I LOVE chocolate soufflés, and that says a lot as I don't generally have a sweet tooth. More and more, however, it seems that this classic dessert is dying. I disapointedly never see it on menus, and that includes French restaurants. Am I going to have to travel to Paris just to indulge in this delicacy? I wish, but that's not realistic...
Baking is not really my thing. In honesty, I HATE to bake! Well, maybe hate is a bit strong, but it is just that I am not very good at it... And frustrated. But, 2016 is the year I promised myself to change that statement. As one of my New Year's resolutions, I promised to bake more, and attempt at mastering the art and science known to be the soufflé.
Ironically, during the Cayman Cookout, Chef Ludo Lefebvre demoed how to make his chocolate soufflé with bittersweet chocolate sauce. Obviously, he immediately had my full attention. I thought while watching and listening to Ludo's demo intensively, I could take that knowledge back to the kitchen and make a soufflé easily.
Oh... how wrong I was. A soufflé is so temperamental, it felt like the only thing I did was look at it the wrong way. It was quite the challenge for me. I failed so miserably 2 times, that I had to call my pastry chef and artist friend, Anna Posey, to give me a few words of advice and raise back up my confidence. I'm not sure that it worked. Maybe this week I should start my baking hobby with something easier like a sugar cookie. Hope you have better luck! As they say, nothing good in life comes easy...
Chocolate Soufflés with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce (adapted from Crave by Chef Ludo Lefebvre)
Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce:
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
8 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 large egg whites
Powdered Sugar (for sifting)
For the bittersweet sauce:
Stir in the cream and chocolate in a heavy small saucepan over medium low heat until melted and smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside.
For the whipped cream
Whisk the cream and sugar in a large bowl until soft peak form. Cover and refrigerate.
For the chocolate soufflés:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Use a pastry brush to coat the inside of 2-4oz. ramekins or 1-9 oz. ramekin with butter and then coat with the 2 tablespoons sugar. I used my hands to coat the ramekins as Chef Ludo demoed coating in an upward moment (bottom of ramekin to the top).
In double boiler over a medium heat melt the chocolate, until melted and smooth.
While the chocolate is melting, beat the egg whites in an electric mixer, over medium speed until a stiff peaks forms. Beat in the 1/2 cup sugar into the egg whites and beat until blended. Take the melted chocolate and beat it gentle into the egg white-sugar mixture. Give it a few folds to make sure the chocolate is incorporated, being careful not to deflate the egg whites. Fill each ramekin with the mixture. Bake in the oven for 14 minutes. sift with powdered sugar. Serve immediately with chocolate sauce and whipped cream.