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Old 01-16-2015, 05:51 PM   #1
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Chocolate Souffle - Was Julia wrong?

For the past week or so I've been messing around with Chocolate souffles trying various recipes and techniques. The gold standard for chocolate souffles seems to be Julia Childs version which calls for a melting the chocolate into coffee, making a sauce of boiling milk, thickened by sprinkling in flour and stirring like mad and then incorporating the melted chocolate and egg yolks. Her recipe also calls for butter added after the sauce is made. Than as usual, you make the egg whites, fold into sauce and bake.

This recipe however is booby-trapped. That boiling milk sauce is finicky. It's pretty easy to end up with lumps and so I've been wondering if there's a better way.

So today I made a souffle using the standard methods for a cheese souffle, bechamel, add block chocolate to the sauce after it's off the heat (instead of cheese) but still warm and side step the need for all that furious whisking and extra dirty pans. It seems to work well and so I'm wondering why she would have gone through those extra steps?

Here's my dumbed down recipe which had a delicious result and only 2 things to wash - the sauce pan and the bowl the egg whites were whipped in.

Ingredients:
6 oz chocolate, chopped (I used Semi-sweet and bittersweet, mixed)
1/4 C flour
3 T butter
1 C milk
1/8 tsp salt
1 T vanilla
rind from 1 orange, grated
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
4 egg yolks, beaten
5 egg whites
4 T granulated sugar
1 T powdered sugar (for dusting)
whipped cream, raspberries on the side
Method:
Preheat Oven: 375 and prepare 2 quart dish: butter and dust w/ granulated sugar and add a buttered foil cuff.
  1. Separate eggs and set aside.
  2. Prepare bechamel. In large saucepan combine butter and flour and briefly cook. Add milk and stir to thicken. Remove from heat and cool for minute or two.
  3. Add chopped chocolate, orange rind, vanilla, salt, cayenne and nutmeg to bechamel while still warm, stirring occasionally until chocolate is fully melted.
  4. Whisk egg yolks to ribbon stage and stir into sauce.
  5. Whip whites to stiff glossy peaks adding cream of tartar and sugar part way through whipping.
  6. Fold whites by thirds into sauce. Do not over fold - a few lumps are fine.
  7. Pour mixture into prepared dish and bake for about 45 - 50 minutes. Do NOT open oven door during cooking. Sprinkle a little powdered sugar over top and serve immediately.
Here are the results:

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Is there a reason for the "Boiling Milk" method that eludes me?

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Old 01-16-2015, 06:57 PM   #2
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I havent done it in a while but this is exactly how I do it...
Chocolate Souffles Recipe : Food Network Kitchen : Food Network

works perfectly every time , not complicated or hard...
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Old 01-16-2015, 08:20 PM   #3
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Julia has one of those distinct voices that I can hear just reading about her.

I think some of her recipes are complex because she learned according to classical cooking methods. Her Fr Onion soup is my go-to. I've tinkered w/ her beef bourguignon over the years so much, about the only thing that remains a constant is beef and wine. Don't know about chocolate soufflés, I've never made one.

I added your, not Julia's, soufflé to my potential Valentines Day planning list. I am pretty sure that would be a new one for us and would make a good surprise. Is it served warm or cold. Can you make it ahead ? Actually this Starts this year's menu. No time like the present.


PS Should I make this, I will read and compare Cooking 4's and Julia's original, and any others for comparison. I tend to dither if it's a new dish to me before making.

Janet, Please clue us in how much is 1 Powdered sugar in your recipe. Thanks.
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Old 01-16-2015, 08:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskadoodle View Post
Is it served warm or cold. Can you make it ahead ?
This is served fairly shortly after removing from oven as it begins to deflate a bit after removing the cuff. As to making ahead... you could make the chocolate base a little in advance (maybe an hour or two) and then whip up the whites and final assembly just before putting it in the oven.

Quote:
Janet, Please clue us in how much is 1 Powdered sugar in your recipe. Thanks.
My bad - That is 1 Tbl and really just enough to dust the top..... I've edited the original ;)
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Old 01-16-2015, 10:21 PM   #5
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Thanks Janet, now I know what to do with the bittersweet Ghirardelli I found in the pantry.

How many servings are suggested by this recipe? Think I will use some Alnod or coconut flour as a sub if I can get away with it.

Did we ever decide if almond flour could be used as a thickening agent?
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Old 01-16-2015, 10:27 PM   #6
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not sure about alternative flours - you are on your own there..

Regarding serving size - this is rich and assuming your guests have already eaten you should be able to serve 6 - maybe even 8. My kid and I had this for lunch and then seconds (we skipped the lunch part of lunch and went straight to dessert), we had large portions and there was a third left.
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Old 01-16-2015, 10:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
not sure about alternative flours - you are on your own there..

Regarding serving size - this is rich and assuming your guests have already eaten you should be able to serve 6 - maybe even 8. My kid and I had this for lunch and then seconds (we skipped the lunch part of lunch and went straight to dessert), we had large portions and there was a third left.
Thanks Janet, just need an approximation for a quick carb count on the portion.

As for the almond flour, I need to find it in bulk so I can play with no commitment to 5 pounds.
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