Virtually Fail-Proof Chocolate
2 tbsp. butter, melted
10 tbsp. sugar
5 large eggs
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tbsp. flour
1 cup milk
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tsp. pure vanilla
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar or lemon juice
1 (5-cup) souffle dish, about 7 inches across
Set top rack of oven in middle position. There should be at least 8 inches of
clearance between rack and top of oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Thoroughly brush inside of souffle dish with butter and place in freezer 10
minutes. Brush again with butter. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar to the dish and
rotate to completely coat bottom and sides with sugar.
Separate the eggs, placing the clean whites, one by one, in bowl of mixer. Place
3 egg yolks in heatproof mixing bowl. (Save the other 2 for eggnog or omelets.)
Add 5 tablespoons of the sugar, cocoa powder and flour and whisk to form a
smooth thick paste.
Bring milk just to a boil in heavy saucepan. Whisk it in a thin steam into cocoa
mixture. Return this mixture to saucepan and bring it to boil over medium-high
heat, whisking constantly. Let it bubble 2 minutes, whisking constantly. It
should thicken to consistency of pudding. Remove pan from heat and whisk in
chopped chocolate and vanilla. Whisk until chocolate is melted and thoroughly
Add cream of tartar to egg whites and start beating at low speed. Increase speed
to medium after 2 minutes, then to medium-high for 2 minutes, then to high until
whites are thick, airy, cloud-like and snowy. (Consistency will be like that of
soft ice cream, only much lighter.) Add remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and beat
until whites are glossy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whole process of beating egg whites
should take 8 to 10 minutes.
Add 1/3 of the whites to chocolate mixture and whisk vigorously to mix. This
lightens the chocolate mixture. Spoon chocolate mixture over remaining egg
whites and, with rubber spatula, fold just until mixed. Work as gently as
possible. Spoon souffle into prepared dish, smoothing top with spatula.
Place souffle in oven. Bake until dramatically puffed and semi-set, 12 to 15
minutes. Don't open oven door if you can possibly help it. If you must open it,
do so only after 10 minutes. Open it just a crack to peek, then gently close the
door. A blast of cold air is enough to deflate the souffle. To test for
doneness, give souffle a gentle tap on the side with a wooden spoon. It can
wiggle or sway, but it shouldn't ripple.
Serve immediately, perhaps with a dollop of whipped cream. Serves 2 to 4.
Notes based on a review: Depending on your oven the baking time may be
different. Was 21 minutes and still not quite done in this persons oven. This
also makes a very light colored chocolate souffle.