Yesterday morning we were shaken awake by a pretty large earthquake here in Salt Lake City. I had never experienced one of that magnitude before and it was honestly pretty frightening. On top of everything going on with COVID-19 and social distancing, it was just a tough, anxiety-filled day for me. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- our kitchen is my happy place. I got some work done in the morning and promised myself I would set everything aside and spend the afternoon in the kitchen baking, in an effort to relieve some stress. I ended up making chocolate soufflés and I’m pretty sure that’s just what Emmett and I needed! As I promised on IG stories yesterday, I’m sharing the recipe with you in today’s blog post. Click through to grab it, pin it, and peek at the process. What else does one do when there are natural disasters, pandemics, and we’re all spending LOTS of time at home? For me, baking is complete comfort and self care.
Before you get started, I highly encourage you to crank up some French music (perhaps some Édith Piaf?), pour yourself a glass of wine, let your worries go, and just focus on baking. Chocolate soufflé gets a bad rep and lots of people are intimidated by this delicate & classic dessert, but I promise you- it’s really not that difficult. Worse case scenario… your soufflé deflates, but it will still taste delicious! I also adapted the recipe so it’s a bit more foolproof. My soufflés pictured throughout this post aren’t perfect… I didn’t quite fill my ramekins full enough, but hey- they still turned out delectable! It’s a fun dessert to master.
- 8 ounces Dark Chocolate
- 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
- 4 tablespoons Granulated Sugar *plus more for coating the ramekins
- 6 Eggs *separated at room temperature
- 1 pinch Sea Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
- Remove top racks from oven, and place a baking sheet on the lowest rack. Heat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
- Butter six ramekins, then coat with granulated sugar, making sure each dish is evenly coated and well covered... tapping out excess once finished.
- In a medium bowl, melt the chocolate and butter (either in the microwave- careful not to burn, or over a double broiler on the stovetop). Let it cool slightly (it should still be warm), then whisk in the egg yolks and pinch of sea salt.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar at medium speed until the mixture is fluffy and holds soft peaks. Add the granulated sugar slowly (1 tablespoon at a time), beating until you get stiff, glossy peaks.
- Whisk a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate to lighten it. Gently fold in the remaining whites in three sections, just until combined (do NOT overfold). Transfer the soufflé batter to your prepared ramekins.
- Run your index finger around the inside edge of each ramekin between the dish and the soufflé mixture, pulling the batter from the sides.
- Transfer the ramekins to the baking sheet in the oven, REDUCING THE OVEN TEMP TO 375 degrees. Bake until the soufflés are puffed and the center moves only slightly when shaken gently... around 9-15 minutes, depending on your oven. Sprinkle with cocoa powder or confectioners sugar. Serve immediately while hot!
I’ll start by saying, I didn’t have super dark chocolate on hand, and since I’m social distancing- I wasn’t going to run to the grocery. I ended up using some semi sweet chocolate chips I had on hand. They still worked well, but my personal preference is really dark chocolate!
The key to a soufflé that rises and doesn’t delate when baking is whipping your egg whites to stiff, glossy peaks and folding them in GENTLY to the chocolate mixture.
Over mixing can cause deflating, so even if you have a few tiny white streaks of egg whites… it’s better to leave them than to keep folding and folding the mixture, over and over again. The cream of tartar is also my secret “cheat” weapon for perfect, puffed soufflés.
I made the mistake of not filling my ramekins full enough of batter, so my soufflés could only puff up so tall. I’d recommend filling them nearly to the top (maybe 1/4 – 1/2″ from the top rim).
Once you pull them from the oven, sprinkle the tops with cocoa powder or powdered confectioners sugar, then serve immediately. These are best hot from the oven!
Have you been spending more time in the kitchen this week since we’re all staying home and doing our part to flatten the curve? I certainly have, and I’m loving it! I’ve been trying to find the silver lining in all of this and I hope you can also find some comfort in the kitchen. Please let me know what you’ve been cooking and baking! Are there any amazing recipes I should try? Send them my way!