Tuesday, March 10, 2009
While a week out of school means that I finally have time to relax at home, it also means that I must also face those inevitable, perilous hours of temptation trying to stay as far away from the kitchen as possible. Unfortunately, I was always a lover, not a fighter, and the irresistible calling of sweet possibilities always gets me. Being back in the kitchen felt so natural and so therapeutic and of course, the finished product was a reward in and of itself. My sweet tooth urge is my ever present companion, it's just up to me how I choose to express it in the kitchen.
Today, my sweet craving materialized in the form of an individual chocolate souffle. That's also a big factor in choosing a recipe for me, individual servings, which means no leftovers, no tempting extras waiting to be devoured. Just one little treat, just one time. Unfortunately, because I choose to bake this up in my small toaster oven in order to save electricity, the top came out slightly burned because even on the lowest rack, the souffle was too close to the top of the oven. Regardless of this minor flaw, the souffle was rich on flavor and light in texture; enjoyed with a side of vanilla bean ice cream and freshly sliced strawberries.
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons (1 oz.) unsalted butter
2 large eggs, separated
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup (1 oz.) confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon chocolate liqueur
1. Lightly butter two 6-ounce souffle dish and dust with granulated sugar, tapping out excess. Set the ramekins on a small baking sheet.Set aside.
2. In bowl over saucepan of hot water (not boiling)or in a microwave, melt chocolate with butter.Remove from the heat and whisk until glossy and smooth. Stir in the chocolate liqueur and the salt.
3. In separate bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form, and beat in 3 tablespoon of the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form.
4. In another bowl, beat egg yolks with remaining sugar until thick and pale yellow. Beat in chocolate mixture until incorporated. Fold in one-quarter of the egg whites; gently fold in remaining whites. Divide into prepared container. (Can be prepared to this point and refrigerated for up to 4 hours or freeze for up to two weeks.)
5. Place dish on baking sheet. Bake in lower third of 375 degrees F oven for 18 minutes or until puffed and the exterior is set but interior is still a bit loose and creamy and risen about 1 inch above the ramekin.Careful not to overbake. Dust souffles with powdered sugar and serve immediately as is or with vanilla ice cream or creme anglaise. (To bake straight from the freezer, unwrap the ramekins and set on a small baking sheet or jellyroll pan. Let them sit for 20 min. while heating the oven to 400°F. Bake on the baking sheet until puffed and risen about 1 inch above the ramekin, 18 min.)