasing contrast to its sweeter souffle surroundings.

Everything’s always better with ice cream, so a scoop of ice-cold vanilla on the top pairs beautifully alongside the piping hot souffle when it emerges from the oven as an airy pillow of magic and pure delight. Enjoy this one folks, cause it’s downright lovely.

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Souffle

Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis

Makes 6-7 souffles

Ingredients

  •  2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons berry-flavored liquor, such as Framboise, Chambord, Creme de Cassis
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ounces extra bittersweet (70%) chocolate
  • 6 ounces bittersweet (60%) chocolate
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • vanilla ice cream, for serving

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and sugar six, 6-ounce ramekins.
  2. Mix together the butter, 1 tablespoon sugar, berry liquor, and vanilla extract in a double boiler over medium heat until the butter melts. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the 3 ounces of extra bittersweet chocolate. Stir around the chocolate and allow it to melt. Then place the mixture in a bowl and let it sit in the freezer to firm up, about 10 minutes. Use a spoon to form 6 walnut-sized balls and let them sit in the fridge.
  3. Now place the flour in the double boiler and whisk in the milk slowly. Add the salt and heat the mixture over medium heat until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the egg yolks and whisk the mixture constantly, till it begins to thicken to the consistency of mayonnaise, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the 6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, allowing it to melt.
  4. Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a stand mixer. Beat the eggs whites on high until they begin to form soft peaks. Then gradually add in the sugar and beat it all together till the mixture begins to form firm peaks. Fold the egg whites into the warm chocolate mixture.
  5. Place a ball of the chilled chocolate mixture into each of the ramekins. Spoon the souffle mixture over the chocolate balls and fill up to rim of the ramekins. Bake the souffles in a water bath until golden on top and risen, about 30-40 minutes. Serve immediately with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

Cooking Notes:

  • If you don’t wish to bake the souffles right away, they can sit uncooked in the fridge for about two days.
  • This could also be made with a blend of white and dark chocolate if you find that to be appealing.
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