Chocolate and Orange Soufflé
One of my favorite meals ever was Valentine's Day a couple years ago in San Francisco. We had dinner at Cafe Jacqueline where they specialize in soufflé. We literally had a meal that only consisted of souffles and it was more amazing than I could have ever dreamed.
It is a small restaurant with about 6 tables. In the back is (presumably) Jacqueline, an older woman about 90 who whips all the eggs whites by hand for the soufflé. It is my favorite kind of dinning experience. Nothing over the top fancy but full of heart and soul and of course lots and lots of soufflé. We had a lobster souffle then a chocolate orange souffle - this is my take on that soufflé we had that night. You should make it for your valentine’s day/galentine’s day or just any old day for yourself.
Couple notes on the recipe:
First I love the orange and chocolate combo but feel free to omit the orange or swap with peppermint or cinnamon. Consider this recipe a base for experimenting.
Soufflés are a lot easier than you think. Just make sure to whip the egg whites to stiff peaks and fold it into the base without over folding. When you are folding the egg whites in, only fold until you don't see anymore white streaks from the egg whites. If you fold anymore, you run the risk of your soufflé not rising. You can also make your soufflé in advance, store in the fridge up to 4 hours then bake.
Lastly, I made mine in 6 - 1 cup ramekins but you could use a large 2 qt. dish to make a single soufflé. The only difference between the two sizes is that the smaller soufflés will look prettier. Trust me I may have tried this 4 different times to get the perfect rise - a large souffle will still work and taste delicious but it is harder to get a prettier top and rise.
Chocolate and Orange Soufflé
- 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup warm cream
- 1/2 cup sugar, divided
- 1 Tbs. orange liquor such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier
- 1 Tbs. orange zest
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 6 egg whites
- 1 tsp. cream of tartar
- Garnish with powdered sugar
Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Butter 6-1 cup ramekins or 1 -2 qt. ramekin with softened butter. Sprinkle the baking dish(es) with sugar, making sure to coat the sides and bottom. Discard extra sugar.
Add chocolate and warm cream to a large bowl. Let sit for 2 - 3 minutes then whisk. If chocolate is not melting easily, microwave the mixture for 30 seconds then whisk until smooth. (repeat if necessary)
Add 1/4 cup sugar, orange liquor, orange zest, vanilla extract and pinch of salt to the chocolate mixture. Mix well. Add egg yolks and whisk to combine. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (you can also do this by hand with just a whisk and a bowl) add the egg whites and cream of tartar. With the mixer on low, mix the eggs whites and cream of tartar until small bubbles begin to form. Increase the speed to high and mix until soft peaks form. Sprinkle in the sugar a small amount at a time and continue to beat on high until smooth glossy and stiff peaks form.
Using a spatula fold in 1/4 of the egg white mixture into chocolate mixture. Once the egg white is completely folded in, add the remaining egg whites, being careful not to over mix.
Pour the mixture into the prepared dishes(dish) and bake for 14 - 16 minutes (or 30 minutes if you used a 2 qt. dish) - until the souffle has risen and is golden brown on the top.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately.