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Chocolate-Espresso Mini Soufflés

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Yields two soufflés.

  • 1 oz. (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into pieces; more for the ramekins
  • Granulated sugar for dusting
  • 1 Tbs. dark rum, brandy, or water
  • 1/2 tsp. espresso powder or instant coffee granules
  • 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • Pinch  table salt
  • 1 large egg, separated and at room temperature
  • 1 oz. (1/4 cup) confectioners' sugar

Lightly butter two 6-oz. ramekins and dust with granulated sugar, tapping out excess. Set the ramekins on a small baking sheet.

Stir together the liquor or water and the espresso powder. Set aside and stir occasionally until the coffee is dissolved. Melt the chocolate and butter in a medium metal bowl over a pan of simmering water or in a microwave. Remove from the heat and whisk until glossy and smooth. Stir in the coffee mixture and the salt. Whisk in the egg yolk. Add about one-third of the confectioners' sugar and whisk until well blended and smooth. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg white with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until it's very foamy and they're just beginning to hold soft peaks. Increase the speed to high and gradually sprinkle in the remaining confectioners' sugar. Continue beating until the peaks are firm and glossy. Spoon about one-quarter of the beaten whites into the chocolate mixture and whisk until blended. Add the remaining whites and gently fold them in until just blended. Pour evenly into prepared ramekins (the mixture will almost completely fill the ramekins). If you want to bake the soufflés within 24 hours, refrigerate them. (To refrigerate: Chill for about 30 minutes, and then cover in plastic and return to the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.) If you want to hold them for longer, freeze them according to the make-ahead tips below.

Heat the oven to 400°F. Unwrap the ramekins, set them on a baking sheet, and bake until they're puffed and risen about 1 inch above the ramekin, 15 minutes. The top will still be slightly sunken in the center; consider it a place to pop in a few berries or a dollop of whipped cream. Remove the soufflés from the oven and serve immediately.

Make Ahead Tips

Put the filled ramekins into the freezer, uncovered, for 20 min. Then wrap each ramekin well in plastic and freeze for up to two weeks. To bake straight from the freezer, unwrap the ramekins and set on a small baking sheet or jellyroll pan. Let them sit for 20 min. while heating the oven to 400°F. Bake on the baking sheet until puffed and risen about 1 inch above the ramekin, 18 min. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Photo: Scott Phillips

i am a lil confused. am i supposed to bake these after chilling for 30 mins and refrigerating for 24h? i just got some ramekins and stumbled across this one. looks lovely!

This is the perfect make ahead dessert. It's delicious topped with just a little whipped cream and fresh raspberries. All of Abby's desserts are SO GOOD! Thank You Abigail Dodge for all your wonderful recipes. Linda

I made this last night for Valentine's Day and it was excellent! I followed the recipe exactly and it was the perfect portion size for two. It was simple to prepare and I loved the fact I could make it in advance. I will definately make this again soon when I need a chocolate fix!

This is an easy, delicious recipe. I noticed in the actual Fine Cooking magazine called for half the rum if you are planning to bake it on the same day. It didn't mention that on the website so I used the 1 tbs of rum. I found it to be too strong. The rum flavor overpowered the souffles. Otherwise than that, it turned out delicious.

Absolutely perfect. How something so light and airy can taste so rich and decadent is amazing. I used Ghirardelli chocolate and a good cognac with spectacular results.

I made them for Valentine's Day. The instructions were perfect and the finished product tasted rich and delicious. I doubled the recipe but unfortunately only had 3 souffles instead of 4.Served them with blueberries on top. Now I wonder if I would have had enough for 2 if I had made the recipe as written. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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