(adapted from Tasty.com)
1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, for greasing
¾ cup granulated sugar, divided
2 ½ cups whole milk
12 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped; or 12 oz semisweet chocolate bits
6 large eggs, separated
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
powdered sugar, for topping
special equipment: a big soufflé dish or 6 to 8 smaller ramekins (see notes)
- Preheat oven to 400F and position a rack at the bottom of the oven, removing the other rack (see notes)
- Grease the souffle dish with softened butter and pour in ¼ cup of sugar. Tilt the ramekin to coat with sugar evenly, then pour out the excess and set the dish aside.
- In a medium saucepan, scald the milk over medium heat. Just before boiling, remove the milk from the heat and whisk in the chocolate until melted. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, ¼ cup of sugar, the flour, salt, and vanilla, until smooth.
- Add ½ cup of the chocolate milk mixture to the yolks and whisk until combined. This will temper the egg yolks so they don’t curdle when added to the rest of the chocolate mixture.
- Return the pan with the remaining chocolate milk mixture back to the stove over medium heat and pour in the chocolate egg yolk mixture. Whisk constantly until thick.
- Remove the chocolate pastry cream from the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic touches the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar. With an electric hand mixer, whip the egg whites until they turn opaque and leave trails. Gradually add the remaining ¼ cup (50 g) of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
- Spoon about 1 cup of the whites into the chocolate pastry cream. Fold until no white streaks remain. Gently fold in the rest of the whites in two additions, being careful not to deflate the whites. Once no white streaks are visible, transfer the batter to the prepared souffle dish and smoothe out the top.
- Run your thumb between the outside edge of the dish and the batter to create a border.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F, then immediately place the soufflé in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, until the soufflé has risen over the edge of the dish. Do not open the oven while baking.
- Dust the soufflé with powdered sugar.
- The original recipe called for a 1.5-quart soufflé dish, but I had enough left over to fill three little ramekins (see the photo above), so either use a 2-quart dish or a bunch of small ramekins. Be warned that soufflés will fall. That is their nature. So the possibilities of yours looking like the photo I plucked off the ‘net (below) are probably remote. If properly baked, though, they are delicious, warm or at room temperature, puffed high or gently cratered.
- All the recipes I consulted tell you to preheat the oven before proceeding to the next steps, but I recommend heating the oven while the chocolate pastry cream is cooling,15 minutes before you take it out of the fridge, or however long it takes your oven to fire up.