It’s an elegant dessert, a perfect post-symphony repast, a luxurious breakfast treat: Chocolate Souffle. The dish is a best-selling menu item at Rise No. 1 Souffle Salons in Dallas and Houston, where miraculous clouds of egg and water delight diners from late morning to late night hours in an enchanting setting evoking the French countryside. The dish is easier to make than you might think, using instructions from Rise to the Occasion: A French Food Experience in which Rise founder, Hedda Gioia, and chef/partner Cherif Brahmi share recipes for the restaurant’s signature items as well as family favorite comfort food dishes from their childhoods in France.
The book includes a tip for successfully executing the French specialty that many consider intimidating. Citing famed biochemist and cooking teacher Shirley Corriher, Dowd and Brahmi recommend baking the souffle atop a baking stone, preheated to 50 degrees warmer than the recipe calls for, reducing the oven temperature to the specified temperature for the actual baking time.
What to pair with this elegant delight? Champagne, naturally! You’ll find recommendations from Sommelier Tricia Conover here.
Chocolate Souffles with Chocolate Sauce
Yield: 4 individual servings
½ cup butter
1 and ½ cup sugar, divided use
3 egg yolks
¼ cup flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 cups whole milk, scalded
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
10 large egg whites
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Butter four (12-ounce) ramekins to the top. Using a rolling motion, coat ramekins with ¼ cup of the sugar.
For the souffles, combine egg yolks, ¾ cup sugar, flour, and cornstarch in a small mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Slowly add hot scalded milk to mixture, whisking constantly until milk is incorporated. Transfer mixture into a non-aluminum saucepan and heat over medium heat. Stir constantly. Heat and stir until pastry cream thickens and boils. Do not scorch the bottom. When it reaches a boil, pour into storage container or bowl to cool. Stir occasionally to prevent skin from forming on top.
Add cocoa and mix well. Set aside.
Beat egg whites in a bowl of an electric mixer at high speed. While beating, add remaining sugar. Beat until soft peaks form.
With a rubber spatula, fold egg whites and pastry cream into a bowl. Stir. Pour mixture into ramekins. Keep edges of ramekins clean.
Place souffles on lowest rack of the oven. Leave 6-8” space above the ramekins to allow souffles to rise. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Tops of souffles should be browned.
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half
½ cup sugar
½ lb. (8 ounces) bittersweet chocolate morsels
Powdered sugar for garnish
For the chocolate sauce, while the souffles are baking, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Place cream, half-and-half, sugar, and chocolate in the pan and mix well. Bring sauce to a boil while whipping occasionally. Remove from heat when it reaches a boil.
Dust tops of chocolate souffles with powdered sugar. Pour chocolate sauce over souffles.
Recipe adapted from Rise to the Occasion: A French Food Experience by Hedda Gioia Dowd, Cherif Brahmi and Celine Chick. (Pelican Publishing Company; 2011,) available on Risesouffle.com and Amazon.com.