Valentine's Day is all about doing something a little special for the one you love. So, if you have decided to create an amazing dinner then you really need to have a delicious dessert to end the meal on a high note. The following recipe is an adaptation from a Cooks Illustrated version that I found from the San Francisco Chronicle. What makes this recipe so special is that it simplifies the entire process by making it the day before and freezing it. This way you have extra time to spend with the one you love and less time preparing the meal. We at Sulpice Chocolat hope you really enjoy this decadent treat!
This recipe, adapted from "The Dessert Bible," by Christopher Kimball, can be made couple days ahead and frozen before baking. Key steps include beating the egg yolks with hot sugar syrup, cleaning the rim of the ramekins and baking the souffle straight from the freezer.
- Softened butter and sugar, as needed
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- Large pinch kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons orange liqueur (Cointreau or Grand Marnier work best)
- 8 teaspoons + 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- powdered sugar, optional
Evenly spread the inside of six 4- to 5-ounce ramekins with softened butter; sprinkle on a coating of sugar and shake out any excess. Refrigerate until ready to fill.
Microwave the chocolate and the 2 tablespoons butter, 15 seconds at a time, then stirring to help melt larger chunks, until just melted. Or melt in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Stir until smooth and fully combined. Remove from heat then stir in salt, vanilla and orange liqueur. Transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside.
In a small saucepan, bring 1 tablespoon water and the 8 teaspoons sugar to a boil; remove from heat.
Beat the yolks rapidly by hand or with an electric hand mixer at medium speed, then slowly drizzle the sugar syrup into the yolks, continuing to beat, until thickened and light yellow, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Fold the egg mixture into the chocolate. The recipe can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated. Allow to come to room temperature before continuing.
With a scrupulously clean bowl and stand mixer using the whisk attachment, briefly whip the egg whites at medium-high speed until foamy; add the cream of tartar and continue to beat. Slowly add the 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, beating until the whites are glossy and hold tall, soft peaks.
Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and spoon about 1/4 of the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture, rapidly stirring until fully incorporated, stopping to scrape the bowl as needed. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the rest of the egg whites, but do not overwork.
Spoon the batter into the prepared ramekins up to the rim, then smooth. Clean the rim with your finger or damp paper towel, creating a sharp line between mixture and ramekin, which will help the rise. Cover and freeze at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.
To bake: Move the rack to the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°. Meanwhile, if using whipped cream, sweeten the heavy cream with powdered sugar to taste, whip to soft peaks and fold in zest; refrigerate. Place ramekins directly from freezer into the oven. Bake until fully risen and centers rebound when lightly touched (top will be dry), about 20 minutes (if using collars, allow 6 to 8 minutes more baking time). Dust with powdered sugar. Use two spoons to open the middle of the souffles and spoon in the whipped cream, if using, or serve the whipped cream alongside. Serve immediately.