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Valentine’s Day Advice: Make Dessert First and make it this Chocolate Soufflé

Valentine’s Day Advice: Make Dessert First and make it this Chocolate Soufflé
St. Valentinus Imprisoned for Love!

This Chocolate Souffle is a glorious deep dive into dark chocolate

With its almost molten center, an aroma of rich chocolate bursts from the dish the moment your spoon breaks its crisp top.  The whipped cream only adds to the sensuality of this dessert.  And if you have visions of having to get from the table to throw this soufflé together while your lover cools their heels at the dinner table, forget it.  No, this can be made a day ahead. At the appropriate moment, the ramekins go into the oven and the soufflé puffs up and sets in as little as 20 minutes or 5 minutes more if the soufflé goes straight from the fridge to the oven.  I highly recommend using 8-ounce individual ramekins although this recipe can be used in a 16-oz. ramekin.  The 8 oz size seems to say “I made this just for you” better than splitting the larger soufflé.

Now, what’s all this fuss over Valentine’s Day?

I was pretty well sure Valentine’s Day was an invention of Hallmark Cards but that’s not at all true.  It’s a Western Christian Feast Day that celebrates one or more Saints named Valentinus and it’s much more serious than any greeting card. According to Wikipedia it’s “a significant cultural, religious and commercial celebration of romance in many regions around the world.”  And then there’s the story of one of the saints: St. Valentine of Rome. The Saint was imprisoned for performing Wedding ceremonies for soldiers who were not allowed to marry and for ministering to Christians who the Romans persecuted.  Awaiting execution, he restored the sight of the blind daughter of his judge.  He then wrote her a “Your Valentine” letter as a farewell. Whoever Your Valentine is, I have a couple of suggestions. The first is to make this a stay-at-home night.  The second is to remind you of what I discovered last year: Making a meal for a lover is an Aphrodisiac of the highest order.  A man cooking for a woman, and a woman cooking for a man, all yield the same result—a romantic evening filled with great food.

And if you’re looking for a Main Course…

We have several recommendations…click on the pictures to go to the recipes:

Chicken La Tulipe
Easy Duck Confit
The Ultimate Steak and English Jacket Potato

Here’s the recipe for your Valentine’s Chocolate Soufflé

Chocolate Soufflé

February 13, 2023
: 2
: 20 min
: Don't be intimidated by this recipe. It's not at all complicated and you'll be surprised how easy it is to get great results

The sexiest of all desserts, this Chocolate Soufflé has a rich deep dark chocolate flavor enhanced with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

By:

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch salt
  • pinch cream of tartar
Directions
  • Step 1 Heat oven to 375° F. Use 1 tablespoon of the butter to grease one 16-ounce or two 8-ounce ramekins. Coat the ramekins with the cocoa, tapping out the excess.
  • Step 2 In a large bowl, over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and remaining butter. Stir occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Whisk in the yolks one at a time until smooth. Set aside.
  • Step 3 In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites with the sugar, salt, and cream of tartar until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Gently fold the egg-white mixture into the chocolate. Spoon into the ramekins. (The recipe can be made to this point up to 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)
  • Step 4 Bake until puffed and set, 40 minutes for a 16-ounce soufflé, and 20 minutes for two smaller ones. (If baked directly from the refrigerator, add 5 to 10 minutes.) Serve immediately with Whipped Cream.



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