‘Are you serious?’ I hear you say. Yes I am. Totally. With only a few standard pantry ingredients, a mixer or even a just a whisk and bit of elbow grease, you are only ever 30 minutes away at most from the classic French dessert.
I have adapted this recipe from one I found online a while back at http://www.realsimple.com and it is true to it’s origins – really simple. Perfectly proportioned for 2 with no wasted egg yolks or egg whites it is easily doubled or tripled for a larger soirée if required.
But, no need to wait for a fancy occasion -get in the kitchen tomorrow night and give it a go!
What you need:
- 2 tablespoons (or about 30 grams) butter (plus extra for greasing)
- 2 tablespoons dutch cocoa powder
- 3 ounces dark chocolate 70% cacao – about 90 grams
- 2 eggs, whites and yolks separated
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- pinch of cream of tartar
How you do it:
Step 1. Grease either one 16 ounce ramekin or two 8 ounce ramekins with butter and dust the inside with cocoa up to the rims. Once done, turn the ramekins upside down and tap out the excess. This gives the soufflé something to ‘climb up’ as it rises.
Step 2. Place your chocolate, vanilla extract and butter in a small pan over a low heat and gently melt together. I don’t bother with a double boiler – your chocolate will be fine if you just give it a gentle stir as it melts (see, even simpler!) Once melted, leave the mixture aside to cool slightly.
Step 3. Separate your eggs (I simply use clean hands and let the white run through my fingers while gently cradling the yolk in my fingers. Catch the whites in a clean bowl or glass and drop the yolks straight into the cooled chocolate mixture.
Gently stir in the yolks until blended. Your chocolate mixture may look like it is splitting or curdling – that is totally fine, don’t be put off!
Step 4. In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites with the sugar, salt and cream of tartar until firm peaks hold (see image). Once done, lighten your chocolate mixture by adding a dollop of whipped egg white to it and gently folding it in until all incorporated.
Step 5. Then add this lightened chocolate mixture into the bowl holding the rest of your whipped egg whites. Gently fold the chocolate mixture in with a light hand (don’t beat it up or you will knock all the air out and you wont get a nice puffy rise).
Step 6. Pour mixture evenly into the ramekins and gently level off the tops (to ensure a neat rise – only of you are fussy like me)*. Place on a baking tray to make it easier to bring them in and out of the oven and place in the hot oven for 40 mins (16 ounce ramekin) or 18-20 minutes for the two smaller ramekins.
Step 7. If you are serving with fruit, ice-cream or custard – take the time while these are baking to prepare your plates as the souffles will start to deflate almost immediately as you take them out of the oven.
When time is up – remove from oven and serve immediately.
*Note: these can be made a day ahead to this point, covered in cling wrap and refrigerated until needed (perfect for dinner parties). Just add an extra 5-10 minutes to your bake time if you are cooking these straight from the fridge.