The Best Chocolate Soufflé Ever

Chocolate SouffléThe soufflé arrives at the table and is placed in the center of it. A tall soufflé, full of air comme-il-faut, next to it is a bowl with chocolate sorbet. The spoon is sent into this chocolate cloud and reaches the bottom of the vessel, the soufflé is collected on the spoon and rises to the top. The sounds of the air bubbles exploding, the steam coming out of the soufflé, all these are just a prelude to the perfect taste of this divine chocolate dessert.

Chocolate Soufflé“Salon des Manufactures” is the name of the new place opened by Alain Ducasse in Paris. After we visited this special place I decided that I had to get the recipe for Ducasse’s chocolate soufflé, make it at home and share it with you. Well, mission accomplished!

Chocolate SouffléChocolate SouffléBut before the recipe, you should read the short guide I wrote about the most significant differences between fondant, “half-baked” and soufflé. These are different products made from different raw materials in different doses and many of us tend to confuse them on a daily basis. More than once I see on the menu or hear a waiter recommend a “chocolate soufflé” when he actually means a chocolate cake heated in the microwave.

Chocolate SouffléChocolate soufflé is a dessert rich in whipped egg whites, and full of air (hence its name). Since it is full of air, a few seconds after it comes out of the oven it sinks and therefore you have to eat it immediately, this is also the reason why few restaurants serve it.

Chocolate SouffléSome tips before we start
Egg whites should be used at room temperature, not too cold, otherwise the egg whites will not be whipped properly.
You can add a little vinegar to the egg whites to help whip and maintain the stability of the foam.
It is very important to grease the soufflé dish with butter, and not to miss a single point. As soon as the dish is not uniformly greased, the soufflé will not rise to the top, but will stick to the sides.
And finally, since the soufflé is very sensitive, we wait for the soufflé and don’t let the soufflé wait for us.

Chocolate Soufflé

Alain Ducasse Chocolate Soufflé
Chef Alessandro Lucassino, “Salon des Manufactures”
6-8 individual soufflé ramekins (depends on the size)

Ingredients
Very soft butter and sugar for the ramekins
300g whole milk
60g egg yolks
15g corn starch 
300g dark chocolate, melted, at room temperature  (75%)
250g egg whites
90g sugar

For decoration: chocolate discs or chocolate flakes (optional)

Preparation
1. Preheat the oven to 180C degrees.
2. Brush soft butter all over the inside of the ramekins, Coat with sugar, tapping out excess. Run your thumb around the inside rim of the ramekins, creating a little border by removing 1mm of butter and sugar layer from the top of the dish sides, so that they reach almost to the height of the sides (see photo). Place the ramekins in the refrigerator. 
3. In a medium saucepan, heat milk until simmering.
4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and corn starch together.
5. Pour the hot milk over the egg yolks mix. Do this a little bit at a time while mixing, so that you do not cook the eggs.
6. Return the mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, with constant whisking, until thickened and it comes to a boil, exactly like Crème Pâtissière.
7. Pour immediately over the melted chocolate, stir until well combined (the batter should be thick).
8. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks form.
9. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining egg whites in 2 additions. Fold scraping from the bottom of the bowl and turning the bowl as you go, just until incorporated.
10. Transfer mixture to the ramekins, taking care not to get batter on top edge of dish, smooth top. Bake for about 10-12 minutes until puffed and set.
11. Remove from the oven, place a chocolate disc on each soufflé or sprinkle with chocolate flakes (optional). Serve as soon as the soufflé comes out of the oven as it sinks quickly.
*You can serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Bon-Appétit
Sharon

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