The Classic French Chocolate Soufflé is light as air and rich as sin. Surprisingly simple to make, Individual Chocolate Soufflés look impressive, but come together in a flash.
FOR THE CREME ANGLAISE:
- 1¾ cup whole milk
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
FOR THE CHOCOLATE SOUFFLES:
- 8 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- 4 tbsp butter (plus 1 tbsp more for coating the inside of the ramekins)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided in half (plus 2 tbsp more for coating the inside of the ramekins)
- 6 large egg whites
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
MAKE THE CREME ANGLAISE:
- Pour the milk into a heavy bottomed medium size saucepan and cook over medium heat until bubbles appear along the edges of the pan.
- While the milk is heating, add the sugar and egg yolks to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is thickened slightly and pale yellow. Beat in the cornstarch.
- With the mixer running, gradually pour the heated milk into the egg yolks in a thin steady stream. Stop the mixer halfway through pouring in the milk to quickly scrape down the sides of the bowl. Resume beating at medium speed to slowly add the remaining milk.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula, until the sauce thickens enough to coat the spoon with a light, creamy layer. Do not let the mixture come close to boiling. The maximum temperature it reaches should be 170 degrees.
- Strain the sauce into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer and stir in the vanilla. Cover and refrigerate. Custard sauce can be served either warm or cold and will keep for 1 week, covered in the refrigerator.
MAKE THE CHOCOLATE SOUFLES:
- Prepare 8 4oz. ramekins as follows: Coat the inside with softened or melted butter. Sprinkle some granulated sugar into each ramekin and shake it around to coat the inside completely. Place the buttered and sugared ramekins on a baking sheet and put in the refrigerator until ready to fill and bake.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a low simmer. Put the chocolate and butter into a saucepan or bowl that is just smaller in size than the one you filled with water. Place the bowl of chocolate and butter over the boiling water and allow the chocolate and butter to melt, stirring constantly. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a large bowl, stir in the vanilla and salt, and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar on high speed until the yolks are thickened and pale yellow, about 3-4 minutes. Gently stir the yolks into the room temperature chocolate.
- If using the same mixing bowl to beat the egg yolks and egg whites, wash and dry it throughly. Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until frothy. Sprinkle in the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup of granulated sugar. Beat until the whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks when the whisk is lifted away.
- Gently fold about 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten. Then fold the remaining egg whites into the chocolate in 2 additions, being as careful as you can to not deflate the beaten egg whites.
- Remove the tray of ramekins from the refrigerator and divide the batter amongst them. Each ramekin will be full to the top with batter.
- Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, until the souflees are puffed and the tops look dry.
- Remove from the oven and serve immediately.