Souffles are something that seem inherently attached to the word “difficult”. As if they’re just too hard to do, not going to bother. You know what? Those were just filthy lies as it turns out. This means souffle for you, souffle for me, souffle for everybody! Most of the recipes I looked at seemed very easy to do, but this one with its chocolate and amaretto liqueur combo seemed like a no-brainer. Topped with crumbled cookies no less, it offers up a wonderful combination of textures as well.
The first step is buttering and sugaring your ramekins or souffle dishes. Easy peasy!
Our mom gave me a double boiler insert for Christmas – I loves it. It could be my new kitchen precioussss! So many people wonder if it’s really necessary to actually double boil, us included, but now that I have this handy insert, I don’t see myself stalling on it in the future. If you don’t have a double boiler or an insert like this one, you could also use an oven-safe bowl that will fit atop one of your pans. Just be careful of the hot steam that might escape between the bowl and the pan.
Into this mixture goes chocolate, cream and after that’s melted, some amaretto, vanilla and almond extract. Things are starting to look very yummy!
Egg whites are folded into the chocolate mixture, allowing the batter to expand and eventually, once baked, puff into actual souffle.
Our ramekins were actually a little too big, more like a one cup size as opposed to the three quarter size recommended. This didn’t allow our souffles to rise and puff up above the rims as is traditional with the dessert. The good thing is that they tasted wonderful and no one cared if they puffed above the rims or not.
If your ramekins are on the bigger side, too, you could try filling them up more than the recipe suggests, but be sure they bake fully. You might need to bake them longer if you do so.
Each souffle gets its own helping of crushed amaretti cookies, which are a traditional Italian cookie that’s almond-flavored. We couldn’t find amaretti cookies, so I picked out some that were made with almonds and they worked out great. Whatever you use, you’ll want it to have a slight crunch but also a little bit of chewiness to them.
The texture of a souffle is a little hard to nail down when it’s your first time. They look like little cakes on the outside. On the inside they look a little spongy, but on the tongue these were light as air…but also a little like a very light chocolate pudding at the same time! I know, pick a texture why dontcha. Maybe that’s part of their appeal, though, that they are multi-layered.
After the texture comes the flavor. All I could think after that first taste was WOW. Intense chocolate meets a powerful zing from the amaretto. These little guys aren’t playing, I’m telling you. They know you have taste buds and they aren’t afraid to use them. Loved it, just loved it. Desserts should do this. They should impress us with very little effort and ingredients and leave us feeling satisfied. These more than pull their weight. We were so happy with how they turned out (despite the lack of above-the-rim-puffage), now we hope you enjoy them, too.
from Bon Appétit, February 2001 via Epicurious.com
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: about 13 minutes Level: Easy Serves: 6-8
- 1 cup chilled whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons amaretto
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 5 large egg whites
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 6 tablespoons crushed amaretti cookies (Italian macaroons)
- powdered sugar for dusting
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Butter six 3/4-cup soufflé dishes; dust with sugar. Place on baking sheet. Whisk 1/2 cup cream and 1 tablespoon amaretto in medium bowl to soft peaks. Refrigerate whipped cream.
Stir 1/2 cup cream and chocolate in medium bowl set over saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water. Whisk in yolks 1 at a time, blending well after each addition. Whisk in 2 tablespoons amaretto and both extracts. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 3 tablespoons sugar, beating until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into chocolate mixture in 2 additions. Spoon enough batter into each soufflé dish to fill dish halfway. Sprinkle each with 1/2 tablespoon amaretti cookies. Top with remaining soufflé batter. Sprinkle each with 1/2 tablespoon amaretti cookies.
Bake soufflés until puffed and set, about 13 minutes. Dust each with powdered sugar. Accompany soufflés with whipped cream. Serve immediately.
This recipe couldn’t have been any easier, so I don’t have much to add that wasn’t already said in the post above. My only advice is eat these the day they’re made. I’ve still got a couple in the fridge and they’re OK after being refrigerated, but taste best not long out of the oven.