I bought these traditional ramekins a long time ago; the pretty white porcelain ones with the ridges on the outside that I’ve been meaning to use wisely. I buy Bakeware and accessories because my heart wants me to and I later on find recipes that might make good use of them. Grocery store aside, a baking supply store is my candy land. I go in circles gawking at cake moulds and accessories and if I find anything unusual, I fight my indefatigable urge to buy it and more often than not I lose!
So I thought I can’t have these lovely ramekins lying around and not make soufflés. One of the main reasons why I’ve been putting it off is because if they don’t pop up, all puffy and pillowy like they are supposed to, my heart might just break. I’ve braved many a baking disaster in my time but that doesn’t mean I don’t get upset. There’s always that inkling of pain that follows a cracked cake and I have to confront it, if I have to go on and bake the same cake next day.
What’s terrorizing about soufflés is that you might think you are doing everything right but you are still doing something wrong. That kind of uncertainty for a madcap baker like me is not good because I don’t give up. But it turns out that soufflés after all aren’t as menacing as they are made out to be. Like with most desserts were egg whites play a crucial role, the minimum the folding the better.
What an egg can do to your dessert is magical. May be sometime in the near future, I’ll try an eggless cake to see how vast the difference is; I can put my curiosity to rest finally! But I can’t imagine how anyone can make an eggless soufflé when egg is the very core of the dessert. That’s not something my baking conscience will allow me to do.
One of the reasons I love French patisserie or cuisine for that matter, is the fact that at the heart of its culinary brilliance rests this unfathomable desire to invent, using technique. Some beautiful French mind thought of using egg whites to give desserts a lovely lift, the billowiness, a texture that is rather irreplaceable and thus was born the soufflé and a plethora of other cakes and bakes.
This dark chocolate soufflé is best eaten warm and cures your mood in ways that are inexplicable. It is food for the heart, for thought and for everything else.
Note: Though they should come out all puffy and risen, they tend to sink in a little bit after the cooking time. Don’t be alarmed.
- 5 large eggs, separated (at room temperature)
- 180 g dark chocolate (minimum 50% cocoa solids), chopped
- 125 g caster sugar (plus 2 tbsp to dust the ramekins)
- 20 g cocoa powder
- 100 ml whole milk
- Icing sugar, to dust
- Unsalted butter, to brush inside the ramekins
- Brush the ramekins with butter. Sprinkle caster sugar inside. Remove excess. Place the ramekins in the refrigerator
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water
- Bring milk to the boil. Add cocoa powder and stir till combined
- Whisk egg yolks and 100 g of caster sugar until pale and frothy
- Add milk to the egg yolks mixture while whisking continuously
- Pour the melted chocolate into the milk-yolk mixture
- Preheat the oven to 200 C
- In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Add sugar and continue to beat until stiff and glossy
- Fold half the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Fold until lightly combined. Fold the other half in and fold gingerly. Do not over fold
- Remove the ramekins from the refrigerator and pour the soufflé mixture into the ramekins
- Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until risen