Individual Chocolate Souffles
The anticipation of that first spoonful!

The anticipation of that first spoonful!

This blog post is in honor of my middle son who turns 17 today!  Happy Birthday Baby!! These are one of his favorite desserts and tonight we will be celebrating with these rich, decadent little treats!

If you don't like a crackly crust and a semi-liquid chocolatey interior with every mouthful, all served up in your very own cute little ramekin (c'mon, how much do you love that word?!), then you should probably stay away from these.  If, on the other hand, you have been cursed by the chocolate witch like me, then you should consider what work/chores etc. you can put off until you make these.  And for such an impressive dessert they really aren't all that difficult or time consuming. In fact, you can make them the day before and keep them wrapped in the fridge or even a week ahead and freeze them. And because they're served individually, there is some portion control going on here, which minimizes the calorie guilt--but hey, it's my kid's birthday!

I believe the recipe comes from either an old Gourmet or Bon Appetit issue--I've been making these for so many years, I'm really not sure anymore.  Suffice it to say that whoever created these is someone I want to invite me over to dinner on a regular basis!  If you've never made a souffle before and are a little intimidated by the idea, these are the thing for you.  I think this recipe is very forgiving.  When my kids were little and hanging on me in the kitchen, I could still pull these off...usually with just a minimum of tears...on my part!  

The ramekins, buttered and sugared

The ramekins, buttered and sugared

Butter and chocolate

Butter and chocolate

All melted...

All melted...

See the ribbon thing going on?

See the ribbon thing going on?

Sifting in the flour

Sifting in the flour

Folding in the chocolate mixture

Folding in the chocolate mixture

The batter in an easy to pour measuring cup

The batter in an easy to pour measuring cup

Ready to bake

Ready to bake

Anyway here's what you do:  after beating a lot of eggs and yolks with sugar till the batter forms ribbons, you basically just fold in flour and then a melted butter/chocolate mixture and pour into ramekins (there's that word again!) and then they bake for about 17-18 minutes.

Transient

Since the chocolate is so dominant here, it's important to use a good quality one.  I usually use Lindt Bittersweet or 50% or Valrhona Bittersweet.  I always serve this with whipped cream too--there are some members of my family who would revolt if it were not present!

What could be better to celebrate a birthday with?

What could be better to celebrate a birthday with?

So Happy Birthday, my boy and here's to what looks to be a very exciting year!!


Individual Chocolate Souffles

Makes 10
Prep Time:  30-40 minutes;  Bake Time: 17-18 minutes

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • Extra butter, softened and sugar for preparing the ramekins

The Recipe

1.  Butter ten 3/4 cup ramekins and then dust them with sugar, tapping over the sink to remove excess.

2.  Melt butter and chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally till melted. Remove bowl from water and cool chocolate mixture to lukewarm.

3.  Using electric mixer, beat together sugar, eggs, yolks and salt at high speed for about 6 minutes or until the batter falls in heavy ribbons when you lift the beater. 

4.  Sift the flour over the mixture and gently fold it in.  Gradually fold in lukewarm chocolate mixture, gently.

5.  Pour mixture into a large pitcher or liquid measuring cup and pour into ramekins, dividing it equally.  At this point you can either wrap each unbaked souffle with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for a day or freeze them for up to a week.

6.  If baking now, preheat oven to 400ºF.  Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake until souffles are puffed and beginning to crack on to, about 18 minutes.  Don't overbake or centers will not be soft.  If you have frozen them,  bake for an additional two minutes.  Be careful when removing these to plates or bowls--they are hot.  Serve immediately with a dollop of whipped cream.

Enjoy!

Note:  If you want to double this recipe, you have to start from scratch.  For some reason, it doesn't work well when you double the ingredients.

 

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