Sunday, November 14, 2010

Daring Cooks make Chocolate Soufflés

Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose Soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge! Dave and Linda provided two of their own delicious recipes plus a sinfully decadent chocolate soufflé recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe found at the BBC Good Food website.

Having never tasted a soufflé I was very interested in completing this month's challenge.  I had visions of creating a marbled chocolate and banana souffle and serving it with homemade peanut butter sauce.  I told Hey, Babe about the challenge and the direction I intended to head with it.  He didn't seem impressed.  Oh well, more for me.  Unfortunately, normal life interfered with me being able to create my masterpiece.  It began to look like I wasn't going to be able to complete the challenge at all, let alone change it to my specifications.  Thanks to having childcare available from my brothers so I could go to a dental appointment, I was finally able to complete the challenge this weekend.  Since it was coming down to the wire, I decided to go ahead with the chocolate version given and leave experimenting for next time.

The four of us who tried the soufflés all agreed that they were tasty.  I'm not sure, however, that the results are worth the effort.  Perhaps this is because I did something wrong while I was making them, after all mine did not rise much.  I think that what is more likely is that we prefer more substantial desserts.  The next day there were two soufflés that had not been eaten and my brother and I ate them cold from the fridge.  We both agree that we liked them better that way which is interesting since they had shrunk considerably and become much more dense.  They were almost like the lightest, least fudgy version of a flourless chocolate cake you will ever taste.  Since it was just a change in texture and not flavor, I believe my second conclusion is more likely and that it is more a matter of substance than flavor.

I believe that I would eventually like to try making a savory soufflé, but as of right now I am in no hurry.  I think that if I ever make another sweet soufflé it will probably end up in the fridge to chill.  I am sure that doing this is breaking laws of soufflé making everywhere, but that is the way I liked mine.  Thank you Dave and Linda for the challenge!  I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Chocolate Souffle
Adapted From BBC Good Food Recipe by Gordon Ramsay

2 Tbsp (30 ml) 1 oz (30g) unsalted butter, for greasing
Cocoa powder or finely grated chocolate

2 tbsp (30 ml) (18 gm) (2/3 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
2 tsp (10 gm) (0.35 oz) caster (superfine) sugar (regular sugar is OK)
½ tsp (4½ gm) (0.15 oz) corn starch (aka cornflour)
1 medium egg yolk
1 medium whole egg
4 Tbsp (60 ml) milk
5 Tbsp (75 ml) heavy cream (or double cream)
3 oz (90gm) good-quality dark chocolate preferably 70+% cocoa solids, broken in pieces
2 Tbsp (30 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) unsweetened cocoa powder
Optional: 2 tsp orange zest or 2 tsp minced chipotle chile en adobo or 1 tsp chipotle chile powder. (The chile version is a Monkeyshines favorite!) Optional: powdered sugar for dusting

6 medium egg whites
6½ Tbsp (95 ml) 3 oz (90g) superfine/caster sugar (if you don’t have it, regular sugar is OK)

1. Heat oven to moderate 375 ˚F/190 ˚C/gas mark 5.
2. Take four 1 cup/~240ml soufflé dishes and brush them completely with softened butter. Tip a little cocoa powder or grated chocolate into each dish, roll the dish around tilting it as you do so it is evenly lined all round.
3. For the crème patisserie, mix the flour, sugar and corn starch into a small bowl. Put egg yolk and whole egg into a medium sized bowl, beat lightly, then beat in half of the flour mixture to give a smooth paste. Tip in the rest of the flour mixture and cocoa powder and mix well.
4. To make the ganache, pour the milk and cream into a pan and bring just to the boil. Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and beat until it is melted and smooth with no lumps.
5. Gradually stir hot chocolate ganache into the paste from step 3, and add the orange zest or chile if using. This is your crème patisserie.
6. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks with an electric whisk. Sprinkle in the sugar as you are mixing. Keep whisking to give stiff, firm peaks to give volume to the soufflés.
7. Stir about 2 tbsp (30 ml) of the beaten egg whites into the crème patisserie. Carefully fold in a third of the rest, cutting through the mixture. Fold in another third (take care not to lose the volume), then fold in the rest.
8. Spoon the mixture into the dishes. Run a spoon across the top of each dish so the mixture is completely flat. Take a little time to wipe any splashes off the outside of each dish, or they will burn on while cooking.
9. Bake the soufflés for 15-17 minutes.
10. The soufflés should have risen by about two thirds of their original height and jiggle when moved, but be set on top.

1 comment:

  1. I have never made souffles before, but yours sure look good! i am not too sure about it, but i think souffles are meant to shrink over time. :) Great job on this!


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