Soufflé au Chocolat: Simple, Not Scary

Aug 24, 2016

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Like many people perhaps, I have an unabashed fascination with Julia Child. As I mentioned in this week’s Petit Plaisir, Julia Child’s approach to cooking reveals her sincere passion for French food, the quality ingredients, the no fuss-presentation, and most importantly, ensuring absolutely delicious flavor.

And it was the sixth season of The Great British Baking Show airing on PBS in which the technical challenge was to bake a soufflé au chocolat or chocolate soufflé that I began to want to make my own. Having only made pop-overs which only resemble a chocolate soufflé in the aspect of the beautiful rise and more light-weight texture, I was eager to try my very own Soufflé au Chocolat. But I must admit, due to the fact that I had never ate one or watched someone cook it, I was intimidated.  But why? How had I conjured the idea that this was a difficult dish? The key in this false fear was that I simply didn’t know what it involved. Could I do it? Was there a special trick? The trick, if you will call it that, was to follow Julia Child’s recipe and all will be just fine.

Key Things to Remember:

  • The soufflé will indeed fall quickly when you take it out, so have your guests ready so they can see it in all its glory.
  • Putting either tin foil or parchment around the entire edge and securing with either string or tape and rising 3 inches above the dish is crucial to helping keep rising and not falling over the dish.
  • Have fun. It’s really not that hard. Julia’s instructions (which I have pretty much wrote as she did –
  • I note the exceptions), are very helpful. 
  • If you want to put into smaller ramekins for individual servings, take it out of the oven about 10 minutes sooner.

Soufflé au Chocolat

~adapted from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking (p. 619)
yields: 6-8 servings

Utensils:

  • a double boiler or a glass/metal bowl to set atop a small saucepan (for mixing the chocolate and coffee)
  • A 2 to 2 1/2-quart soufflé dish (similar to above image)
  • 2-quart saucepan
  • whisk

Soufflé au Chocolat

Simply LuxuriousSimply Luxurious
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 7 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (top quality), I choose dark chocolate from Scharffen Berger
  • 1/3 cup strong coffee
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter softened
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks save the egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 6 egg whites about 3/4 cup
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees (Fahrenheit)
  • Place the chocolate and coffee in the small pan/bowl, cover, and set in the larger pan of almost simmering water. Remove from heat and let the chocolate melt while you proceed with the rest of the recipe.
  • Smear the inside of the dish with the butter. Surround with a collar of buttered aluminum foil (I recommend parchment paper and tying with a string around the soufflé dish) to reach 3 inches above the rim of the dish. Set out all of the rest of the ingredients called for (mise en place!)
  • Measure the flour into the saucepan. Start whisking in the milk by dribbles at first to make a perfectly smooth cream; rapidly whisk in the rest. Add the butter, and stir over moderate heat until boiling; boil, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and beat 1 minute or so to cool slightly.
  • One by one, whisk the egg yolks into the hot sauce, then the smoothly melted chocolate, and finally the vanilla.
  • Beat the egg whites and salt in a separate bowl until soft peaks are formed. Then, by sprinkles, beat in the sugar and continue until stiff shining peaks are formed.
  • Scrape the chocolate mixture into the side of the egg white bowl; delicately fold them together. Turn the soufflé mixture into the prepared mold and set on a rack in the lower level of the preheated oven. Just as you’ve placed the soufflé in the oven, turn down the thermostat to 375 degrees.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes. To determine if it is done, use a skewer and plunge it through a surface crack. If it comes out clean, it is time to enjoy . . . immediately. Serve with ice cream, sweetened whipped cream or crème anglaise (p. 588 in her cookbook)

~TSLL FRENCH WEEK posts so far in 2016 (#tsllfrenchweek):

~What I’ve Learned Since French Class, So Far: Part Trois

~Style Inspiration: French Street Style

~How to Be Chic with Fiona Ferris (podcast)

~10 Fantastique French-Inspired Blogs

~Why Not . . . Be Fascinated by the French Culture?

~Find more TSLL Recipes here.

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3 thoughts on “Soufflé au Chocolat: Simple, Not Scary

  1. I used to make it when my children were home. I substitute Grand Marnier for the vanilla. Cheese soufflés are done the same but with different ingredients. Both are relatively easy and I never had either fall!

  2. This has been on my to-do list for a while. As soon as the weather cools and I can stand to light the oven, I will do it. Chocolate and cheese. It will be an excuse to go hunting for a good soufflé dish.

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