Norman Love is at the top of his profession, and this soufflé is an example of why. There are two layers of coffee flavor in this soufflé, one in the pastry cream base and one in the egg whites that inflate the soufflé as it cooks. Love makes individual soufflés and brings them to the table with chocolate syrup and Honey-Cinnamon Whipped Cream. The whipped cream could take off on its own with another dessert — say, something with apples.
- Coffee Beans - 1 cup, roasted
- Whole Milk - 1 quart
- Vanilla bean - 1
- Bread flour - 2 cups
- Butter - 1 cup (2 sticks)
- Sugar - 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons
- Eggs - 13, separated
- Cornstarch - 1 teaspoon
- Kahlúa - 1/2 cup
- Softened butter and sugar - as needed, for soufflé ramekins
- Confectioner's sugar - as needed
- Chocolate Sauce (See Cooking Basics)
- Honey-Cinnamon Whipped Cream (recipe follows)
Roast coffee beans on a baking sheet in a 350 F oven for 10 minutes. Place coffee beans on clean surface and break into coarse pieces by rolling with a heavy rolling pin. Place ground beans in a 2-quart saucepan, add milk, a split vanilla beans with its seeds, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let infuse for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, cream flour and butter together with spoon or large whisk until it forms a smooth paste. Strain reserved milk-coffee mixture through a fine-meshed sieve or a chinois. Rinse and dry saucepan. Return milk to saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add butter-flour paste all at once. Whisk into milk until smooth. Return to medium heat and continue to cook. stirring with a large spoon until the roux pulls away from side of pan, one to two minutes.
Transfer roux into the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer and, using paddle attachment, mix on low speed to cool. Add sugar, mixing on medium speed until incorporated. Gradually add egg yolks, a little at a time, mixing until yolks are completely incorporated. Transfer this soufflé base into a large bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto surface so no skin forms. Cool. (Pastry cream base may be prepared a day ahead, covered and refrigerated, and brought to room temperature by placing bowl in larger bowl with warm water and stirring.)
Beat egg whites in bowl of heavy-duty mixer, slowly adding 1 teaspoon of cornstarch, until the whites are stiff but not dry. Then add Kahlúa to the pastry cream base, whisking to mix completely. Carefully fold beaten egg whites, one-third at a time, into the pastry cream base.
Butter and sugar the insides of eight 1-cup soufflé ramekins. Fill with soufflé mixture. Using thumb, wipe inside edge of each soufflé ramekin to ensure clean edge, so soufflé rises straight up. Bake at 380 F until soufflés rises completely, about 19 minutes.
To serve: Dust soufflé tops with confectioner's sugar and serve with separate containers of chocolate sauce and Honey-Cinnamon Whipped Cream.
To make Honey-Cinnamon Whipped Cream: Whip 1 cup of heavy cream until soft peaks form. While whipping, slowly add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 tablespoon honey. Whip to incorporate.