A Valentine’s Day Hot Chocolate Soufflé will bring a bright smile to the face of your valentine and will be sure to impress! There are many different kinds of soufflé recipes; one is more exciting and challenging than the next, but in my opinion, no soufflé can top a perfectly made chocolate soufflé.
Chocolate soufflés are a long-time standard on many Valentine’s Day menus. The question is why? The answer is pretty simple- chocolate and Valentine’s Day go hand in hand. Soufflés take a certain degree of skill, technique, and love to make. Yes, love! If you’ve ever made a soufflé, you’ll understand that it’s a delicate process.
Soufflés, just like true love, can’t be rushed. They both require time and an understanding of the delicate process that helps to make a stable and lasting end result. If the building blocks of a relationship are rushed or not given enough attention, the relationship most often will fall apart. The same holds true for a soufflé. When a soufflé is rushed and little attention to the technique of the recipe is given, the soufflé will surely collapse. However, there is nothing to fear, as long as you carefully follow the recipe and pay attention to the technique tips. And most importantly, don’t rush it. All good things take a little time to develop.
So, this Valentine’s Day why not show your valentine how much you value the relationship you’ve built or are building together, with a Hot Chocolate Soufflé!
The soufflé recipe below is from a dear friend’s Mom, who was a fabulous cook. I’ve admired her recipe for a long time. The recipe is foolproof! It quickly became my go-to chocolate soufflé recipe. I’ve been making it now for years and it is always fabulous. Now, I’m sharing it with you, to help spark up your Valentine’s Day!
Whether I make this soufflé at home or in a professional setting, I like to serve it with a Red Wine Raspberry Sauce (recipe below). Oh yes! It’s sinfully delicious too and takes this soufflé to a whole other level of sexy deliciousness for Valentine’s Day. Once you begin eating the soufflé, you can always pour more sauce on top and add a dollop of whipped cream too. Enjoy!
Hot Chocolate Soufflé with Red Wine Raspberry Sauce
- Sugar and softened butter to grease ramekins
- ½ cup of milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons All-Purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ ounce unsweetened or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 egg whites, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 knifepoint of Cream of Tartar
Coating the Ramekins:
- Using a pastry brush, carefully grease the inside of 4 (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) ramekins; use upward brush strokes on the walls of the ramekins. Make sure the entire surface is coated with butter; this will ensure that the soufflé will rise sufficiently.
- Then coat well with sugar and gently tap out any excess. Place ramekins in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Tip: Using upward butter strokes on the walls of the ramekins along with the sugar coating will help in the rising process.
Prepare Your Oven:
Preheat your oven to 400℉. Place your oven rack to the lower third setting. The lower part of the oven is best for cooking soufflés so that the bottom of the soufflé puffs up properly but the top doesn’t burn.
Making the Chocolate Base:
- In a heavy bottom saucepan, heat the milk to just boiling.
- Whisk together the 2 tablespoons of sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and flour.
- With your fingertips, combine the butter to make a crumbly beurre manie. (Or you can use a fork.)
Tip: Beurre manie is a French culinary term where flour is blended with butter so that all the particles of flour are coated with the butter. When whisked into a sauce, the butter-coated flour thickens the sauce yet prevents it from getting lumpy.
- Whisk the cocoa mixture into the milk vigorously, until it thickens.
- Remove from heat. Add the chopped chocolate and mix through until melted.
- Then whisk in the egg yolk. Refrigerate to cool.
Making the Meringue and Filling the Ramekins
Tip: To ensure your bowl and whisk are clean wipe this with a kitchen towel dampened with white wine vinegar.
- In a very clean mixing bowl (preferably copper) or the bowl to a stand mixer, begin whisking the egg whites until frothy.
- Add the cream of tartar. While continuing to whisk, gradually add in the sugar until glossy peaks form.
- Carefully fold in 1/3 of the meringue to the chocolate base. Then fold in the rest of the egg whites in two additions.
Tip: Using a spatula, fold the meringue by lifting up the chocolate mix and back on top of the egg whites. Do not use quick back and forth motions, it will deflate the egg whites and adversely affect the rise of the soufflé.
- Fill the ramekins to the top with the soufflé mixture and level it off with a spatula.
- Using your thumb or a toothpick, move it around the top inner portion of the ramekin. This will prevent the soufflé from sticking as it rises.
Cooking the Soufflé:
- Cook for 15 minutes.
- Once your soufflé is in the oven simply leave it alone and let it grow.
- Definitely do not open the door to take a peak.
- And equally as important, make sure there is no loud noise or banging near or around your kitchen. It could cause the soufflé to deflate!
- Once the soufflé has cooked for 15 minutes, it should show considerable lift. This is a clear indication that your soufflé is done.
- Remove all from the oven and dust the tops with powdered sugar.
- Serve immediately!
I like to serve chocolate soufflés with a chilled glass of pink champagne. It makes for a nice Valentine’s Day touch.
Additional soufflé tips:
- Room temperature egg whites will increase in volume more easily than cold egg whites.
- There should be NO traces of yolk in the egg whites. If there is, remove it by using one half of a cracked eggshell.
- Egg whites whisked in a copper bowl have a reaction with the copper, causing them to increase in volume. You may also use the balloon whisk attachment of a stand mixer.
Red Wine Raspberry Sauce
- 10 ounces frozen raspberries, or fresh when in season
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup red wine
- 1/2 tablespoon, unsalted butter
- Place the first three ingredients in a saucepot.
- Mix well and bring to a slow boil.
- Break up the raspberries with a spoon or potato masher as the sauce begins to heat up.
- Let cook 2-3 minutes on a medium flame, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and pass through a fine sieve or strainer. Carefully press out as much of the liquid as possible and discard the seeds.
Or, you can use a blender and skip the straining. I don’t recommend doing this. See the tip below.
- Now return the sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer to thicken it.
- Let the sauce simmer a good five minutes. Stir frequently to ensure it’s not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Once the sauce has thickened and coats the back of a spoon remove it from the heat.
- Whisk in the butter. Be sure to whisk it in completely before stopping.
Tip: Personally, I do not blend this sauce. Raspberries are full of little seeds and they can affect the final taste of the sauce (depending on how seedy they are). I like to pass the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer. If you don’t have time for this extra step, blending the sauce will do. Most people won’t even know the difference, but the chef in me prefers to pass it through a fine strainer.