Chocolate soufflés are actually very easy to make. Chocolate soufflés are actually very easy to make. I kid you not. And they are absolutely delicious regardless of whether you achieve the perfect rising of the soufflé — as warned by numerous stereotypical views on this simple dessert. If you follow some basic cardinal rules, you will be a soufflé expert in no time. I always rely on a soufflé (chocolate, apricot, raspberry or Grand Marnier) to finish off a more festive dinner because everyone loves them and thinks they are so incredibly difficult to pull off…
To make a delicious chocolate soufflé, follow this fool-proof recipe of Francois Payard in his book Simply Sensational Desserts that I have used at least a dozen times. First, prepare six eight ounce ramekins or eight six ounce ramekins by brushing them generously with soft butter and coating with caster sugar or white granulated sugar. Stick in the freezer for ten minutes to set and repeat the procedure. The purpose of this step is to provide grease to help the soufflé rise out of the ramekin when it is in a hot oven. Keep the ramekins in the fridge until used. Next, melt 7 ounces of GOOD bittersweet chocolate (chopped) and 3 tablespoons of GOOD butter over a bain marie or double boiler and whisk until smooth; set aside to cool.
Preheat an oven to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit (though I sometime try 360-370 as I think it helps it rise but that is not a scientific conclusion). Whisk four egg yolks into the cooled chocolate mixture and set aside. In a clean bowl, whisk 7 egg whites until they form soft peaks then add ½ teaspoon of cream of tartar to help stabilize the whites. Whisk some more and add 1/3 cup of caster sugar to the egg whites and keep whisking until they form stiff peaks. Fold a scoop of egg whites into the chocolate mixture then fold in the rest of the egg whites until well mixed. Place mixture in ramekins and run your thumb around the inside rim of the ramekin, wiping away excess butter and sugar. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake soufflés in hot oven for 12-14 minutes until just cooked and hopefully they have risen above the rim. Serve hot plain or with raspberry coulis or hot chocolate. Cardinal rules for success: use superb chocolate, use a really clean bowl with no traces of grease, make sure your egg whites have nothing mixed in with them like stray egg yolk, make sure the mixer is a good one so you get maximum air into the whites, fold the mixture and do not wildly mix, never open the oven during cooking (check through the window) and keep your fingers crossed! But seriously, it is really easy and absolutely delicious.
10. NOW (CITY)? Look for one more clue.