Friday, November 9, 2007

Dark Chocolate Souffles with Cardamom Creme Anglaise

There must be few easy souffles for a beginner. I have been looking for one for a long time and finally found this recipe at Epicurous.

Don't be intimidated and just go step by step. It really is pretty easy. I've made it successfully repeatedly. Cardomam complements the dark chocolate and the Creme Anglaise makes this souffle superb.

The best thing about this souffle is that it is decadent without being too sweet. Bon appetit!!!


5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup plus
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks
5 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Place chocolate and butter in medium bowl.

Whisk 1/4 cup sugar, flour, and cocoa powder in small bowl.

Bring milk and vanilla to boil in heavy small saucepan.

Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into sugar mixture to blend. Return mixture to same saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until thick paste forms, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes.

Scrape mixture into bowl with chocolate and butter; stir until chocolate is melted (mixture may look curdled).

Add egg yolks and whisk until mixture looks shiny and creamy. (Soufflé base can be prepared 1 day ahead. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface and refrigerate. Bring soufflé base to room temperature before continuing.)

Butter eight 3/4-cup soufflé dishes or custard cups; dust with sugar.

Using electric mixer, beat egg whites until frothy.

With mixer running, gradually add 3 tablespoons sugar, then salt; beat just until soft peaks form.

Fold 1/3 of whites into soufflé base until well combined. Gently fold in remaining egg whites just to blend (some white streaks may remain).

Divide batter among prepared dishes. Place dishes on rimmed baking sheet. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake soufflés until puffed above rim of dish, tops are flat, and edges are set, about 12 minutes.

Serve immediately with Cardamom Crème Anglaise.

Crème anglaise is both a classic custard sauce and the base for many ice creams. Make a double batch and process half in an ice cream maker for a frozen treat.

2 tablespoons whole green cardamom pods, crushed
1 cup whole milk
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1/4 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
4 large egg yolks

Place cardamom pods with seeds in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until pods brown, about 5 minutes.

Add milk, cream, and 1/4 cup sugar.

Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into pan; add bean. Bring mixture to boil.

Whisk egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in medium bowl.

Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture. Return mixture to same saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until custard thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes (do not boil).

Cover and chill until cold, about 3 hours.

Strain into medium pitcher.

Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Makes 2 cups.

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