If you are lucky to be in love this day is for you. Valentine’s Day is a holiday when you can continuously spoil your loved one as well as yourself using very legitimate excuse. Everything has a role to play – gorgeous dress, unique jewelry and of course gourmet food. Having a special dinner is always a culinary adventure. Going out or eating at home, one may indulge on luxury items this day: champagne and caviar, foie gras, oysters, black truffles and definitely a sweet course – dessert. Rich chocolate cake, macaroons, strawberries and cream brulée can be grand finale of your evening. You may cook something, buy in advance or order from your favorite restaurant, doesn’t mater how you do it! I wish you sweet, delicious and very special Valentine’s Day!
These chocolate soufflés are heavenly! To make them even more divine, slip a spoonful of vanilla ice cream into the center of each soufflé at the table.
- 2 Tbsp. softened butter, to grease dishes
- 1/4 cup superfine sugar, to coat dishes
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted
- 4 oz semisweet chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped into small pieces
- 5 medium egg whites
- 2 Tbsp. superfine sugar
- 1 tsp citrus zest (orange, kumquats)
For the pastry cream:
- 1 3/4 cups milk
- 1/3 cup superfine sugar
- 4 medium egg yolks
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- confectioners’ sugar to dust
Butter 2 (4-inch) soufflé dishes or 4 small ramekins and coat the insides with the sugar.
To make the pastry cream: put the milk and two-thirds of the sugar in a small pan and slowly bring to a boil. Put the egg yolks and remaining sugar in a bowl and whisk to a ribbon consistency, then incorporate the flour. Pour the hot milk onto the yolks, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return to the pan and whisk over low heat for one more minute. Pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let cool slightly.
Preheat the oven to 400F and put a baking sheet inside to heat. Measure 5 oz of the pastry cream and delicately mix in the cocoa and chopped chocolate using a whisk. Add the citrus zest. Keep the rest of the pastry cream for another use.
Beat the egg whites to a thick foam, then add sugar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Fold one-third into the pastry cream mixture using a whisk, then delicately fold in the rest with a large spoon. The mixture will be fairly loose.
Divide the mixture between the soufflé dishes, filling them to the tip. Stand on the hot baking sheet and cook for 10-15 minutes. As you take the soufflés out of the oven, dust the tops with confectioners’ sugar, place on warm plates, and serve at ones.
Inspired by my favorite chef Michel Roux’s cookbook “Eggs”.