Cheater’s Souffle

Back in 2009, apparently, I ripped a page out of the November issue of Good Housekeeping magazine. Just this week, as I was flipping through my recipe notebook filled with ripped out pages of recipes from various magazines, I ran across this particular page which was titled “Cheater’s Guide to Chocolate Soufflé.” Being that I was looking for an impressive dessert for a dinner party I was hosting the next night, I decided to try my luck.

I have to tell you it was a wonderful success. Quickly and easily I served individual chocolate soufflés to my guests (Sweet Husband’s boss and his wife), who were impressed with the light, fluffy dessert that was hot and chocolaty. So here’s how I made my successful dessert venture.

I think I’m going to try to host one of our “Bachelor” viewing parties the night before Valentine’s and serve these.

Chocolate Soufflé (4 servings)

Nonstick baking spray with flour

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips (I couldn’t find bittersweet chocolate chips so I used a 4 oz bar of Ghirardelli’s bittersweet chocolate)

1/3 cup sweetened, condensed milk

3 large eggs, separated

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Generously coat four, 4-oz ramekins with nonstick baking spray with flour.

2. In microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate chips (I broke up the bar into small pieces) on high in 20-second increments, stirring with a wire whisk until just melted.

3. Once chocolate is melted, whisk in condensed milk.

4. Next, whisk in two of the egg yolks into the chocolate and milk mixture. You will not need the third egg yolk. Toss it or save it in the fridge for scrambled eggs the next day.

5. In a large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat the egg whites until medium stiff peaks form (three to four minutes). Add about one-third of the whites to the chocolate mixture, whisking gently until incorporated. Then, changing to a rubber spatula, gently fold in remaining whites until just incorporated. (I remember when my mom taught me to ‘fold’ in batter.)

6. Divide the batter among prepared ramekins.

7. Sift confectioner’s sugar over the tops of ramekins. Place ramekins in a jelly roll pan (9 by 13 inch) for easier handling. Bake 11 to 13 minutes until the tops rise about 1 inch above the rim. Do not open the oven while baking. Serve immediately.

Notes: I made the entire recipe, up to number 7, ahead of time. I covered each ramekin in plastic wrap and put them in the fridge until right before our company came. As we were chatting and having an appetizer, I took them out of the fridge and began preheating the oven. Just before we sat down for dinner, I sifted the powdered sugar onto them and popped them in the oven. At 11 minutes the timer went off. At that point, they had not risen an inch above the ramekin. So I set the timer for two more minutes. When it dinged they were perfect. As dinner was nearly finished, I placed the soufflés on a red clear plate and served them hot. I have to say I was impressed with this recipe. Again, I think it would be the perfect Valentine’s Day treat.

(Making these soufflés reminded me of the movie “Because I Said So,” and Mandy Moore’s character whose specialty was making the perfect soufflé.)

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