Thursday, November 8, 2012

Soufflé au Chocolat with Praline disk

Chocolate Soufflé or Soufflé au Chocolat - can't decide which one sounds more appealing to me. 
The characteristics of a soufflé are incomparable, luscious warm spoonable chocolate that you can hear the aeration from another room, maybe not. Simple yet intriguing by its high rise the soufflé can be the perfect ending to an amazing dinner. My choice to add praline disks on top was an attempt to bring a contrasting texture and it did work very well but the praline disks are so delicate that they lose it's crunchiness if placed on top of a hot soufflé for too long so my suggestion is: place it on the top of the soufflé when it has already been served. Even when warm and not so crunchy the praline disk make a simple chocolate soufflé stands out even more so go for!

There are very few girls how does't like chocolate ( I even doubt their honesty) but for most part of us, normal mortal girls we could do anything for a piece of it. 
This recipe is a classic french made from a bouillie (thick mixture of milk and flour) with the addition of chocolate that has to be 60% or the mixture will lose its chocolaty character. Egg whites when beaten right will work as the leaveaner and make your soufflé rise very high giving you that happy face and then it collapses - giving you that hasty attitude to serve it NOW/RUN ;) 

15g butter + more to grease ramekins
15g all purpose flour
125g whole milk (2/3 cup)
100g bittersweet chocolate (I used 60%)
2 egg yolks 
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp rum
3 egg whites
15g sugar + more to coat the ramekins 
For praline recipe and instructions click here.

It yields 4 individual ramekins.

Directions: Preheat oven at 400F. Butter your ramekins, coat with sugar and refrigerate it. Make the beurre manie by mixing  15g of room temperature butter with 15g of flour, reserve . In a pan over medium/low heat bring the milk to a boil, add the beurre manie and stir it constantly for 3 minutes after it comes to a full boil. Any thickening agent needs at least 3 min. of full boil to achieve its full thickening power. Turn off the heat and add the chocolate, stir until smooth, it's going to be quite thick. Add the egg yolks, vanilla extract and rum, reserve.
In a stand mixer  with the whisk attachment on or by hand, mix the room temperature egg whites starting at slow speed to don't upset the proteins of the eggs. As it begins to foam you can increase the speed. As soon as it looks white and partially fluffy start adding the sugar a little bit at a time to dissolve properly, beat this until it reaches medium peaks which means that when the whisk is lifted the meringue forms a little hook. Don't overbeat this or your egg whites will stretch too much and won't rise properly in the oven. Fold 1/3 of the meringue in the cooled chocolate base to thin it a little bit and then fold the rest very carefully paying special attention not to break the air in the egg whites. Immediately fill the ramekins 1/4 full and place it in the oven. Turn the heat down to 375F and bake until it rises and feels set to your touch. The souffle rises by something called mechanical leavener, the air trapped expands with the heat and rises.
To make the praline disk pulverize the almond brittle (click here to learn how to make almond brittle) , sieve the powder over a silpat or parchment paper and place it in the oven for 2 min or less just to melt rapidly and gain shape. Place it on top of the souffle and serve it immediately. When the soufflé is well made it will collapse within the next 5 minutes, so hurry!

Bon Appétit !