Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day: Chocolate Soufflés

The hubz and I rarely go out for Valentine's Day. A nice meal at home is what makes us happy! So to top off this year's delish dinner, I made a rich dark chocolate soufflé. It's the perfect decadent treat: rich, light, molten, airy. I just love it!

This particular soufflé has the added hint of rum (we used honeymoon rum!) but any other liqueur would be great too: Bailey's, Kahlua, Godiva—get creative!

Chocolate Soufflés

10 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped – plus a small piece for the center of each soufflé
3/4 c. heavy whipping cream
5 T. sugar
2 T. (1/4 stick) unsalted butter – keep the wrapper for buttering the ramekins
1 T. dark rum
1 T. vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt

6 large eggs, separated
Pinch of cream of tartar
Powdered sugar for garnish

Combine first 7 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat; cool to lukewarm. (Chocolate base can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Stir over low heat just until lukewarm before continuing.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter eight 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups and coat insides with sugar. Whisk egg yolks into lukewarm chocolate base. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar in large bowl until soft peaks form. Fold whites into chocolate base in 3 additions. Divide soufflé mixture among prepared ramekins; place on baking sheet. If desired, place a small piece of leftover bittersweet chocolate into the middle of each soufflé. Bake soufflés until puffed but still moist in center, about 15 minutes. Sift powdered sugar over soufflés, if desired, and serve immediately.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

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