Thursday, October 17, 2013

So Far, Soufflé.

    Alright Ladies and Gents it's time to put your fancy pants on, because we're about to make some chocolate soufflé!
Soufflé is one of those magical food items. It's light, fluffy, and warm. Depending on what you put into it, it could satisfy your cheesiest or sweetest dreams, and right now we're dreaming in chocolate. Ladies, you know what I'm talking about.
It may seem like something you'd only see on the Metropolitan Opera House's dessert menu, or in a 5-star Brasserie, but with a little know-how, you can whip one up as quickly as a batch of cookies. Trust me, when you're craving some serious dessert, it's more satisfying than a cookie. Unless the cookie is filled with warm salted caramel... but enough of that, I'm getting side tracked.
Soufflé!  One thing that it is however, is time sensitive. So plan on serving it as soon as it comes out of the oven or else you lose the "wow" of the puffed confection. My boyfriend Mark photographed this baking session, and he first handedly found out just how quickly the deflation occurs. So we will have one picture of mine from inside the oven, and then the slightly deflated finished product. He did a great job though! Next time, I'm sure he'll have that finger on the shutter when the oven door is opening. A round of applause for the food photography rookie!
I served this with a warm raspberry sauce for some acidic bite with the rich chocolate. Try it with any fruit you like! Blackberry or tangerine would be heavenly.
Here we go.

Chocolate Soufflé with Warm Raspberry Sauce.
Serves 6
1/2 c. Heavy Cream
6 oz (yes, weighed) Bittersweet Chocolate, chips or chopped
3 Egg Yolks at room temperature
3 Tbs Creme De Cacao 
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract 

6 1-cup ramekins buttered and dusted with sugar

5 Egg Whites

5 Tbs Sugar

 Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Sorry, that was demanding. Please preheat your oven.
Now it's time to get your double boiler happening. This is where a lot of people go wrong. Either they put too much water in the bottom pot so that the bowl with the chocolate touches the scalding water (burning and seizing the chocolate); or they boil the water underneath and again...seize the chocolate. Here's the ideal double boiler. Put enough water in a pot to come up about 1/4 of the way, and gently simmer it. Simmering water looks like seltzer, and we're going for not the most active seltzer you've ever seen, more like seltzer that makes my mom angry that someone hasn't tightened the bottle top enough. Place the chocolate and cream in a separate bowl that sits on top of the warm water. Monitor the water so it doesn't boil and gently melt the chocolate.
Now, blend in the egg yolks one at a time until fully incorporated. Add in the Creme De Cacao and vanilla.

Great job! You can now take the bowl off the heat and sit this aside until you're just about ready to bake and serve.
Stop right now. Just stop. Are you planning on whipping the egg whites and then walking away for an hour until your company arrives? Well with soufflé, that simply won't do. You can make this chocolate mixture ahead of time and prep the ramekins, but save the egg whites until you're about to clear the dinner plates.

In the mean time, let's make raspberry sauce! Here I trusted my go-to chef, Ina Garten. Don't try to fix what isn't broken, folks.

Raspberry Sauce 

1/2 Pint Raspberries
!/4 c. Water
2 Tbs Raspberry Liquor
1/4 c. Seedless Raspberry Jam
1/2 c. Sugar

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, and cook until combined. I strained the mixture and then warmed it back up before serving. "Now how bad could that be"?

Now that your delicious dinner has been enjoyed by all (I'm sure it was), let's get these bad boys cookin'. Place your room temperature egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer, and whisk them together at a low speed until frothy. Slowly bump up the speed and add the sugar in a steady stream. Now we're going to whip them until they become a shiny and stiff meringue. When the egg whites start creating a stream behind the whisk and turn shiny, you're just about there. Don't over-whip or you'll break the meringue down and be *&^% out of luck. Sorry to be frank, but it's true and has happened to me so so so many times.

Did I scare you? I'm sorry, you're going great!
Let's get that chocolate mix out, and fold the egg whites in thirds. Be gentle, because the more air in the batter, the fluffier the finished product. Now we can finally fill the ramekins about half way and bake for 15 minutes.

Pull them out, dust with powdered sugar and spoon over some raspberry sauce. Yeah, I'm probably going to go make some now. I made myself hungry.

No comments:

Post a Comment