Monday, October 25, 2010

20(ish)--- Chocolate Shorty Souffles

We had ANOTHER birthday dinner for my hubby this weekend, this time with my in-laws. We had a superb Italian feast at their home, and I was in charge of dessert. My husband likes chocolate, but nothing too sweet or too dense and preferably involving berries. So..... individual (hence shorty) chocolate souffles!

I have never made a souffle before. What's the big deal?? Yep, that's what I thought before I read up. After reading the many many many tips on "how to get your souffle to not fall", I got scared. AND-- I'm at high altitude. According to my internet sources, that's a big challenge to overcome. But, I pressed on.

After successfully getting my egg whites and sugar to form stiff peaks, I thought I had this dessert beat.

Then I baked one. Actually, only 1/2 of one. And... I broke the number one rule: I opened the oven door during baking (insert Halloween scream here). AND-- yes, it fell.

THEN as my next six souffles quietly sit in my refrigerator in their own little ramekins, I Google "fallen souffle" to look for even MORE tips. And GUESS what I find? A Fallen Souffle is actually a dessert-- Emeril says so!!

As it turns out, my second attempt was better than my first. Very little falling. But, if they had fallen, and if yours do-- simply present them as a Fallen Souffle and you will be the hit of the party!
This recipe is only 20(ish) because as most chocolate souffles use milk chocolate, this uses unsweetened cocoa powder. Therefore, less milk fat, less butter, same amount of YUM.

Chocolate Shorty Souffles
Makes 6
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
6 Tbsp hot water
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp Canola oil
3 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp ground almonds
3 Tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp honey
3/4 cup 1% low fat milk
4 egg whites
3 Tbsp sugar
Berries of choice to garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine cocoa powder and hot water. Stir until smooth and set aside.
In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add oil and stir to mix. Add flour and ground almonds and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in brown sugar and honey. Add milk gradually and stir constantly until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir into the cocoa mixture. Allow to cool.
In a large, thoroughly cleaned bowl, beat egg whites until foamy with an electric mixer on high speed. Add sugar 1 Tbsp at a time and beat until stiff peaks form (note: this may take a while). Using a rubber spatula, gently fold 1/3 of the egg whites unto the cocoa mixture to lighten it. Fold remaining egg whites into cocoa mixture until no white streaks remain.
Gently scoop mixture into individual ramekins, sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 15-20 minutes until souffle rises above the rim and is set in the center. Cool souffles on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with berries of your choice.

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