Since my blog is called G’day Soufflé, I thought it was about time that I actually posted a soufflé recipe. And what better chef to consult for my recipe than the master Julia Child?
In her show The French Chef, Julia explains that a soufflé traditionally uses a thick white sauce combined with flavorings such as cheese, fish or chocolate. For my recipe, I’ve selected a chocolate soufflé, since I love the combination of chocolate with the airy quality of the soufflé. Julia was so excited about cooking a soufflé that she threw her arms up into the air, anticipating the “hundreds of air bubbles” that puff up the soufflé into a wondrous mass.
Julia also cautions us about the basics of making a soufflé: make sure the egg whites are at room temperature before you whip them so they ‘mount’ into nice high peaks. Also, although she starts out by whipping the egg whites by hand in a traditional French copper bowl, she quickly becomes exhausted and switches to the more ergonomic method of using electric beaters. I’m with you on that one, Julia!
Julia becomes so exhausted hand-beating the egg whites in the copper bowl that she slumps over and decides to switch to the electric beaters
For her Chocolate Soufflé (Soufflé au Chocolat), Julia starts by creating an aluminum ‘collar’ around the straight-sided mold to help contain the soufflé as it rises over the rim. (Be sure and tape or pin the foil securely since my ‘collar’ fell off during the cooking). If you are using smaller ramekins, then this step is not necessary.
You then make a creamy Béchamel sauce, whip in the egg yolks and then the melted chocolate mixture.
Next comes the egg whites which should be whipped into a velvety sheen and according to Julia, should increase seven-fold in volume.
The egg whites are then gently folded into the chocolate mixture and then baked in the oven. Watch in amazement as your soufflé puffs up over the top! If you don’t want to use a larger soufflé dish, you could also use smaller ramekins.
- 1 2-quart straight-sided souffle’ dish or 5-6 smaller ramekins
- ½ Tbsp softened butter
- 7 ounces of semi-sweet or sweet chocolate
- 1/3 cup strong liquid coffee
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 6 egg whites (3/4 cup)
- Pinch salt
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- ½ cup sugar
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- Pre-heat the oven to 425 F ( 220 C). Butter the inside of the soufflé dish or 5-6 smaller ramekins. If using the larger soufflé dish, surround the outside of the dish with a double layer of aluminium foil or parchment paper so that a 3-inch collar stands above the rim of the dish. (If using smaller ramekins, this step is not necessary).
- Melt the coffee and chocolate together in a bowl placed over a pan of simmering water; set aside. In a separate saucepan, combine the flour and butter; whisk over medium heat until the mixture becomes a paste. Gradually whisk in the milk until the mixture thickens. Let cool for several minutes.
- One by one, whisk the egg yolks into the hot sauce, then add the melted chocolate sauce, and finally the vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar together until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar until stiff peaks form and the whites become shiny.
- Gradually fold the chocolate mixture into the egg white mixture, folding from the outside of the bowl into the center. Pour the mixture into the prepared molds, filling to just below the rim. Place the mold on the bottom part of the oven and lower the temperature to 375 F (190 C). Bake for about 35-40 minutes until the soufflé has risen and a skewer placed into the center comes out clean. Serve immediately.
- If using a fan-forced oven, reduce the recommended temperature by 20 degrees (i.e. 425 F should be lowered to 405 F, etc).