Chocolate Soufflé

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Souffles have a reputation for being exceedingly difficult to make, but I promise that this recipe is fool proof. I made this a couple of weekends ago and it was just what was needed to keep the cold at bay. Similar to a chocolate mousse, a soufflé feels light and airy with the only difference being that a soufflé is served hot instead of cold. It is the hot air which gives a soufflé the ability to rise and as soon as the hot air escapes, it will collapse.

The recipe consists of two parts: a custard or crème pâtissière, which can be made up to 2 days ahead of time, and whipped egg whites.

Crème Pâtissière Ingredients:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 60 g castor sugar
  • 20 g plain flour
  • 280 ml milk
  • 1 vanilla pod or 5 ml vanilla extract
  • 7 g butter

Method:

  1. Whisk together the egg yolks and half the sugar until pale and creamy. Sift in the cornflour and flour and mix together well.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the milk, remaining sugar and vanilla pod.
  3. Bring it just to the boil and then slowly strain it over the egg mixture, stirring continuously.
  4. Pour it back into the saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring. It might be lumpy at first, but it will become smoother as you stir.
  5. Boil for 2 min and then stir in the butter.
  6. If you plan on storing this, leave it to cool before covering with plastic wrap and storing in the fridge.

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Soufflé Ingredients:

  • Non-stick Baking Spray
  • 80 g castor sugar
  • Crème Pâtissière
  • 45 g Cocoa Powder
  • 40 g dark chocolate, melted
  • 6 egg whites
  • 3 tbsp castor sugar
  • icing sugar, for decorating

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 190 °C.
  2. Prepare 8 ramekins by spraying them with non-stick spray and then fill them with castor sugar, tilting the ramekin from side to side to ensure that the entire inside is covered. Gently tip any excess sugar out of the ramekin. This will ensure that the souffle doesn’t stick to the sides of the ramekin as it begins to rise. Place a baking tray in the oven to heat up.
  3. If you let the Crème Pâtissière cool down, heat it up in a double boiler, stirring. Add the cocoa powder and melted chocolate and mix well. Remove from heat.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually whisk in the sugar, until firm soft peaks form. (Don’t create stiff peaks, which are only suitable for hard meringues.)
  5. Stir in half the egg whites in the Crème Pâtissière to loosen it. Gently fold the remaining egg whites in in a figure 8 motion.
  6. Once you’re sure that its well mixed, fill the ramekins about 3/4.
  7. Place the dishes on the hot tray and bake for 15-18 min. They should be well risen and wobble when tapped. A test skewer should come out clean.
  8. Serve immediately, dusted with icing sugar.

 

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