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Chocolate Soufflés with Blood Orange Sauce

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Serves 8

  • by Zoë François from Fine Cooking
    Issue 121

The deep, rich chocolate flavor in these individual soufflés comes from a combination of Dutch-processed cocoa powder and unsweetened chocolate in the pastry cream. The blood-orange sauce provides a sweet-tart counterpoint to the chocolate's richness, but if you prefer, you can pair the soufflés with raspberry compote or ginger crème anglaise instead.

For the blood orange sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups blood orange juice (from 4 medium oranges)
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbs. orange liqueur, such as Cointreau (optional)
For the ramekins
  • 2 to 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 to 4 Tbs. granulated sugar
For the chocolate pastry cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1-1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbs. Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 oz. (1 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
For the meringue
  • 8 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 oz. (1/4 cup) confectioners’ sugar; more for dusting
Make the sauce

Combine all of the ingredients in a 1-quart saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is reduced to 1-1/2 cups, about 45 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a small bowl, pressing on the solids to extract all the liquid; discard the solids. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until cold. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Serve cold or gently reheat and serve warm.

Prepare the ramekins

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Generously butter eight 6-oz. ramekins (3-1/2 inches in diameter and about 2 inches deep). Coat the insides with sugar, tapping out any excess.

Make the pastry cream

In a 3-quart saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, milk, sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt. Over medium heat, whisk until the mixture bubbles, about 4 minutes; it's OK if it's lumpy at this point. Continue simmering while whisking until smooth and very thick, about 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate, butter, and vanilla until smooth and glossy. Transfer to a large bowl set in a larger bowl of ice water and whisk often until cooled to room temperature, about 10 minutes.

Make the meringue and assemble the souffles

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer), beat the egg whites on high speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. With the motor running, add the cream of tartar and continue beating until the bubbles become smaller and the whites almost form soft peaks, 30 to 60 seconds more. With the motor still running, add the confectioners’ sugar 1 Tbs. at a time and beat until the whites hold a glossy, pointed, stiff peak when you remove the beater, about 30 seconds more. If the peak droops, finish whisking them to stiff peaks by hand to avoid overbeating.

Stir the pastry cream with a large silicone spatula to loosen it, then stir in a third of the meringue until combined. Gently fold in another third of the meringue by starting at the edge of the bowl and slowly bringing the spatula up through the middle of the pastry cream and then back to the edge of the bowl, rotating the bowl and repeating this motion until the meringue is mostly incorporated. It's OK if there are a few white streaks at this point. Add the remaining meringue and fold until just combined, leaving no white streaks visible.

Divide the soufflé mixture evenly among the prepared ramekins and smooth the tops with an offset spatula. Run your index finger around the edges of the ramekins to create a shallow trench. Put the ramekins on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until a skewer inserted in the center of a soufflé comes out with just the tip still wet, 15 to 20 minutes. Dust the soufflés with confectioners’ sugar, if you like, and serve immediately with the sauce of your choice, if using.

Make Ahead Tips

You can make the blood orange sauce up to 5 days ahead and refrigerate in an airtight container.

The pastry cream can be made up to 1 day ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe.

You can assemble the soufflés in their ramekins up to 2 hours ahead and refrigerate until ready to bake.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : 1 soufflé and 1 Tbs. of sauce.; Calories (kcal): 320; Fat (g): 15; Fat Calories (kcal): 140; Saturated Fat (g): 9; Protein (g): 8; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4.5; Carbohydrates (g): 43; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 150; Cholesterol (mg): 105; Fiber (g): 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

wow best so far thank you

5/23/13 This recipe was excellent. I've made many a souffle. Everything went exactly as the video explained. Shelley Wiseman was very clear and precise. Just wonderful taste. The one and only previous reviewer gave the recipe 3 stars and mentions that the use of low fat chocolate caused missing flavor. This recipe does not call for low fat anything. She also goes on to say that she did not mix the pastry cream and meringue properly. I can never understand people who review a recipe and give it a mediocre or negative review when they did not use the ingredients in the receipt and did not follow the technique. That you did not follow directions is not the fault of the recipe. Give yourself 1 star for sending in an unfair review.

As a Soufflé it is relatively low in fat, but chocolate that is low in fat is missing the deep, rich flavour I love. So it was OK, but I won't repeat it. I didn't remember to follow the mixing of the pastry cream and meringue properly, so it fell some coming out of the oven. I'll try the lemon one next!

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