For my simple and yet impressive chocolate souffle I turned to one of my favorite dessert books, Melanie Barnard's "Short and Sweet: Sophisticated Desserts In No Time At All". Barnard's recipe for "Buried Treasure Cocoa Souffles" is easy to make, quite yummy, and takes about 30 minutes start to finish.
Melanie Barnard's Buried Treasure Cocoa Souffles
6 chocolate truffles or chocolate kisses
2 large egg yolks
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
8 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 Tablespoon coffee liqueur (I used Kahlua)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Butter six 6-ounce (3/4 cup) souffle dishes and coat each with some sugar, tapping out the excess. (Note: Don't go overboard on the sugar here; it's only supposed to help the souffle "crawl" up the sides of the dishes. Too much and the souffles will be overly sugary - I learned this the hard way.) Place a chocolate truffle or kiss in the center of each dish.
3. In a bowl, beat or whisk the 2 egg yolks with 2 tablespoons of sugar until it becomes thick and is a pale yellow. Whisk in the cocoa, liqueur and vanilla.
4. In another mixing bowl, beat the 4 egg whites to soft peaks with an electric mixer. Slowly add in the remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar and beat until the mixture has formed stiff peaks.
5. Fold the cocoa mixture into the egg whites.
6. Divide the mixture between the souffle dishes and place the dishes on a baking sheet.
Bake the souffles until well puffed, about 15-17 minutes and serve immediately.
I like to serve mine with a little whipping cream on top - it provides a nice cooling element to the molten hot chocolate in the souffle.
I made this during the kids' nap on a weekend when my husband was in and out running errands. When the souffles were done I told him to have one on his way out and then I went upstairs to grab some laundry and check on the baby. With my 30-minute souffle I garnered this reaction from my beloved on his way out the door:
This souffle is lovely warm, with the melted chocolate kiss or truffle in the bottom being so nice. But I've discovered that when it's cold, it tastes like a brownie and that ain't bad either. Next time you want to impress some guests with a easy souffle, try this one!