If you remember last December, I posted the Top Ten Things I'm Wishing for this Season, one of those top ten things was, Julia Child's classic French cookbook, Mastering The Art of French Cooking. I never did a follow up to that post but much to my excitement I did receive, the now infamous book, on Christmas morning. This recipe is straight out of Julia's book, Page 619, and it is to die for!
As Julia suggested, I served my soufflé with vanilla bean ice cream. I have never bitten into something so light, so fluffy and so heavenly! The chocolate is definitely there but it's light and not overpowering (I'm not the biggest fan of chocolate desserts), and the combination of the two together was just divine. The recipe is fairly easy to make, it took me about 20 minutes to prep and about 20 minutes to bake. I only varied from Ms.Child in very minor details, which I will point out below, as we go along this French journey. I highly recommend this sweet French soufflé.
First you will need 6-8 ramekins for individual size soufflés, which was my choice.
Ms. Child calls for one 8-9 inch baking dish and unsalted butter.
Soften 1 tablespoon (Julia suggests 1/2 a tablespoon) of butter and brush each dish with the butter heavily.
Set your buttered dishes aside. At this point Julia asks us to line each dish with aluminum foil, raised 2-3inches higher than the dish itself...I skipped this step as it seemed unnecessary to me.
Next add 1/3 a cup of flour to a saucepan set on medium/high heat.
Julia then tells you slowly dribble in 2 cups of milk to the flour while whisking together to get a nice smooth batter, I agree.
Whisk in 3 tablespoons of butter.
Whisk until the butter has melted and bring your mixture to a boil.
Remove from heat and beat for a minute to cool. Set mixture aside.
Okay, here's the thing Julia wanted you to use a double boiler and melt your chocolate first, I did not. I let my milk mixture sit for a minute and combined Julia's call for 7 ounces of semi sweet chocolate with 1/3 of a cup of strong (hot) coffee. And stirred.
Since the coffee is hot (which Julia does not tell you) it will melt the chocolate. If it doesn't zap it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds and stir again to create a smooth chocolate mixture. Set aside.
Now back to the milk mixture, slowly add in one egg yolk at a time and stir to combine.
Reserve the egg whites for later use.
You will do this with four egg yolks total, and your mixture should take on a delicious custard color.
Stir in one tablespoon of vanilla extract.
And finally add the chocolate mixture to the milk mixture.
Stir to combine and set aside.
Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl (preferably stainless) add your reserved 4 egg whites and add 2 more egg whites. Beat the six egg whites and 1/8 of a teaspoon of salt together.
As you beat the egg whites and salt, it will begin to form a foamy solution.
Keep beating until you can form soft peaks with the mixture.
Then, sprinkle in 1/2 a cup of sugar and beat on high speed.
I brought out the electric hand mixer for this step, however it can be achieved with a whisk and a little determination. Whisk the mixture until it is stiff and shining peaks have formed.
It looks so light and airy, but how do you know when your mixture is stiff?
I saw this on the Food Network, if you want to tell whether or not you have beaten your egg whites correctly, you should flip the bowl upside down (carefully) and the egg whites will not fall out. I realize that it takes some guts and craziness to do this, but it's so rewarding. I felt so daredevil-esque afterwards :)
Pour your chocolate mixture into one side of the egg white mixture.
Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula to get out all of the chocolaty goodness.
Using the rubber spatula fold in the two mixtures together carefully. You don't want to lose the volume.
Keep folding until the mixture is well combined.
Pour your soufflé batter into your greased ramekins and fill about 2/3 of the way.
See all the bubbles in the batter? That is what will give your soufflé it's rise and light airy taste.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes, if using a ramekin, 30-40 minutes if using one baking dish.Your soufflé's will rise and begin to crack on top. Insert a skewer to the side of a soufflé to test for done-ness, the skewer should come out clean.
Remove from heat, and serve immediately. Soufflés will lose their volume after 5-10 minutes of being out of the oven. Serve with vanilla ice cream or Julia also suggests whipped cream or creme anglaise. This dessert is sure to be a hit, I think I'm in love! Thank you Julia Child.