Happy Valentines (Hallmark) Day!
My hubby and I don’t really get into the whole Valentines Day thing. We celebrate year round (yes, we are one of those couples) but I will take any excuse to enjoy some chocolate. And what is more decadent than a chocolate souffle? Mmm. Technically I didn’t make these on Valentines Day, but over the weekend. Monday is a work day, and darn it if Congress hasn’t decided that Valentines Day should be a Federal Holiday. What are they thinking? Don’t they realize that we need to celebrate this Hallmark holiday with souffles?
The recipe came from The Bible, aka Bon Appetit Desserts. If you’ve never made a souffle before, you need to change that immediately. A lot of people are intimidated by souffles. They seem complicated. Light, airy goodness must be difficult, right? Wrong! Including bake time, this took me about 30 minutes. And several of those minutes were gathering up the ingredients which I am quite slow doing. You do need souffle bowls – can’t just use any baking cup. Souffle bowls have a straight edge which allows the batter to rise up, giving you the souffle look. But, souffle bowls are insanely cheap. You can find them on Amazon or at Bed Bath and Beyond. And then you can use them as prep bowls when you aren’t making souffles. But that won’t be often since you will want souffle all the time!
This recipe is very, very chocolately. It will satisfy even the pickiest chocolate lover. It actually made me not crave chocolate for at least 24 hours. That’s a long time, in case you were wondering. It is a very romantic dessert.
Now you can easily just have the souffle, or you can top it with ice cream, blackberry would be wonderful. But I wanted something special (and I didn’t have any blackberry ice cream!) so I made a Raspberry Goat Cheese Cream. Oh yeah, it is as good as it sounds. Don’t be afraid of the goat cheese. It is slightly tart but mostly it just adds to the creaminess. If you have friends who don’t like goat cheese, they won’t even know this cream has goat cheese. Give it a try and either add the Chambord or just add vanilla. Or add whatever flavor you think you will like. Orange would also be great. Make it yours!
Happy Valentines Day!
From Bon Appetit Desserts, page 386
- 3 TB water
- 1 TB instant espresso powder, or instant coffee powder
- 5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (do not exceed 61%) chopped
- 1 TB brandy (key to the rich flavor, but won’t be the end of the world if you omit it)
- 3 large egg yolks
- 4 large egg whites, room temp
- 2 1/2 TB sugar
Note: Gather and measure all your ingredients before you start. It will make things much easier. Also, I only made two souffles and the recipe cut in half did quite nicely.
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Butter four 2/3 cup souffle dishes and coat with sugar. Stir the water and espresso powder in heavy small saucepan until espresso powder dissolves. Add chocolate and brandy. Stir over low heat until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Whisk in egg yolks. Cool to room temperature. Move mixture to a large mixing bowl. Be sure to scrape every drop!
2. Beat egg whites in a large bowl until foamy with a hand held mixer. Gradually add 2 1/2 TB sugar and beat until medium firm peaks form.
3. Take about 1/4 of the egg white mixture and fold into the chocolate mixture. This is to loosen up the chocolate mixture. The egg whites are key to the souffle rising properly and if you dump all the egg whites into the mixture, you will likely lose a lot of air. Then, very, very gently fold in the rest of the egg whites. To properly fold, draw your spatula through the center of the whites and then down into the base while turning the bowl.
4. Divide evenly into souffle bowls. Clean up the edges a bit. If you want your souffles to go straight up, overfill the dishes and then scrape off the top and clean off the edge. If you want it to look more homey, just pour it in and let it rise!
5. Bake souffles until puffed but still very moist in the center. It will seem as though it is underdone – this is exactly what you want. Cake like on the outside, pudding like on the inside. Perfection. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.
Raspberry Goat Cheese Cream
Modified slightly from Bon Appetit Desserts, p. 265
- 1 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
- 3 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp chambord liqueur, or vanilla or the flavor of your choice; add more or less to taste
1. Combine heavy cream, goat cheese, and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Add liqueur. Using an electric mixer, beat until mixture is smooth and peaks form. Be careful not to overbeat or mixture will curdle.