[section_title title=2 – Steps: The Art of Souffléism]
The Art of Souffléism
I know, I know… you’re excited and can’t wait to make this soufflé. I don’t blame you, but you MUST WAIT young gwasshoppa! Before you start making the soufflé, be sure you read the steps and tips in its entirety and read it again. We can all agree that soufflés are impressive and delicious. However, it’s also delicate, fragile, and temperamental. It’s just plain finicky.
JUST AS A REMINDER:
- Read the Soufflé recipe steps below.
- Read the Soufflé Tips.
Follow these steps and with some practice, you will then master The Art of Souffléism. Is that even a word?
So, here we go.
First, gather all the ingredients, measure, and then let it reach to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Grab the ramekins. Here, I have 4 – 6oz ramekins. You can also use 4 oz ramekins and fill the soufflé to the top. It will yield a higher rise.
Now, lightly butter “coat” the ramekins. I used my fingers to spread the butter around and in the crease of the ramekin, but feel free to use a pastry brush.
This is way too much butter. I know it doesn’t look like a lot, but for a soufflé… it is. Wipe some out.
For the sugar coating, mix the cocoa powder and 1 tbs of the vanilla sugar together.
Sugar coat the ramekin by pouring all the sugar and cocoa mix into it. Pick up the ramekin, then tap and twirl the ramekin so that sugar will cling to the bottom, the creases, and the sides.
Then pour the excess sugar/cocoa to the next ramekin and repeat until all of them are coated.
You see all those sugar crystals and cocoa powder. Oh, I’m getting so excited.
Place all the ramekins on the baking sheet and make sure there’s a good inch or two between the ramekins. Place it in the fridge until they are ready to be filled.
Add the cream and instant coffee (or espresso powder) to the egg yolks and whisk them together.
What? Where’s the instant coffee? Actually, I had forgotten to add the instant coffee here. What can I say? It was 11 pm. Gimme a break… I’ll add it in later, you’ll see.
Set it aside while you melt the chocolate.
To melt the chocolate, I use the lazy method. When it’s almost 11 pm, you want to go lazy all the way. I place the chocolate morsels in a microwavable bowl and melt it for 35 seconds. Then take it out and stir the chips until it’s smooth.
Here, I am using milk chocolate. I usually use dark chocolate, but I was out. Even better, melt 2 1/2 oz of milk and 2 1/2 oz of dark chocolate. Mmmm mmm. That just sounds fabulous.
Now, add the chocolate to the egg yolk and cream mixture and whisk fast. I mean, go whisk happy. Since the chocolate is hot, it can cook the egg and cause it to curdle.
Eeewww, just imagine this turning into chocolate omelet. That does not sound appetizing at all.
Whisk until it’s all incorporated and smooth, like this.
Then add the flour, cinnamon, and in my case… instant coffee, too.
Mix it all together until it has the consistency of brownie batter. This is called the base.
I’m just tempted to lick the whisk, heck! The whole bowl! Ok. Patience young gwasshoppa!
Let’s move on to the egg whites. With something this delicate and fast, I prefer using my hand mixer with the whisk attachment. I don’t know why, but the soufflé just seems to turn out better than using my KitchenAid mixer. Maybe I have more control whipping up the meringue or something. I just don’t know.
On medium speed, whisk the whites until it’s frothy, like this. Then, add the salt and whisk on medium high speed. This should take about 30 seconds.
Before the whites “aka meringue” reaches soft peaks, add half the vanilla sugar.
Whisk on high for 30 seconds or so until the meringue reaches soft to medium peaks. Then add the rest of the vanilla sugar and whisk on high again until it reaches stiff peaks.
This is a medium to stiff meringue. See how the peak droops a little? Beat it on high for another minute or two.
Your meringue is ready when it looks white, thick, and glossy. Another way to test is to see if the peaks maintain a “stiff” peak. The peak will stand straight.
Using a rubber spatula, scoop half the meringue into the chocolate mixture and fold.
Make sure your base is completely cooled and at room temperature before you add in the meringue.
To fold: Cut the spatula into the center of the meringue and slightly scoop from the bottom of the bowl to the side of the bowl and fold it over. Pretty similar to scraping the bowl, but not really. Slightly rotate the bowl and repeat.
Work around the bowl gently lifting and folding. It’s almost like one consistent movement. Turn, cut, fold… turn, cut, fold.
After several folding, you may feel like you’re doing something wrong because the mixture doesn’t appear to come together. Don’t worry, it will. Continue to turn, cut, and fold for a few more minutes.
For the first half of the fold, it is ok to have some white streaks. The first fold is to soften the chocolate mixture and incorporate the two. When the mixture gets to this stage, fold 8-10 more times.
Pour the meringue/chocolate mixture into the rest of the meringue mixture.
Fold until the meringue and chocolate is completely incorporated and no remains of the meringue is left.
Take the ramekins out of the fridge and evenly divide the batter into each ramekin. I was able to fill just below the line.
As you can see, I didn’t use the parchment or foil lining on the outside of the ramekins. I tried it once and really didn’t see any use for it. There was enough batter to make the rise but not too much that it will flop.
Place the baking sheet of ramekins on the middle rack of the oven and bake 15-20 minutes. While the soufflés are baking, get the powdered sugar ready.
I took a snapshot of the soufflé through the oven window. Look at that. This is just after 13 minutes. I’m super excited now.
17 minutes later, my soufflés are ready. How do I know? I just do =)
Actually, I made one batch and baked it at 15 minutes. It was not cooked enough inside. Then I made another batch and took it out at 18 minutes. It was too dense and cakey. For my oven, it was perfect at 17 minutes.
When the timer goes off, immediately take it out of the oven and gently place it on the counter. Remember, these are delicate.
With the powdered sugar on hand, make it snow! Don’t be shy.
Look at that! Now is that not an impressive looking dessert? Just something about the delicate crust and a gooey center just makes me feel warm and fuzzy. It’s time! DIG IN!
Oh, be careful. The center is very hot. I couldn’t wait and burnt my tongue, but it was all worth it. No pain, no gain!
It’s still very very impressive and delicious.
And of course, I just can’t leave it alone! I WANT MORE CHOCOLATE! mmmmMMMmmMMM, a pool of chocolate ganache did the trick.
2 soufflés and a cup of decaf coffee later, I am definitely satisfied and sleepy.
This is what I call a great midnight snack. Good night everyone!