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Bittersweet Chocolate Souffles

Sweet caramel works in concert with slightly bitter chocolate to give individual souffles a sublime, complex flavor. Served with a thick, creamy caramel sauce poured directly inside, the desserts are sure to garner applause.

  • yield: Makes 6

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup softened unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 6 large eggs, at room tempurature
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • Caramel Creme Anglaise

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with the rack in lower third. Place six 10-ounce ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush inside ramekins with butter. Dust with sugar, and tap out excess. Using kitchen twine, secure a strip of parchment paper around each ramekin so that parchment extends 3 inches above rim. Chill in freezer 15 minutes (up to overnight).

  2. Step 2

    Bring milk almost to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat; set aside.

  3. Step 3

    Put cup sugar and the egg yolks into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until pale, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low; beat in flour. Add about one-third of the hot milk in a slow, steady stream, beating until just combined.

  4. Step 4

    Pour yolk mixture back into pan with the remaining milk. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until thick, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in chocolate, vanilla, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. The souffle base can be made a day ahead and refrigerated, covered, until ready to bake the souffles.

  5. Step 5

    Put egg whites and a pinch of salt into a large copper bowl. Using a balloon whisk, beat until foamy. (Alternatively, beat egg whites and a pinch of cream of tartar instead of the salt in the bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.) Add 1 tablespoon sugar, and beat until soft peaks form. Add remaining tablespoon sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form.

  6. Step 6

    Using a rubber spatula, fold one-third of the egg whites into chocolate mixture. Gradually fold in remaining egg whites.

  7. Step 7

    Carefully pour batter into prepared ramekins on baking sheet, filling to just below rims. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees; bake until set, about 15 minutes. Remove parchment. Poke a hole in top of each, and pour in caramel creme anglaise. Serve immediately.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, November 2006

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