chocolate soufflés in mini form

Yes, I am a chocolate addict. Many people claim to be addicts, but do they eat it at least once a day? I don’t think so. It’s gotten to the point where it just gives me that little edge I need during the day. So once again, I was intrigued by a chocolate recipe, and once again, it was by dearest Deb from smitten kitchen. This one called for a chocolate soufflé in cupcake form with dreamy white chocolate mint cream: chocolate soufflé cupcakes with mint cream. I happened to have some leftover Kahlua from the cappuccino cheesecake, so I decided that a touch of that in the white chocolate cream would be just the small kick I wanted.

already deflating! just the way you want a soufflé to look out of the oven
sneak peek!

I’ve just really begun to delve into the baking world, and thus my baking specific supplies included baking sheets, a hand mixer (that I got for almost 70% off the regular price because it was incorrectly marked… lucky deal!), mixing bowls, measuring cups/spoons, and some smattering of whisks, spatulas, etc. Anyway, a pretty basic kitchen. I bought a springform pan for the last recipe because I had a real urge for some cheesecake. This was no different, although I was fortunate enough to receive a wonderful cast iron skillet and a kitchen scale (!) as a belated birthday present. I guess it’s a trend… lacking the main baking utensil. So once again, I had to hit the pavement and search for utensils.

Recently, I was informed of a nice restaurant supply store near Porter Square in Cambridge that I had yet to check out, and I decided that the need for a muffin tin would be a great excuse to go check it out. The store, China Fair, actually was pretty well organized. It had a good range of high volume baking/cooking supplies, as well as some home kitchen supplies. Most items were hit or miss, but at the price they were selling at, it was hard to complain. I found an aluminum muffin tin, some glass mixing/display bowls, and some muffin cups. It was about $25 for all of the above, which really makes it a go to for any situations that come up that will require kitchen supplies. At the rate I’m going… I’ll be heading over again when another recipe takes my fancy…

muffin tin!
my brand new muffin tin!
mixing bowls
new mixing bowls from the restaurant supply store

Onto the recipe! White chocolate cream base to begin, since it was slated to take 2 hours to chill. Originally, 3 ounces of whipping cream was utilized, but as I had some left over from the cheesecake, I used 4.6 ounces, or about 1.5 times the amount of ingredients. I simply adjusted the other amounts to even it out.

whipping cream on the scale
4.6 ounces of delicious

Chopped chocolate seems to be the ideal method for utilizing chocolate in recipes, doesn’t it? I did some more chopping with my santoku knife this time around as well, although I was chopping a white chocolate bar instead of dark chocolate. True to the adjusting amounts for the recipe, I added 3 ounces of white chocolate instead of 2. And then a dash or so of Kahlua for a bit of a flavor.

chopped white chocolate
3 ounces of chopped white chocolate
white chocolate on a scale
measuring things out

All of this was happening while the cream simmered on the side; it was poured over the chocolate after it was done simmering, and off to the freezer it went. I chilled for about an hour and a half or so in the freezer, but you could chill in the refrigerator too. However, I personally liked the chill from the freezer.

white chocolate cream
white chocolate and cream melted together
all lined up
all lined up and ready to go!

With that squared away, I went onto some soufflé magic. 170 grams of chocolate goodness, 3/4 stick of butter, and some espresso beans created the base for the soufflé.

170 grams of semisweet chocolate
170 grams of chocolatey goodness
melting pot
melting the mixture

While the chocolate buttery goodness was melting on the stove, I tackled some separated eggs. Separated eggs are a new thing for me. It actually went pretty well, given that it was my first shot. One yolk broke a little bit in the process, but some egg whites never hurt anyone.

separated eggs
separated eggs, ready to go! on the first try too…

Next was the foamy mixture of egg yolks and sugar. I cut the sugar by 25% or so; 80 grams total instead of 97 grams. Feedback from the cappuccino cheesecake prompted me to attempt less sugar here. Half of the sugar was to be in this fluffy mix, thus the 40 grams.

egg yolks and sugar
egg yolks and 40 grams of sugar
fluffy egg yolks and sugar
fluffy yolks with the sugar… beaten to a nice, foamy consistency

The chocolate was pretty well mixed melted, so I whisked it a bit and transferred to a mixing bowl. All that was left was mixing some egg whites and sugar… except that I was most uncertain during this part of the recipe. I never know what speed to whisk on, or what to do to get the egg whites to mix well with the sugar. The recipe originally called for the egg whites to be mixed themselves; after about 10 minutes of whisking the egg whites to achieve “soft peaks”, I gave up and just added the sugar and salt. I was getting discouraged after another 10 or so minutes of whisking this, until I decided to up the speed on my 7 speed hand mixer to 5 instead of 1 or 2. This made all the difference. Whisking at this speed got me the consistency of medium peaks that I was looking for, and got a nice, fluffy texture that I could fold into the chocolate.

whipped peaks
whipped egg white and sugar peaks… took forever!
chocolate + whipped mix
mix of chocolate and whipped egg whites

After folding in 3 batches, I was ready for the pan. It was a little bit messy, but as it’s my first attempt at pouring cupcakes, I think 2 or so mistakes are forgiveable, don’t you?

poured goodness
poured goodness… with only a few overflows
up close
ready for the close up

Into the oven they went for 16 minutes (and probably could have been longer than that, but I was worried about the quick heat transfer from the aluminum to the cupcakes). After coming out of the oven, the cupcakes almost immediately started deflating… perfect.

onto the plate

While these were cooling, some whipping took place…

whipped cream
whipped cream… SO MUCH BETTER chilled

… and we came out with a delicious masterpiece!

final piece
the finale

This came out a lot nicer (with less effort) than the cheesecake. My tips from this recipe:

  1. Don’t give up on whipping the egg whites… just keep whipping! And whip at a high speed…
  2. If you’re using aluminum bakeware, don’t be worried about the time.. just follow the recipe and leave it in for however you normally would
  3. Don’t leave the white chocolate/heavy cream mix in the refrigerator for more than a day… the white chocolate will start to get grainy, and that isn’t that fun in cream :(. But still delicious!

Somehow, these will have to keep until Father’s Day… true test coming up!

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