Yogurt can be a great, no fuss base for souffles. This is particularly true of thick Greek-style yogurt, as it provides a lot of body to the base of a souffle recipe. One of my favorite souffles that features yogurt is my Yogurt Cheesecake Souffles, as they have a fluffy texture but a rich cheesecake-like flavor in spite of the fact that they include no cream cheese in the recipe. The souffle itself is only mildly flavored, and I made a little variation on it by adding some Nutella to the souffle base.
The souffle has a taste and texture that is very similar to a mousse, although it is served piping hot shortly after it emerges from the oven. It has a relatively subtle Nutella flavor when compared to eating a spoonful of the stuff straight out of the jar, but the clear hazelnut and chocolate notes come through well and make the souffle both airy and tasty. The tang of the yogurt, as well as the fact that there just isn’t that much sugar in this recipe to begin with, keeps things from getting too sweet. It’s a great dessert to end a meal – even a big one – thanks to its lightness. Plus, it only takes a couple of minutes to mix up the base and pop it into to bake.
The souffles will rise up impressively in the oven (see photo below) and are pretty stable, so while they will deflate and sink down slightly into the ramekins as they cool off (see photo above), you don’t have to worry about them being so fragile that they’ll collapse with a puff of air. As I said before, Greek-style yogurt works the best for this recipe, as “regular” yogurt can be a little bit on the thin side. Any fat content will work, and you should be able to find Greek-style yogurt in most grocery stores. If you can’t, drain some plain yogurt over a cheesecloth for 15-30 minutes to allow some of the excess moisture to drain out and leave behind a thicker, more cheese-like, yogurt.
1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
3 large egg yolks
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 cup Nutella
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
butter and sugar, for ramekins
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Butter six 6-oz. ramekins. Pour a small amount of sugar into each and roll the ramekins to coat (just like flouring a pan). Set on a baking sheet.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together yogurt, egg yolks, flour, salt, vanilla extract and Nutella until smooth.
In a medium mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually stream in sugar and continue beating on medium-high speed until all sugar has been incorporated and egg whites have reached soft peaks.
Working in two or three batches, gently fold egg whites in to yolk mixture. This can be done with a whisk or with a spatula. Make sure all egg whites have been fully incorporated and no streaks of white remain.
Divide mixture evenly into ramekins, using about 1/2 cup in each and leaving ramekins on the baking tray.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until evenly risen and lightly browned on top.