Several years ago they were the darlings of the restaurant world. I finally got around to making some and I wonder why I didn’t sooner. Some trends are worth it.
First you must make some chocolate truffles. Don’t be afraid this is SO easy…
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 1 pound of best quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped- I use Callebaut Bittersweet- don’t use supermarket chocolate chips.
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso (optional but it does enhance the chocolate flavour)
- 2 Tablespoons liqueur of your choice ( I use Amaretto but you could use Gran Marnier, Chambord, Cassis, Frangelico or whatever you choose.)
Heat the cream to scalding, pour over the chopped chocolate in a glass or metal bowl. Whisk until smooth, add the butter, liqueur and espresso if using. Whisk until all is smooth. Cover the top with plastic wrap and chill until firm. Scoop into Tablespoon sized balls. Set aside 6 of these on a tray and cover tightly with plastic wrap then place into the freezer until needed in the cake recipe to follow. You can roll the rest in powdered sugar and/ or cocoa powder or dip into tempered chocolate and store in a tightly covered container in the fridge indefinitely. You most certainly will eat them before they have a chance of going bad.
Molten Chocolate Truffle Soufflé Cakes (makes 6 individual cakes)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (plus a bit more to coat ramekins)
- 1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 1 tablespoon AP flour
- 4 ounces (by weight) best quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 4 ounces (by weight) best quality unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter (plus a bit more to coat ramekins)
- 4 large egg yolks
- 4 large egg whites
- 6 frozen chocolate truffles from above recipe
- slightly sweetened whipped cream for garnish
- powdered sugar for garnish
You’ll need (6) one-cup ramekins. Coat the insides of each with butter and place a parchment circle cut to fit the bottom diameter inside each ramekin. Butter the parchment too then sprinkle in some granulated sugar and turn to coat then entire interior surface of the ramekins with sugar. Tap out the excess. If you are going to bake the cakes immediately, preheat the oven to 425F.
Reserve two Tablespoons of the granulated sugar from the one cup measured. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the milk, sugar (less the reserved 2 T) and espresso powder until it comes to a full boil. Whisk in the Tablespoon of flour and reduce the heat to medium-low so that the mixture simmers for one minute. After the minute, remove the pan from the heat and add both chocolates. Whisk until smooth. Add the butter and the egg yolks one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Set aside whilst you whip the egg whites.
Tip:I find it works best to wipe my mixer bowl with a paper towel moistened with vodka to remove any grease that may be lurking there prior to whipping egg whites. I also wipe down the whip in this manner.
Place the four room-temperature egg whites in the bowl of the mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Beat on low until frothy. Add the two Tablespoons of reserved granulated sugar from above and beat on medium high until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Take a large spoonful of the whipped whites and add to the chocolate base to lighten it. Then add the chocolate base to the whites and fold in gently using gentle strokes through the center and up the sides until the mixture is fully incorporated but not deflated. Fill each of the six ramekins half full and then place a frozen truffle in the center of each. Top each ramekin off with the remainder of the batter. At this point they can be baked immediately in the 435F oven for 10- 12 minutes and served hot or they can be held in the fridge for a day or even up to three -although they lose some potential volume each day.
From the fridge you must increase the baking time to about 17 minutes. They can also be wrapped tightly and held in your freezer for up to a month. When you need a quick and impromptu dessert just remove the plastic wrap and pop them frozen into the oven at 425F and increase the baking time to about 25 minutes.
Serve hot from the oven inverted on an individual serving plate, parchment removed and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Top with slightly sweetened softly whipped cream for the perfect dessert.