I think that a dark chocolate souffle is the quintessential Valentine’s Day dessert. Chocolate is practically required eating on Valentine’s and souffles, because they aren’t as commonly made as other types of desserts, always seem to be extra-special – perfect for sharing with that special someone.
For all the mystique about them, souffles are not that hard to make. This one in particular is dead-easy as long as you can beat egg whites to soft peaks successfully, as that is the single remotely-challenging component of this recipe. The base of the souffle is made up of melted chocolate, sugar and egg yolks. I added a couple of tablespoons of kahlua for flavoring, but you can use brandy, Irish creme, amaretto or another liqueur in its place. It adds a little dimension to the souffle, but the flavor doesn’t end up being too strong. If you prefer not to use alcohol at all, you can just as easily use milk or cream in place of the liqueur.
Beaten egg whites are folded into the base and the souffles are baked. Baking time is short and the souffles turn out with a slightly crisp top and a melty, but not liquid, interior. They have a great chocolate flavor and taste surprisingly light. I think that this is a great combination because it gives you all the flavor without heaviness – and eating a dessert that weighs you down is definitely not something you want to do on V-day.
The recipe makes four souffles. Leftovers can be stored overnight in the fridge if you don’t eat them the first day. They’re not quite the same as the souffles hot from the oven, but they’re still quite a tasty (and indulgent) breakfast!
Simple Dark Chocolate Souffles
5 ounces dark chocolate (65-72%), chopped
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp kahlua or brandy (or milk/cream)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp all purpose flour
4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 375F.
Lightly butter 4 6-oz. ramekins and coat with sugar (pour 1 tbsp into one of the ramekins, swirl to coat, pour into the next and repeat).
Melt the chocolate in a large mixing bowl and whisk together with sugar, kahlua (other liqueur or cream) and vanilla extract. Mixture will be thick and pasty. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, followed by the flour.
In a medium mixing bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Whisk 1/3 of beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in remaining egg whites in two additions, folding until mixture is uniform and no streaks of egg whites remain.
Divide evenly into prepared ramekins and wipe edges to ensure they are clean. This helps the souffles get an even rise. Place ramekins on a baking sheet.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until souffles are well-risen and set at the edges (center may appear wet, but should still be set).