Bitter Chocolate Soufflé
These are classic chocolate soufflés, baked until they puff, then moved straight from oven to table. Their centers remain creamy and soft. Chef Rodolphe explains that the texture he is seeking as he folds the chocolate into the egg yolk mixture is almost ropy, extending in a continuous thick skein as he lifts the whisk from the mixture. He also notes that folding in the egg whites is a critical step; if too much air is worked out of the egg whites, the soufflés will not rise properly. Although he suggests four 3-inch soufflé cups, fewer, larger molds may be used; in that case, increase the baking time.
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons, softened
- Granulated Sugar - 2 to 3 tablespoons
- Bittersweet Chocolate - 6 ounces, chopped
- Eggs - 5, separated
- Sugar - scant, 1/3 cup
- Bittersweet cocoa powder - 1-3/4 oz
- Milk - 1/4 cup
- Sugar - 1 tablespoon
Butter four 3-inch diameter soufflé cups or ramekins. Pour sugar into a cup and rotate the cup until the sugar has coated all of the butter. Set aside; repeat with the other 3 cups.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water; set aside. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved. Whisk the cocoa powder and milk into the mixture. Fold in the melted chocolate with a whisk, adding half of the chocolate at a time. Beat the whites in a clean deep bowl until foamy; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue beating to firm peaks. Fold the whites into the chocolate mixture, one third at a time, lifting and turning the whisk and letting the mixture drop back into the bowl as it combines; retain as much of the air in the egg whites as possible.
Fill the cups or ramekins three-fourths of the way to the top. Place on a baking sheet and bake 12 to 15 minutes, until the soufflés rise above the cups and set.
To serve: Serve the soufflés in their cups or ramekins straight from the oven.