I’m flying solo this Valentine’s Day. My “lovey” is down South with his other lover – a 100-foot, carbon-fiber racing yacht. And I can’t say I’m overly inspired to whip up a lavish, romantic meal to eat with champagne, candlelight, and my kids. Much as I love them, they just won’t appreciate the effort.
So if not dinner, then dessert – which really is what Valentine’s Day is all about, anyway, right? Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate covered strawberries… What would a Valentine’s Day treat be without a little chocolate? But a special dessert requires more effort than the typical cookie or cupcake. I wanted something that wasn’t overly fussy and complicated, but still decadent and out of the ordinary.
Soufflé was the classic dessert I kept coming back to. Don’t be intimidated by the mythical difficulty we tend to associate with making soufflé; they’re much simpler to cook than most people think. I love how the top of this dish puffs up and out over the edge of its ramekin, cracking open to reveal its fluffy, chocolatey interior. I think I can stop here and let the photos do the talking. If you’re feeling the love, one spoon is all you’ll need to devour this magical treat! xoxo
Dark chocolate soufflé for two
makes 2 servings
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons (superfine) caster sugar, or hot cocoa mix
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/4 cup sugar
3 ounces 70% dark or baking chocolate, chopped into small pieces
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar for dusting (optional)
special equipment: 2 8-ounce ramekins
Preheat the oven to 355º Fahrenheit. Grease the inside of each ramekin with butter. Dust each ramekin with 1 tablespoon of caster sugar or hot cocoa mix and set aside.
Combine egg yolks, milk, corn starch, and 1/4 cup of sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the mixture begins to thicken, about 3 minutes. Add the chocolate, remove the pan from heat, and continue to stir until the chocolate is incorporated. Set aside.
In a bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on medium high until soft peaks are formed.
With a rubber spatula, slowly fold 1/3 of the chocolate mixture into the egg whites; repeat until all of the chocolate mixture is incorporated into the egg mixture. Once combined, pour the mixture into the ramekins, filling them to the top. Using a corner edge of the rubber spatula, run it around the edge of the ramekin to create a groove between the edge of the dish and the mixture. This will help the top pop and rise away from the ramekin as the soufflé bakes.
Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet and bake them in the oven for 15 minutes. Resist the urge to open the oven during baking – use the oven light to see that they are rising in order to ensure they bake consistently. After 15 minutes, the tops should be puffed and cracked. Shake the tray gently; the middle of each soufflé should jiggle only slightly when cooked through. If the centers appear underdone, bake for another 2-3 minutes. Dust with confectioner’s sugar if desired and enjoy immediately – with just one spoon if you like! (Note: As the soufflés begin to cool, their tops will begin to collapse; this is normal, not a fail!)
Looking for great gifts for your Vaentines? Check out gift guide, 6 Valentine’s Day Gifts That’ll Bring the Xs and Os!