Yield: 6 individual soufflés
“Back to Baking”, pp. 198
What is one to do with a large amount of egg whites leftover from making crème brûlées? Make soufflés, of course! Now I had never made a soufflé as I, like the majority of people I think, have always been intimidated by soufflés. Nonetheless, I decided that I would give it a shot by making this Baileys chocolate soufflé. It was not too complicated to make, but I was still nervous about messing it up. The first moment that gave me doubt was when the “thick paste” that I was supposed to obtain from combining the melted chocolate and the milk mixture was not so thick. Actually, is was more liquid that paste-like.
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup + 6 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 oz (150 g) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup Baileys Irish Cream liqueur
- 10 egg whites, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 recipe Creamy Caramel Sauce (optional)
I also struggled quite a bit with improvising soufflé dishes by putting a collar of parchment paper on my small ramekins. Those things would not stay put! Lastly, when the soufflés were finally in the oven, I kind of forgot that I was making soufflés. I closed the oven door quite harshly, I was moving around fast and washing the dishes with a lot of energy. All these things, combined with the fact that I perhaps did not fill my ramekins and mugs enough with the mixture, resulted in soufflés that did not rise a lot. Granted, they were at least 2 centimeters taller when they were straight out of the oven, but by the time I took the picture they had deflated dramatically. I was a bit disappointed since they no longer looked like the beautiful soufflés that we all strive for, but I tasted it nonetheless.
Albeit its shrunken appearance, these little soufflés, served with Bailey’s creamy caramel sauce, were so scrumptious that I could hardly believe it. How appearances can be misleading sometimes! I may or may not have eaten two of these little guys (I did). The addition of the creamy caramel sauce flavored with Baileys in the centre of the soufflé was truly a gift from the baking gods. I recommend this recipe to all that love chocolate and heavenly light desserts.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease six 1-cup soufflé dishes or other 1-cup baking dishes. Sprinkle the inside of the cups with sugar and tap out any excess. Place the dishes onto a baking tray.
- Whisk the milk, ¼ cup of the sugar, cornstarch and vanilla extract in a small dish. Set aside.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a small saucepot over low heat. Alternatively, you can melt it in the microwave in a large bowl.
- Stir the milk mixture in the melted chocolate in two additions, whisking until evenly blended. The mixture will be a thick paste and may look a little grainy – this is normal.
- Stir in the Baileys. Keep the chocolate paste warm over low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until they are foamy, then slowly pour in the remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar. Continue to whip until the whites hold a medium peak when the beaters are lifted.
- Quickly but gently fold a third of the whites into the warm chocolate paste. They will deflate quite a bit, but this is to be expected. Fold in the remaining two-thirds of the batter until incorporated, then pour this into the prepared soufflé dishes.
- Bake the soufflés for 10-13 minutes, until the tops take on a dull look, but the inside still looks shiny and soft where a crack may have formed. Serve immediately!
- The soufflés are tastiest served with caramel Baileys sauce poured into the centre. Simply stir 3 tablespoons of Baileys into the creamy caramel sauce. The caramel sauce should be served at room temperature.
Notes from Anna:
- If you do not have 1-cup soufflé dishes but you have 6-ounce ramekins, tie a collar of parchment paper around each ramekin with strings so that the parchment rises 2 inches above the top of the ramekin. Once the soufflés come out of the oven, you simply have to untie the strings and carefully peel away the parchment.
- An accurate oven temperature is critical for a successful soufflé. The only way to accurately know the real temperature is to use a thermometer inside your oven.
- When baking a soufflé, be certain not to slam the oven door. For an evenly risen soufflé, make sure that the convection fan is off when baking.
- If you need to make this dessert in advance, you can fully prepare steps 2-4 and chill the chocolate base until ready to bake. When ready to assemble, simply warm the chocolate base over low heat, ensure that your egg whites are at room temperature before whipping and then continue the recipe from there.
- Omit the Baileys for a gluten-free version of this dessert!