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Verses from my Kitchen: Chocolate Soufflé

January 31, 2011

Chocolate Soufflé

I don't remember the first time it started taking shape. I've been fascinated with food and for as long as I can remember I've always collected them. When my friends would collect sports cards or, dare I say it, coins (well, not my friends but somebody was doing it) I would be trying to get my hands on a new cookbook. Like a vinyl record, I couldn't wait to get it home and enjoy it. But after I get them they tend to sit for long periods of time. 

I still flip through them. I love the sound and feeling of the pages pushing one another over like dominoes. I'll grab a cup of coffee in the morning and look at the pictures for inspiration. Some of the images are straight up food porn, both tempting and mouth-watering. Now I don't usually recite a recipe or copy down main components of it. It's just not my thing. But I will use the recipe as my muse and flip the switch on it. 

I can remember the moment when I first saw this image of a souffle a few years ago and it has stuck with me. It wasn't chocolate but it was lovely enough to cling to one of the banks where my memory washes up to from time to time. It was a raspberry souffle that looked incredibly fluffy and light. To this day when I think of a souffle I think of that beautiful picture. It hooked me in. Big fish style.

The problem that stymied me was trying to make this lovely chocolate creation. I used to look at an image of a souffle and convince myself that it wasn't in my repertoire. It looked too beautiful, too scientific, too French. I thought there was a secret to the madness and I didn't hold the key to unlock it. So I passed on it. Again and again. But one day came when I threw caution to the wind and decided I would attempt to climb that mental mountain. 

I now regret all those years of waiting.

A great soufflé has to be light with a thick, creamy interior. Some chocolate soufflé recipes are made with cocoa alone, but I prefer a good quality dark chocolate incorporated with cocoa when I make mine and the results speak for themselves. The key is using the best quality chocolate you can buy, which goes without saying. The first bite will have you singing. It's really, really good. Almost orgasmic.

The really fascinating thing about making your own soufflé is watching them rise in the oven. It's the show before the main event. It's kind of like sitting by your window as a kid and eagerly awaiting for all your friends to show up. And they always did. 

The key in making the soufflé rise is brushing your butter in strokes upwards on the inside your ramekin or dish. It helps guide the mixture up and out, almost guiding it as it moves. And when it starts to inch up inside the oven you won't be able to contain your happiness. You'll always remember that moment the first time you make it.

If loving souffles wasn't bad enough, I also have this thing for chocolate. I crave it and usually can't get enough of it. It's the sweet and savoury aspect that locks me in. I'm hooked, and I don't see it changing any time soon. From the first bite to the last, this souffle satisfies those needs. It oozes chocolate goodness. It's rich and wonderful. 

The best part of a recipe like this is sharing it with your favourite person in the world. That's an easy one for me. My wife. She's off on a shoot today. She had to drive through a snowstorm to a destination a couple hours away, but I can't wait to have this with her when she gets back. The sweet finish to a great day!

From my kitchen to yours, happy eating!

Chocolate Souffle

The Goods:
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 50 grams dark chocolate (70% cocoa), grated
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • pinch of salt
  1. Brush the softened butter over the sides and bottom of the ramekin. For the sides, apply upward strokes to allow the souffle to rise vertically. Next, mix some of the grated chocolate and sugar and pour into one ramekin, shake it around so all sides are covered and dump into the next ramekin. Once both are coated, refridgerate until ready.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites in a bowl until they are foamy. Add 1/3 cup sugar and beat gradually. Continue until the egg whites have medium-soft peaks.
  3. Meanwhile, stir the chopped chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan with simmering water until melted. Remove from the heat. Add the water and cocao powder and  mix until combined and smooth. Fold a bit of the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture. Fold more, 1/4 at a time, until well combined.
  4. Divide the souffle batter among the ramekins and, using a butter knife, level the the top so it's flush with the top of each ramekin. Wipe the edge clean.
  5. Bake the souffles on a baking sheet until they lift up by an 1" or more, but are still moist in the middle, about 12 minutes.
  6. Serves 2.
**This post made Foodbuzz Top 9!

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At January 31, 2011 at 8:29 AM , Blogger Stephanie said...

Yum! Looks wonderfully sinful! :-p

At January 31, 2011 at 9:02 AM , Blogger Sadik Ali said...

Ummm that looks so luscious and indulging :)

At January 31, 2011 at 12:35 PM , Blogger sweetsbysillianah said...

OMG i keep seeing souffles, I have to make some for myself, soon! this looks divine!

At January 31, 2011 at 1:28 PM , Blogger All That's Left Are The Crumbs said...

Your souffle looks wonderful and I can tell by the empty bowls that it tastes wonderful too. It is funny isn't it how we can convince ourselves that something is too difficult to make, and then when we try it we kick ourselves for not doing so sooner.

At January 31, 2011 at 2:43 PM , Blogger Carolyn said...

It's gorgeous, I am glad you conquered your reservations and gave it a go!

At January 31, 2011 at 2:55 PM , Blogger Shadi said...

that's really nice! where is the recipe?

At January 31, 2011 at 3:04 PM , Blogger A Thought For Food said...

I'm not sure there's anything sexier than chocolate souffle. Seriously, I have a visceral experience when I eat it. Nom nom nom!

At January 31, 2011 at 6:32 PM , Blogger Lizzy said...

This looks fabulous!!! A chocolate souffle will be on my menu soon :)

At January 31, 2011 at 6:36 PM , Blogger Michael Lewicki said...

Thanks Stephanie! It was everything and more! :)

Thank you Tes. Oh, I indulged! It's one of life's precious moments.

Sillianah, you should definitely make a souffle. It's a great experience and eating one is pretty special. Thank you!

Felice, I kick myself anytime I wait too long to make something. It's a mental game we play. Thank you for the comment!

Thanks Carolyn! I'm glad I did as well. Especially when I ate it. :)

Shadi, i'll try and post the recipe later tonight. Thank you.

Brian, it's quite the experience, isn't it? It's something almost out-of-body. Nom nom, indeed! Thank you!

At February 1, 2011 at 7:08 AM , Blogger Michael Lewicki said...

Lizzy, thanks kindly. It's a great addition to any menu. Enjoy it!

At February 1, 2011 at 7:51 AM , Blogger CarinE said...

I need this recipe right away! I WANT THIS CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE RIGHT NOW!!!

At February 1, 2011 at 10:55 AM , Blogger Lorni said...

this looks divine! i would love this recipe!! i want to make this right now! :)

At February 1, 2011 at 11:55 AM , Blogger Lynn said...

Looks wonderful. Especially for February!

At February 1, 2011 at 3:34 PM , Blogger Rosemary said...

ok, wheres the receipe and are you serving this when I visit next Monday night?

At February 1, 2011 at 8:45 PM , Blogger Michael Lewicki said...

Carine, I promise to post it tomorrow. I've run out of time the last two days. Thank you!

Lorni, please read above comment. It'll be up tomorrow. Thanks!

Lynn, thank you! It's great this time of year.

At February 2, 2011 at 1:17 AM , Blogger All That's Left Are The Crumbs said...

Congratulations on the Top 9!

At February 2, 2011 at 4:40 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

oooh i love souffle and yours looks great :)

At February 2, 2011 at 9:39 AM , Blogger Junia said...

this looks soooo good!!!!! i love chocolate! congrats on top 9 :)

At February 2, 2011 at 1:51 PM , Blogger sensiblecooking said...

Michael, You know what as I was reading this post I felt like I was looking at mirror or myself. Tonight is souffle night friends. Inspired.

At February 2, 2011 at 3:30 PM , Blogger dena said...

I'm confused. Why is this post in the top nine if there is no recipe attached?

At February 2, 2011 at 5:22 PM , Blogger Vaishali Sharma said...

That looks so heavenly! I am loving all the Top9 today! Congrats! This looks awesome!

At February 2, 2011 at 5:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

is it 2 ramekins is 2 servings, or 1 ramekin is 2 servings? you say "bake souffles", but before that you say "souffle" singular, and it appears a few times as "ramekin" singular... this is probably going to be my valentine's day dessert!
thanks for the recipe, looks beautiful!

At February 2, 2011 at 6:00 PM , Blogger Ms Chef said...

Think I’m going to try this for Valentines Day for my hubbie. I’ve made a few savory souflees but never sweet :-)

At February 2, 2011 at 7:29 PM , Blogger Michael Lewicki said...

Thanks Felice, it was a nice surprise today!

MB, thanks! I love them too and appreciate the comment!

Thank you Junia. Let me know if you try it!

SB, that's a great compliment. Thank you! Inspired is always good!

Dena, I don't believe there's a rule that states a recipe must follow a post to be considered. That being said, it's up there now. Next time, just ask me.

Thank you Vaishali! I loved the top 9 too. Great choices today.

ETC, I hope I clarified it for you on the post. It seemed to make sense to me but I edited it for you. Thank you!

Ms.C, thanks. I hope he likes it. I love the savoury souffles as well. Lots of options!

At February 2, 2011 at 8:27 PM , Blogger Xiaolu said...

I absolutely love all souffles and chocolate makes any food better in my book. Clearly, this is a win-win recipe.

At February 2, 2011 at 8:56 PM , Blogger Maggie said...

fabulous!! can't wait to try!!

At February 3, 2011 at 8:31 AM , Blogger Lindsey said...

Wow, this souffle looks breathtaking! Glad you didn't put it off any longer. :) Nicely done!

At February 3, 2011 at 1:09 PM , Blogger Diethood.com said...

Michael, this is fantabulous!! Thank you for sharing ... you know I'm game about trying any of your recipes! Can't wait to give this a shot.

Congrats on Top 9 ... I'm a day late, I know, but the foodbuzz gods had something against me for a few days...I couldn't open up any of my messages. :)

At February 4, 2011 at 10:36 AM , Blogger Michael Lewicki said...

Xiaolu, thank you! Win-win is always the preferred result!

Thank you Maggie. Let me know how it works for you!

Lindsey, thank you. I'm glad as well. Appreciate the comment!

Kate, thanks so much. Foodbuzz was funny for a couple of days, no problem. Thanks again!

At February 8, 2011 at 9:52 AM , Blogger My Foodarama said...

OMG, I just cant wait to try it, and I love this music on your site!!! Thanks for the recipe!

At March 27, 2011 at 12:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

you just don't specify the hoven temperature to bake the souffles... 200 Cº???


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