It has indeed been a while, but we are back from a brief stint in Toronto, Niagara, and Binghamton with semesters complete and a whole CT summer ahead. Before we resume our normal operations, I would be remiss if I didn’t take a brief moment to reminisce over the past year. To Melissa: thank you for being the second most complicated person I know, always challenging, frequently difficult, full of sass (and class), and my best friend.
Since you are already familiar with our decadent dinner menu, I might as well share my contribution (in addition to stirring the risotto). Along the lines of “whatever you can do, I can do better,” I chose to make soufflés like the ones Melissa attempted for Valentine’s. I (literally) whipped these up in a few minutes before dinner then left them to chill in the refrigerator. They only take a short time to cook, so we just shuttled them from the fridge into a preheated oven and continued lounging over empty plates and half empty glasses of wine to the smooth sounds of… Peter Gabriel (?!). Out of the oven, these soufflés have a crisp and flaky surface with a light and fluffy interior – not to mention, they retain their shape remarkably well (at least for their remarkably short lifespan). Soufflés have a reputation for being finicky and a real challenge, but with this recipe I have never failed. So don’t be put off by that reputation… I can testify that sometimes the most difficult things are also the most rewarding.
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs (yolks and whites separated)
- 2 tbsp sugar
- pinch salt
- A few spoonfuls of cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 375F. Butter two 8 oz ramekins. Add a small spoonful of cocoa powder to each ramekin and shake gently until the walls and bottom are well coated. Melt remaining butter and chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water with constant mixing until blended. In two medium bowls, separate the yolks and whites of two eggs. Add vanilla extract to the chocolate then combine with the yolks slowly while whisking. To the egg whites, add sugar and a pinch of salt. Whip the yolks until stiff peaks are formed. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate. Divide the mixture between the ramekins, filling to the very top. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes. (Use 20 minutes if baked immediately or 24-25 minutes if directly from the refrigerator.) Remember, no peeking! Once puffed, observe the cardinal rule of soufflé... eat quickly (not that there is any other way)!