Chocolate and raspberry is one of my absolute favourite flavour combinations, so this dessert was always going to have a special place in my kitchen. This is my go-to dessert for weeknight dinner parties when time isn’t on my side. There are many myths about soufflés: they are hard to make, they need to be prepared at the last minute, don’t open the oven while they cook or it will fail, etc. In fact, none of this is true!
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 16-20 minutes
- 200 gr cooking dark chocolate
- 160 gr butter
- 2 punnet of raspberries (250 gr)
- 2 tbsp flour
- 6 eggs
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- extra butter to grease the moulds
Step 1 – Wash the raspberries: Wash the raspberries two to three times in a large bowl of water. Drain and gently pat dry with paper towels to reduce the water content.
Step 2 – Melt the butter and the chocolate: Cut the chocolate and butter into pieces and place them in a large heatproof glass bowl. Bain Marie* is an ideal method to gently melt the chocolate and butter. Choose a saucepan large enough so that the bottom third of the bowl fits inside the saucepan without touching the bottom. Fill the saucepan with water to about a fifth of its capacity and bring to a simmer. Place the glass bowl above the saucepan. The bottom of the bowl should not be immersed in water. Whisk regularly until both the chocolate and the butter are fully melted and combined. The mixture should be lump-free and shiny. Take off the heat.
Step 4 – Add the raspberries, sugar, flour and egg yolks: Reserve 10 raspberries for garnishing. Tear the other raspberries with your hands and add to the chocolate and butter mixture. Then add 2 tbsp of brown sugar, 2 tablespoon of flour and the 6 egg yolks. Stir gently but thoroughly.
Step 5 – Raise the egg whites: Use an electric mixer to raise the egg whites to stiff peaks. Start on a low setting until foamy and then progressively work you way up to the highest setting on your electric mixer*. The mixture should be stiff as per the picture.
Step 6 – Pre-heat the oven: Pre-heat the oven on fan-forced mode to 180 degrees
Step 7 – Incorporate the egg whites in the chocolate and raspberry mixture: Gently fold the egg whites, a couple of tablespoons at a time, into the chocolate mixture. Do not whisk! The folding motion is one where you use a spatula to dig deep from the back to the front of the bowl, bring some of the mixture up and place it over the remaining mixture in a front to back motion. This step should not be rushed or you take the risk of breaking the egg whites. If some lumps remain in you mixture, try to gently flatten them with your spatula, but do not whisk!
Step 8 – Fill the moulds: Grease 5 small soufflé moulds with butter. According to Justin North, it should be done in an upward motion to help the soufflés rise! Pour the mixture up to the top of each mould. Finally, run a knife around the edges of the mould. This again is done to help the soufflé rise.
Step 9 – Cook the soufflés: Transfer the soufflés on the middle rack of the oven and cook for 16 minutes or so. This is not a fondant so the inside needs to be cooked. Despite what is widely accepted, opening the oven while the soufflé is cooking is not a life or death move. The soufflé will go down if you open the oven door for a little while but it will come back up when back under the heat*.
Step 10 – Serve immediately: Take the soufflés out of the oven and serve immediately with a garnish of fresh raspberries and vanilla ice cream*.
Don’t dig in too fast, it’s hot!
The soufflé mixture doesn’t have to be prepared at the last moment. I often cook leftovers the next day and they still rise! Alternatively, leftovers can be eaten raw, as a chocolate and raspberry mousse.
Mix & Match
The raspberries could be omitted or replaced by mashed pear.
A Spanish Sherry such as Pedro Jimenez works a treat. So would a Port. If you do not like dessert wines, then I recommend you try a Merlot or a Sparkling Rose.
*Did you Know?
- Bain Marie is the recommended method for melting chocolate. Chocolate should not be melted over a direct flame or in the microwave as it might burn or separate (over 65 degrees).
- Egg whites will not rise if in contact with egg yolk, oil, fat or detergent. It is therefore important to use a very clean bowl. A reliable trick is to wipe the bowl with half a lemon.
- You will achieve better results raising egg whites by starting on a low setting and progressively working your way up to the highest setting. Beating egg whites too hard from the beginning will weaken the structure of the foam which, as a result, will not raise to its full potential.
- Soufflé mixture will raise again after being taken out of the oven. It is the air bubbles trapped in the soufflé mixture which make the soufflé raise under the heat. The soufflé will deflate when cooling down, however the air bubbles remain present. This means that the soufflé will raise again if re-exposed to the heat!
- I used homemade vanilla ice cream from DeNavi’s deli, 220a Clovelly Rd, Clovelly. It tastes like my grandma’s crème anglaise – delightful. www.denavis.com.au