For the past week or so I've been messing around with Chocolate souffles trying various recipes and techniques. The gold standard for chocolate souffles seems to be Julia Childs version which calls for a melting the chocolate into coffee, making a sauce of boiling milk, thickened by sprinkling in flour and stirring like mad and then incorporating the melted chocolate and egg yolks. Her recipe also calls for butter added after the sauce is made. Than as usual, you make the egg whites, fold into sauce and bake.
This recipe however is booby-trapped. That boiling milk sauce is finicky. It's pretty easy to end up with lumps and so I've been wondering if there's a better way.
So today I made a souffle using the standard methods for a cheese souffle, bechamel, add block chocolate to the sauce after it's off the heat (instead of cheese) but still warm and side step the need for all that furious whisking and extra dirty pans. It seems to work well and so I'm wondering why she would have gone through those extra steps?
Here's my dumbed down recipe which had a delicious result and only 2 things to wash - the sauce pan and the bowl the egg whites were whipped in.
6 oz chocolate, chopped (I used Semi-sweet and bittersweet, mixed)
1/4 C flour
3 T butter
1 C milk
1/8 tsp salt
1 T vanilla
rind from 1 orange, grated
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
4 egg yolks, beaten
5 egg whites
4 T granulated sugar
1 T powdered sugar (for dusting)
whipped cream, raspberries on the side
Preheat Oven: 375 and prepare 2 quart dish: butter and dust w/ granulated sugar and add a buttered foil cuff.
Separate eggs and set aside.
Prepare bechamel. In large saucepan combine butter and flour and briefly cook. Add milk and stir to thicken. Remove from heat and cool for minute or two.
Add chopped chocolate, orange rind, vanilla, salt, cayenne and nutmeg to bechamel while still warm, stirring occasionally until chocolate is fully melted.
Whisk egg yolks to ribbon stage and stir into sauce.
Whip whites to stiff glossy peaks adding cream of tartar and sugar part way through whipping.
Fold whites by thirds into sauce. Do not over fold - a few lumps are fine.
Pour mixture into prepared dish and bake for about 45 - 50 minutes. Do NOT open oven door during cooking. Sprinkle a little powdered sugar over top and serve immediately.