13 November 2010

Daring Cooks Challenge: Soufflé

Slightly fallen but oh-so-delicious Hot Chocolate Soufflé

When I first saw the Daring Cooks Challenge for November, I was dismayed. My oven still isn't fixed and the hosts for this month made it clear that you had to use the oven. I told Bender what the challenge was, explained to him that our oven doesn't keep the correct temperature, and then he came up with a brilliant suggestion: Why don't you use someone else's oven? Duh. How dumb am I? Of course someone will let me use their oven if I promise him/her soufflé! 

Aids for making soufflé: Pringles and red wine! 

The decision made to make the soufflé at some else's place, I began to look at our schedule. There would be four weekends between the day the challenge was posted and when we needed to post our blogs. Three of those weekends Bender and I would be out of town. Well, then. That made deciding when to make the soufflé quite easy: immediately! I sent out emails explaining my predicament and got immediate responses: Come use our oven, please! I was on my way. 

Next I had to decide sweet or savory. I was more interested in trying out a savory, but Bender was pretty adamant about chocolate, and oven-owner Scuba Guy agreed. Joint oven-owner California Gurl seemed happy either way, so chocolate it was. But I can guarantee you I'll be trying out a savory soufflé in the next few months. 

Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose Soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge! Dave and Linda provided two of their own delicious recipes plus a sinfully decadent chocolate soufflé recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe found at the BBC Good Food website.

 My room-temperature egg whites whipped up in no time at all! 

Hot Chocolate Soufflé 

adapted from Gordon Ramsey by Dave and Linda of Monkeyshines in the Kitchen




2 Tbsp (30 ml) 1 oz (30g) unsalted butter, for greasing
Cocoa powder or finely grated chocolate


2 tbsp (30 ml) (18 gm) (2/3 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
2 tsp (10 gm) (0.35 oz) caster (superfine) sugar (regular sugar is okay)
½ tsp (4½ gm) (0.15 oz) corn starch (aka cornflour)
1 medium egg yolk
1 medium whole egg
4 Tbsp (60 ml) milk
5 Tbsp (75 ml) heavy cream (or double cream)
3 oz (90gm) good-quality dark chocolate preferably 70+% cocoa solids, broken in pieces
2 Tbsp (30 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) unsweetened cocoa powder
Optional: 2 tsp orange zest or 2 tsp minced chipotle chile en adobo or 1 tsp chipotle chile powder. (The chile version is a Monkeyshines favorite!) 
Optional: powdered sugar for dusting


6 medium egg whites
6½ Tbsp (95 ml) 3 oz (90g) superfine/caster sugar (if you don’t have it, regular sugar is okay)

 The problem with making something at someone else's place? You have to bring all of your ingredients. I forgot the cocoa powder, so we lined the coffee mugs with chocolate shavings instead! 


1. Heat oven to moderate 375 ˚F/190 ˚C/gas mark 5.

2. Take four 1 cup/~240ml soufflé dishes and brush them completely with softened butter. Tip a little cocoa powder or grated chocolate into each dish, roll the dish around tilting it as you do so it is evenly lined all round. (The mugs I used barely held one cup, so I ended up making six soufflés)

3. For the crème patisserie, mix the flour, sugar and corn starch into a small bowl. Put egg yolk and whole egg into a medium sized bowl, beat lightly, then beat in half of the flour mixture to give a smooth paste. Tip in the rest of the flour mixture and cocoa powder and mix well. (I expected this paste to be a lot thicker than it was, but that probably had a lot to do with a lack of cocoa powder...)

4. To make the ganache, pour the milk and cream into a pan and bring just to the boil. Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and beat until it is melted and smooth with no lumps.

5. Gradually stir hot chocolate ganache into the paste from step 3, and add the orange zest or chile if using. This is your crème patisserie.

6. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks with an electric whisk. Sprinkle in the sugar as you are mixing. Keep whisking to give stiff, firm peaks to give volume to the soufflés.

7. Stir about 2 tbsp (30 ml) of the beaten egg whites into the crème patisserie. Carefully fold in a third of the rest, cutting through the mixture. Fold in another third (take care not to lose the volume), then fold in the rest.

8. Spoon the mixture into the dishes. Run a spoon across the top of each dish so the mixture is completely flat. Take a little time to wipe any splashes off the outside of each dish, or they will burn on while cooking.

Scuba Guy and me watching the soufflés rise. Face blurred to protect the innocent.

9. Bake the soufflés for 15-17 minutes. The soufflés should have risen by about two thirds of their original height and jiggle when moved, but be set on top.

You can probably tell that I didn't bake them quite long enough. We had already hit the suggested time limit, so I did not want to leave them in the oven longer and ruin them. Next time, I'll increase the temperature because that oven probably ran a little cool.

Soufflé is surprisingly easy to make. Mine weren’t perfect (see under-baked soufflé above), but they were very tasty. Bender was expecting something a bit sweeter, but ate his entire soufflé. Scuba Guy and California Gurl went back and split a second. Jenny joined us later that evening and enjoyed her (quite fallen) soufflé as well. I will be making a savory soufflé now, but just don’t have time before this needs to be posted. I hope to make one in the next few months, so if you don’t see it on the blog before February, bug me about it, please!

I’ll-be-making-many-more-soufflés: 1 vote
Meh-it-was-okay: 1 vote
You-can-use-our-oven-any-time-you’d-like: 2 votes
Mhmmm: 1 vote

EDIT: A new oven (and stove!) was installed two days before we left town! :) Unfortunately, those days were already planned so I did not have a chance to try out a savory soufflé. I'll be in the kitchen as soon as we return!


  1. Looks really good. Please post the savory one when you make it.

  2. Melanie - sorry to put you through all that!! Your souffle looks just fantastic though. Thanks for playing along!

  3. How was the texture inside? Was it like a brownie? Pudding? It makes me think of a crazy volcanic cliff.

  4. @ Aunt Vicki: Do you have any requests for what type of savory soufflé you'd like to see?

    @ Monkeyshines: I had so much fun with this challenge that the hassle didn't bother me a bit! Thank you for making me step out of my comfort zone!

    @ Tabitha: It wasn't pudding like or brownie like... it was a bit closer to mousse, but not that heavy either. I think you could try this one. :)

  5. I love how you used mugs to bake them in. I had a tough job thinking of something with straight sides to use...but eventually found something. Your chocolate souffles look beautiful and delicious. Now I want to try a chocolate one too!

  6. @ Little Red: I didn't come up with that idea on my own! Someone on the forum mentioned it, and I decided to run with it. I will definitely be trying your cheese soufflé too!

  7. Funny how people are willing to lend their ovens when they get something out of it! I love the coffee mugs! Great first time and congrats on the new appliances!

  8. Mmm, your souffles are fantastic! I love that idea of cooking the them in mugs - so much easier to eat & they look really lovely. Nice thinking with the wine & Pringles too!


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