I spent many years as a pastry chef trying to figure out how to make desserts delicious. I didn’t go to culinary school, but learned so much on the job working alongside Robert. I no longer work in the kitchen, but when I heard about an idea that women bakers in Portland came up with for a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood, I thought – I could do that.
So a couple of days ago a friend and I decided to put it all together here in Lawrence: Cookie Grab 2017 – The Ultimate Bake Sale! This fundraiser for Planned Parenthood is scheduled for inauguration day. Some of Lawrence’s eateries are donating their special treats for the cause – Ladybird Diner, Bon Bon, The Burger Stand, Hank Charcuterie, The Roost, Eileen’s Cookies, Southern Accent Catering, The Levee Cafe and Wheatfields. A box full of delectables for a $50 suggested donation (payable by cash or check only), picked up at Ten Thousand Villages at 835 Massachusetts from 5-9pm on Friday. Of all the things in the world one may grab, may we unite to grab the cookie for a good cause! You are invited and I hope to see you!
I want 2017 to be a year that I say yes more, that I follow through with those stirrings in my gut of I could do that. I want it to be a year of being outside more and I’m off to a good start by paddle boarding today, January 18th. I saw eagles soaring above and heard the magical tinkling of ice breaking around me as I floated by. And now I get to bake some cookies; boy do I feel grateful.
So I’m going to share a favorite recipe that I have probably made a hundred times. It’s not a cookie but really isn’t much more difficult to make. I hope you enjoy…
- Chocolate Souffle with Chocolate Sauce and Whipped Cream
This chocolate soufflé recipe is the ultimate chocolate dessert. First of all, it is something that you can do completely ahead of time, with the exception of baking it. It also is utterly indestructible. This recipe may become your new favorite for entertaining.
For the ramekins:
About ½ stick butter, softened
About ½ cup granulated sugar
For the soufflés:
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole or 2% milk
2 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 additional egg white, added to the above 3 to total 4
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup powdered sugar for dusting of cooked soufflés
For the chocolate sauce:
10 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
¾ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Kahlua (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
For whipped cream:
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Four 6-ounce soufflé ramekins
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Butter the bottom and sides of the ramekins. When buttering the sides, use your index and middle fingers to pull the butter straight up the sides. Be sure to butter the top edge of the ramekin as well. To coat with the granulated sugar, fill ramekin with sugar and tilt and rotate over a second ramekin, allowing the sugar to drop into it as it coats all sides of the ramekin. Pour any remaining sugar from the first ramekin and repeat process with the remaining ramekins. After sugaring final ramekin, pour remaining sugar in a shallow bowl. Dip top edge of each ramekin into the sugar to coat it with sugar.
Melt the chocolate in a large bowl set on top of a medium saucepan of simmering water. Do not allow the bowl to touch the water. When the chocolate is melted and smooth, remove it from the heat and place it in a warm area, on top of your warm oven if possible.
In the saucepan used to melt the chocolate, discard the hot water and wipe out the pan with a dry towel. Use this saucepan to melt the butter on medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, for 2 minutes. Gradually add the milk, using a whisk until smooth. Keep whisking while occasionally using the rubber spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the sauce pan. When the mixture has thickened, remove from heat and whisk in the egg yolks and vanilla. Scrape this mixture over the melted chocolate and fold until blended.
Using a large bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Slowly and gradually add granulated sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form when you lift the beaters. Fold the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Fill your sugared ramekins to within ¼ inch of the top with the soufflé batter. Either cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate immediately for future use (up to 2 days ahead of serving), or put them on the cookie sheet for baking.
Prepare Chocolate Sauce:
Melt the chocolate with cream in a large bowl set on top of a medium saucepan of simmering water. Do not allow the bowl to touch the water. When it is melted and smooth, remove from heat and add Kahlua (if using), vanilla, and salt. If using immediately, put in to small pitcher to pour into soufflés. Sauce may be made up to two days ahead of serving and refrigerated. Warm sauce in microwave before using.
Prepare Whipped Cream:
Combine cream, sugar, and vanilla. Whip to medium firm peaks with a hand or standing mixer. Whipped cream may be kept for up to an hour covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator.
Bake soufflés for about 15 minutes. Souffles are done when they have risen high and have a crisp top. Dust with powdered sugar and use tongs to place hot ramekins in a small bowl or napkin-lined plate. Use two chopsticks to poke holes in top of soufflé and fill with warm chocolate sauce. Scoop whipped cream on top of chocolate sauce and eat immediately.
Serving a soufflé is very dramatic and also has the impression of being very temperamental. This recipe reliably rises and is very sturdy. There is no need to fear the soufflé! Adding berries to the top of the soufflé would be one way to introduce another flavor element and incorporate seasonal ingredients.