Chocolate Souffle with Orange Custard Sauce
Provided by: Alexis Touchet
If you want a showstopper, this is it. Everyone is impressed by a souffle, and this chocolate stunner has a silky orange custard sauce that puts it over the top. Use a good-quality bittersweet chocolate that has a high cacao content. You might even want to taste the chocolate before baking with it to make sure you like the flavor since bittersweet chocolates have varying flavor notes.
- FOR THE SAUCE:
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 1/2 tablespoons orange liqueur such as Cointreau
- 1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
- FOR THE SOUFFLE:
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
- 6 tablespoons sugar plus additional for coating dish
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60 to 70 percent cacao)
- 3 tablespoons whole milk
- 2 large egg yolks, left at room temperature 30 minutes
- 4 large egg whites, left at room temperature 30 minutes
- A pinch of salt
- Equipment: an instant-read thermometer; a 4- to 4 1/2-cup souffle dish
- Make the sauce:
Bring milk, 2 tablespoons sugar and salt just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
- Whisk together yolks and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl until thick, about 2 minutes, then gradually whisk in hot milk mixture. Return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard coats back of spoon and registers 175F on thermometer, 4 to 6 minutes (do not boil). Strain custard through a fine mesh sieve into a clean metal bowl and stir in liqueur and zest. To quick chill the sauce, set bowl in a larger bowl of ice water, then stir frequently until cold, about 20 minutes.
- Make the souffle:
Preheat oven to 350F with rack in middle. Butter souffle dish and coat with sugar, knocking out excess.
- Melt chocolate in a medium metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Beat in milk and 2 tablespoons of sugar with a handheld mixer at low speed until sugar is dissolved, then remove bowl from pan and cool mixture 5 minutes. Add both yolks to chocolate mixture and beat on low speed until combined well.
- Beat whites with salt in a large bowl with cleaned beaters at medium speed until they just hold soft peaks. Continue to beat at medium speed, adding remaining 4 tablespoons sugar a little at a time, then beat at high speed until meringue just holds stiff peaks. Stir about 1 cup meringue into chocolate mixture to lighten it, then gently but thoroughly fold mixture into remaining meringue.
- Spoon into souffle dish and run the tip of your thumb around inside edge of dish (this will help souffle rise evenly). Bake until puffed and crusted on top but still trembling in center, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately with sauce.
- Make ahead: Sauce can be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated, covered.