Sunday, May 24, 2009

She tries too hard

I discovered makeup in November of 8th grade. With my newfound teenage rebellion (and elementary knowledge of cosmetics) I proceeded to spend 20 minutes each morning before school going nuts with concealer, foundation, powder, blush, eye liner, eye shadow, mascara, lip liner, and lipstick until I resembled ...well...a 5 year old who just raided her mother's stash of makeup...or maybe a washed up B-list celebrity in a 13 year old's pudgy and fashion-less physique. By December of 8th grade I had come to my senses, and scaled it back to a cranberry flavored lip gloss. But goodness, 8th grade is quite full of lessons, isn't it? I for one learned that even the best of us is sometimes guilty of trying to hard.

But that is neither here nor there.

In other unrelated news, I baked you a dark chocolate souffle.

I know, a little over the top. I just really wanted to impress you. It's true, I really did. Hopefully, you'll see past my pitiful attempt to prove that I am, in fact, one of the popular girls, and take a big bite of this souffle. If you've never had a chocolate souffle before (and I hadn't before the one you see in these pictures), you should know two very important things. One: It's not nearly as hard to make as it might seem. Just follow the tricks below and you'll be sinking a spoon into your own souffle within the hour. Two: It's so worth it.

So, without further ado, here's the recipe I followed. The cool thing about souffles is that they have to be eaten the moment they come out of the oven. Ideally, you'll have your guests seated at the table, spoons in hand, eagerly anticipating the arrival of their souffle when the timer dings. This is because souffles deflate pretty quickly after they're removed from the oven and you want to be able to duly appreciate it's height and form before destroying the puff with your spoon. For this reason, I also like to serve souffles in individual-sized ramekins. Since they start to look pretty awful the moment they're poked, it's better to let each person destroy their own. Enjoy!

Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Souffle
adapted from Mark Bittman's famous fool proof souffle recipe
makes two individual sized souffles

1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup sugar, plus extra for the dish
2 ounces Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate, gently melted
3 eggs, carefully separated
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Step one: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prep the ramekins. Generously coat the sides of the two ramekins with butter. Sprinkle sugar over the butter, invert the ramekins, and gently tap the extra sugar out. Carefully separate the eggs, being absolutely sure that no yoke gets into the egg whites.

Step two: Beat the egg yokes and all but 1 tablespoon of the sugar with a whisk until very light and very thick. You'll know it's done when the mixtures falls from the ends of the whisk to form a ribbon. Mix in the melted chocolate until well combined.

Step three: Beat the egg whites with the salt and cream of tartar until they hold soft peaks. Gradually add the last tablespoon of sugar while continuing to beat until the mixture is stiff and very glossy. Stir a hefty spoonful of the whites thoroughly into the egg yolk mixture (a very important step) and then fold in the remaining whites very gently using a rubber spatula.

Step four: Pour/scoop the mixture into the prepared souffle dishes. Bake until the center is nearly set, about 20 minutes for the two individual ramekins. Serve immediately.

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Adriana Willsie and Kylie Springman ©2009