I made chocolate Soufflés!!!! And it was a very exciting beginning to, what I hope to be, a very long love affair with souffles
Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose Soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge! Dave and Linda provided two of their own delicious recipes plus a sinfully decadent chocolate soufflé recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe found at the BBC Good Food website.
Soufflés are something that I have been so scared to even attempt, that I had just surrendered to the fact that I would probably never make them. But, then this challenge came along, and, well I just had to do it. So, I have been preparing mentally to succeed.
Step 1: buy a beautiful spoon for the photo. I was invited to go for brunch in Notting Hill yesterday morning, and afterwards we all walked towards Portobello Market, where there are many many antique stalls, selling all kinds of little and big trinkets. There, I was sure that I would find a really special silver spoon. After an hour of dragging a group of 10 people from one antique stand to the next, I found these peculiar looking spoons. They were all very elaborate, and a lot of little wholes on the bottom. I wasn’t sure if they were to strain teabags, a special spoon to use when you are on a diet, or what exactly, but they were beautiful! As I looked at them, I thought “Wow, these could be great for sprinkling powdered sugar on top of desserts. And, since I don’t have a small fine mesh sieve, I would actually use this outside of photos” And, as it turns out, that is exactly what they are for!! They are meant to serve powdered sugar so that each guest sprinkles their desired amount on to strawberries or other desserts! – Step 1 CHECK!
Step 2: buy ramekins. I was planning on getting your typical little straight-edged white ramekins, until, I found these in a cooking shop… needless to say, I chose pretty versus conventional – Step 2 CHECK!
Step 3: Read the recipe about 5 times before making it! – Step 3 CHECK!
Watching Soufflés rise, is absolutely magical!! I literally sat in front of the oven during the whole time watching them, admiring them and calling J to come and join in the excitement However, their magic is almost immediately trumped by how quickly they collapse, it is silly really this is happens… But, this is very quickly redeemed when you dig your spoon into this devilishly luxurious velvety hot chocolate silkiness.
The recipe is really delicious, and especially for my first soufflé ever, more than satisfactory. Next time, I will try for an even darker chocolate taste. Not sure if it is a matter of even more chocolate, more coffee, or some liqueur(this is probably the one) but I will keep you posted.
Adapted From BBC Good Food Recipe by Gordon Ramsay
- 2 Tbsp (30g) unsalted butter, for greasing
- Cocoa powder or finely grated chocolate
- 2 tbsp (18 g) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 2 tsp (10 g) sugar
- ½ tsp corn starch (cornflour)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 large whole egg
- 4 Tbsp (60 ml) milk
- 5 Tbsp (75 ml) whipping cream (or double cream)
- 3 oz (90g) good-quality dark chocolate (70+% cocoa solids) broken in pieces
- 2 Tbsp (15 gm) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ tsp instant coffee
- 6 large egg whites
- 6½ Tbsp (90g) caster sugar (orgranulated sugar)
- Heat oven to moderate 375 ˚F/190 ˚C/gas mark 5.
- Take four 1 cup/~240ml ramekins and brush them completely with softened butter. The better you butter them, the easier they will rise tall. Tip a little cocoa powder, roll the dish around tilting it as you do so it is evenly lined all round. If there are any patches that are not covered, place more butter and more cocoa on top.
- Make the crème patissière: mix the flour, sugar and corn starch into a small bowl. Put egg yolk and whole egg into a large sized bowl, beat lightly, then beat in half of the flour mixture to give a smooth paste. Tip in the rest of the flour mixture and cocoa powder and mix well.
- Make the ganache: pour the milk and cream into a pan and bring just to the boil. Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and instant coffee and beat until it is melted and smooth with no lumps.
Gradually stir hot chocolate ganache into the base of your crème patissière from step 3. Your crème patissière is complete.
- Make extremely fluffy egg whites: In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks with an electric whisk. Sprinkle in the sugar as you are mixing. Keep whisking to give stiff, firm peaks to give volume to the soufflés.
- Bring it all together: Stir about 2 tbsp of the beaten egg whites into the crème patissière. Carefully fold in a third of the rest, cutting through the mixture. Fold in another third (take care not to lose the volume), then fold in the rest.
- Spoon the mixture into the ramekins. Run a spoon across the top of each dish so the mixture is completely flat. Take a little time to wipe any splashes off the outside of each dish, or they will burn on while cooking.
- Bake the soufflés for 15-17 minutes(12-14 in a convection oven).
- The soufflés should have risen by about two thirds of their original height and jiggle when moved, but be set on top.
AND…. SUCCESS!!!!!!!! They rose and cooked beautifully!!! Add some powdered sugar and cream and DEVOUR!!