Intensely Bittersweet Chocolate Souffles

Recipe by Chef Kate
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READY IN: 36mins
SERVES: 8
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
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DIRECTIONS

  • If you're baking the soufflés right away, position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.
  • Butter the 6oz ramekins and dust the insides with sugar.
  • Place the chocolate, butter and milk in a large heatproof bowl (preferably stainless steel) in a large skillet of barely simmering water.
  • Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  • Remove the bowl from the water bath and whisk in the egg yolks.
  • (Don't worry if the mixture stiffens slightly or is less than perfectly smooth at this point.) Set aside.
  • In a medium, dry bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted.
  • Gradually sprinkle in the 1/3 cup sugar and beat at high speed until the whites are stiff but not dry.
  • Fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remaining egg whites.
  • Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared ramekins, filling each 3/4 full.
  • (The soufflés can be prepared to this point, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bake directly from the refrigerator.) Place the soufflés on a cookie sheet.
  • Bake until they rise and crack on top and a wooden skewer plunged into the center emerges very moist and gooey (but the centers should not be completely liquid), 14 to 16 minutes, perhaps a minute or so longer if the soufflés have been refrigerated.
  • Meanwhile, make the topping: Beat the cream with the vanilla and sugar until it holds a soft shape (or stiffer, if you like it that way).
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate until ready serve.
  • When they are done, remove the soufflés from the oven and serve immediately, with a little powdered sugar sifted over the top, if you like.
  • Pass the whipped topping separately.
  • NOTES: You can substitute a lower-percentage bittersweet or semisweet chocolate if you prefer a sweeter, less intense chocolate flavor; or reduce the sugar to 1/4 cup to partially compensate for the sweeter chocolate, if desired.
  • There is no need to make other changes in the recipe.
  • After you have buttered the ramekins, the easiest way to dust sugar on the inside is to put the 2 tablespoons of sugar in one of the buttered ramekins.
  • Tilt and hold that ramekin over another as if you were going to transfer the sugar.
  • Rotate the ramekin containing the sugar, allowing the sugar to coat the sides as you slowly pour the sugar into the other ramekin.
  • Repeat.
  • Room temperature eggs are best because a cold egg might cause the chocolate to seize, which means it gets too stiff to work with.
  • If you do not have eggs at room temperature, you can hold the egg yolks in a mixing bowl over medium heat (hold the bowl over but not on the burner) to warm them up.
  • Underbeating egg whites is always better than overbeating them.
  • You want to beat the whites until they're no longer yellow and translucent.
  • To get a bigger rise, fill the ramekins higher than suggested.
  • This will mean that you will have one or two fewer soufflés.
  • Don't worry about underbaking or overbaking this recipe- The souffles will still taste good.
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