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White Chocolate Soufflé Cakes with Raspberry-Chocolate Sauce

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Serves six.

This recipe provides a flavor twist on the now-classic molten chocolate cake. You put a ball of raspberry-flavored ganache in each ramekin and top with cake batter; as the cakes bake, the ganache melts into a warm, sumptuous sauce.

  • Softened butter and granulated sugar for the ramekins
For the rasberry-chocolate sauce:
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries, rinsed, or 3/4 cup thawed frozen raspberries
  • 3 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 oz. (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs.granulated sugar
For the soufflé cakes:
  • 3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp. table salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 6 oz. white chocolate (I prefer El Rey or Callebaut), finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Scant 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar

Put a metal or Pyrex pie plate or cake pan in the freezer to chill. Lightly butter six 6-oz. ramekins or custard cups. Coat with sugar and tap out the excess.

Make the sauce:

Purée the raspberries in a food processor. Transfer the purée to a fine sieve set over a small bowl. Strain the purée by pressing and scraping with a rubber spatula. Discard the seeds.

In a medium heatproof bowl set in or over a skillet of barely simmering water, combine the chocolate, butter, sugar, and 2 Tbs. of the raspberry purée (save any extra for another use). Stir frequently with a rubber spatula until melted and smooth. Scrape into a puddle on the chilled plate and return to the freezer until firm, 20 to 30 min. When the raspberry-chocolate mixture is firm, use a teaspoon to scrape it into six rough balls. Keep the balls on the plate and refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the soufflé cakes:

Put the 3 egg yolks in a medium bowl near the stove and have another large, clean bowl at hand. Combine the flour and salt in a small, heavy saucepan. Whisk in just enough of the milk to make a smooth paste. Whisk in the remaining milk. Set the pan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture has the consistency of a thick cream sauce, 2 to 3 min. Whisk about 2 tablespoons of the flour-milk mixture into the yolks to warm them up gently. Scrape the yolks back into the saucepan and cook for a minute or two, whisking constantly, until the mixture becomes a thick pastry cream; it should be about as thick as store-bought mayonnaise. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the pastry cream into the clean bowl. Add the white chocolate and whisk until it’s fully melted and incorporated into the warm pastry cream. Stir in the vanilla. Set aside for a few minutes until tepid.

In a clean, dry bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed in a stand mixer (or on high with a hand-held mixer) until the whites mound gently. Gradually beat in the sugar and beat until the whites form medium-stiff peaks when you lift the beaters; the tips should curl over but still look moist, glossy, and flexible. With a rubber spatula, fold about one-quarter of the whites into the white chocolate pastry cream to lighten it. Scrape the remaining whites into the bowl and gently fold in until blended, taking care not to deflate the whites. Take the chocolate balls out of the refrigerator and put one ball in the center of each ramekin. Divide the batter evenly among the ramekins and level the tops gently with the back of a spoon.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Put the ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake until the cakes are puffed and golden brown on top—they’ll quiver when tapped and seem soft in the center, 16 to 18 min. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

Make Ahead Tips

Assembled, unbaked soufflé cakes can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to two days.

Variations

Try replacing the raspberry purée with orange juice and orange liqueur, plus a little grated orange zest.

Photo: Scott Phillips

Amazing! This was our Christmas dinner dessert this year. I made this in stages - the filling one day, the cakes the next, and baked on the third. It turned out perfect! I did add some fresh whipped cream, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. My guests raved about it and scraped the ramekins. I will absolutely make again.

To Chayska: The first paragraph in the instructions is: "Put a metal or Pyrex pie plate or cake pan in the freezer to chill. Lightly butter six 6-oz. ramekins or custard cups. Coat with sugar and tap out the excess." Sometimes my printer cuts off this paragraph, I don't know why, but I have learned with a few recipes if something is not making sense to check the online recipe.

Bottom line--yummy, sounds impressive, and can be made ahead. Details--There were two problems with this recipe. One, it doesn't tell you what size ramekins to use, and two, it doesn't tell you what to do with the butter and sugar for the ramekins. I used two sizes of ramekins, marked 1/2 Cup and 7 oz. respectively. The half-cup ones came out well in the time specified in the recipe, but they were a bit on the small side; I gave them to the kids but would want something bigger for grown-ups. The 7-oz. ones required longer in the oven, or at any rate I was intimidated by the idea of having undercooked eggs so I left them in until the insides I could see through the cracks didn't look shiny and wet. Maybe that was too long, especially since the tops got toward the brown side of gold. As for the butter and sugar issue, I assumed I was supposed to butter the ramekins and then sprinkle lightly with sugar; however, since the recipe didn't say, I did the buttering part but chickend out on the sugar part, just to be on the safe side. Here's the good part: in spite of the uncertainty and probable overcooking, they came out looking, smelling, and tasting good. Everyone was impressed and the extras disappeared over the course of the evening, always a good sign. I'll make this recipe again, though I'll probably try to find some 6 oz. ramekins.

This is a fabulous recipe. Can be prepared ahead and baked just before serving. Presentation of this dessert is impressive and matches the wonderful taste!

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