I have lots of recipes for chocolate souffle, but this is the one I use most often. I especially like to use Hershey’s Special Dark baking cocoa as well as dark chocolate chips, however, in place of the regular semi-sweet chocolate chips and Dutch processed baking cocoa — because I absolutely love dark chocolate. Dark chocolate also tends to have less sugar and additives compared to milk or semi-sweet chocolates as well as having far more of the beneficial anti-oxidants.
1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa, Dutch-processed
1 small egg, at room temperature
1/2 tablespoon 100% pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
3 egg whites, from large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup sugar
Preheat the oven to 400°F, with a rack in the center position.
Coat ten 4-ounce ramekins with spray oil, canola oil, or melted unsalted butter then space them evenly on a sturdy baking sheet. Alternately, you may use one 8 or 9 inch souffle dish.
Melt the chocolate chips, butter, and 2 tablespoons of water in a double boiler, or in a microwave oven, or in a metal bowl placed over a pot of boiling water, until you can stir the mixture smooth. If the chocolate breaks (clumps), begin again.
Whisk in the cocoa, egg, vanilla, and salt.
Set aside in a warm spot.
Using a standing mixer and the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high until they are foamy. Add the cream of tartar and, with the motor running, slowly add the sugar, a few teaspoons at a time. Continue to beat until soft peaks form, curling over softly when you lift the beater. (Alternatively, use a handheld electric mixer.)
Fold the chocolate mixture gently into the whites just until there are no more visible white streaks. You want it even but do not want to release too much of the air that was whipped into the egg or you won’t get any rise.
Do not let oven door slam shut, no running or stomping across the floor, no slamming doors, etc. — no vibration or other physical disturbance that could cause it to deflate until it has completely finished baking.
Spoon the mixture into the ramekins and bake for 5 to 6 minutes for the little ramekins or 18 to 20 minutes for the full sized souffle dish, until the tops are slightly puffed, the edges are set, and the center jiggles when you gently shake a ramekin.
Use oven mitts to carefully transfer the ramekins to serving plates and serve immediately.
If desired, place paper doily over top each and sprinkle lightly with confectioner’s sugar — but must be careful not to apply any pressure that could deflate the souffle in the process and work quickly to be able to serve it while still hot from the oven.
Serving Size: Makes 10 individual ramekin servings or one 8 or 9 inch souffle.