Another Queen in the kitchen has graced us with a recipe!
Peter's mom Josephine has always been a great cook and a phenomenal baker. One of the desserts she truly was gifted at was the chocolate soufflé! She had a commercial oven at her home in Rochester - and they always came out perfect.
For those history lovers of recipes - the soufflé was perfected in the mid-1800s by Marie-Antoine Carême who, in cooking for the newly rich in Paris, was aided by updated ovens that were heated by air drafts rather than coal
When Peter was young he was in Chicago with his father and they went to the Whitehall Hotel which opened in 1974 as a small, European-style boutique hotel reminiscent of England's luxurious and charming accommodations. The chef there made a marvelous chocolate soufflé and Peter's father Domenic loved it so much - he wanted his wife to learn to make one - and she did!
- 1 cup of confectioners sugar sifted
- 6 egg yolks
- 7 egg whites
- pinch of salt
- butter - 2 tablespoons plus extra for coating pan
- 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar
- 3/4 cups of gourmet chocolate - use semi sweet or bittersweet - do not use chocolate chips - as the flavor and texture will not be good.
- Confectioner Sugar
Grease a 6 inch souffle dish generously with butter and coat the inside with sugar and shake out the excess.
Combine 2 tablespoons of cold water and the chocolate chips in the tops of a double boiler over hot water until melted. Then stir with a wire whisk until blended.
Cut two tablespoons of butter into small pieces and add to the chocolate a little at a time beating until the butter is melted and blended. Cool slightly.
Place the egg yolks in a large mixer bowl and beat with an electric mixer until lemon colored. Add the confectioners sugar gradually and beat until thick. Add the pinch of salt and blend. Then add a 1/4 of the chocolate mixture and mix with a wire whisk until blended. Add the remaining chocolate mixture and beat until well blended again.
In a separate bowl beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture, blending well.
Fold in the remaining egg whites until well mixed. Spoon in the prepared souffle dish and smooth the top.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 35 minutes or until set. Dust with Confectioners sugar and serve immediately!
Here are a couple of tips that help if you are making it for the first time....
- Chill the batter as the oven preheats. As you preheat the oven, place the batter in the refrigerator. This quick 5-10 minute chill slightly thickens the batter and helps the soufflés rise a bit taller. After refrigerating, spoon into your souffle dish. You could also cover and chill the batter up to 2 days in advance.
- Reduce oven temperature: Preheat the oven to a hot 400°F. Then immediately after you place the soufflés inside, reduce the temperature down to 375°F (191°C). Why? The initial hot burst of air will help the batter rise up, while the slightly lower heat will help evenly cook the centers.