Make-Ahead Chocolate Soufflés

Click here for a PDF of this recipe without photos.

This is the third and final post from my father-in-law’s birthday dinner.  This recipe is from the America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook which my good friend Jenna Abel turned me onto.  If you’re not familiar with the show, the basic concept is solving common cooking problems through experimentation, resulting in no-fail recipes (and frequently unexpected twists, like freezing soufflés before cooking them).  This recipe didn’t didn’t disappoint; the soufflés rose perfectly and were delicious.

Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook

To Prepare Ramekins

  • 2 Tb room temperature butter
  • 2 Tb granulated sugar

For Soufflés

  • 8 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 4 Tb butter
  • 1 Tb Grand Mariner
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 8 large egg whites
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 Tb confectioners’ sugar

Prepare the ramekins – rub the butter on the inside of individual ramekins (recipe makes enough for six 9-oz ramekins or eight 7-oz ramekins), then coat with granulated sugar.

Make chocolate mixture – in a metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt chocolate and butter until smooth.

Remove the bowl from the heat and add the vanilla, Grand Mariner, and salt.  Stir to combine and then set bowl aside.

Combine egg yolks and granulated sugar – depending on the kind of mixer you’re using, the time for this step can vary.  If you’re using a standing mixer, mix on medium speed for about 3 minutes.  If using a handheld mixer, it will take 8 minutes or more.  You want to mix until the volume triples and the mixture is smooth and light yellow.

Fold into the chocolate mixture.

Thoroughly wash and dry the bowl and the beaters.

Beat egg whites – in the clean bowl and with the clean beaters, beat the egg whites on medium-low speed for 1 – 2 minutes until frothy.  Add the cream of tartar, increase the speed to medium high and mix for another 1 – 2 minutes.  Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix another 1 – 2 minutes until stiff peaks form.

Add one quarter of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and stir vigorously.  Once you have done so, gently fold the remaining egg whites into the mixture just until combined.

Spoon the mixture into the ramekins.

Clean any drips with a paper towel.  Tightly cover with plastic, then cover with foil.  Place into the freezer immediately.  These can stay in the freezer for as little as 3 hours or as much as a month.

When you’re ready to serve, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Position a rack one or two levels below the middle.  Remove the ramekins from the freezer and remove the foil and plastic.  Cut a piece of foil for each ramekin just longer than the circumference and wide enough to make a collar that sticks up roughly 2” above the top.  Using tape, form a collar around each ramekin.

Place on a baking sheet and put in the oven.  Bake for about 25 minutes (22 or so if using 7-oz ramekins) until the top has risen but the middle is still creamy.


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