I've always felt intimidated by the idea of making souffle. It's right up there with macarons for me, but this recipe was simple and unscary, and the results turned out light and delicious. Gently folding egg whites into chocolate is actually kind of fun, and while the finished versions do deflate fairly quickly, they're still pretty adorable. So yes, I've decided souffle is my friend.
I halved the below recipe, made two over the weekend and stuck two unbaked souffles in the refrigerator (all baked up beautifully) to save as an impressive, romantic Valentine's dessert. And when I say impressive, I mean I definitely made an impression on my husband as he watched me wolf down a souffle after finishing my steak. And when I say romantic, I mean sweatpants were definitely being worn.
Recipe courtesy of Bon Appétit
12 ounces high-quality milk chocolate (I used semi-sweet and I liked it), chopped
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 large egg yolks
Pinch of salt
6 large egg whites, room temperature
2 tablespoons sugar
Butter eight 3/4-cup soufflé dishes; sprinkle with sugar, tilting cups to coat completely and tapping out any excess. Arrange prepared soufflé dishes on large baking sheet. Combine chocolate and cream in large metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water and stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove bowl from over water. Stir egg yolks and salt into chocolate mixture. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in another large bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 2 tablespoons sugar, beating until semi-firm peaks form. Using rubber spatula, fold 1/4 of beaten egg whites into chocolate mixture to lighten. Fold remaining egg whites into chocolate mixture in 2 additions.
Divide chocolate mixture among prepared soufflé dishes, filling dishes completely. Can be made 2 days ahead. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Bake soufflés on baking sheet until puffed and tops feel firm, about 16 minutes if at room temperature and about 18 minutes if chilled.