The only thing to remember with soufflés of all kind is that they absolutely must be served as soon as they are ready, otherwise they really are liable to deflate and collapse.
That said, chocolate soufflés are a delight as the centres are soft, gooey and delicious.
Chocolate SoufflésServes: 4
180g (6 oz) dark chocolate, chopped
150ml (3/5 cup) double cream
3 large eggs, separated
2 tbsp Cognac or brandy
2 large egg whites
3 tbsp caster sugar
icing sugar, for dusting
Method:You will need 4 ramekins, soufflé dishes or coffee cups. These should be 300ml (1 1/4 cups) in volume and should be well greased with butter and dusted with icing sugar. Sit on a baking tray and set aside.
Place the chocolate in a heavy-based saucepan and mix in the cream. Set the pan over very low heat and cook gently, stirring frequently, until the chocolate has melted and mixed with the cream. Take the mixture off the heat then stir in the egg yolks, one at a time, before beating in the Cognac.
In the meantime, add the 5 egg whites to a clan and dry bow. Using an electric whisk beat them until soft peaks form. Gradually whisk in the caster sugar to yield a stiff, glossy, meringue.
Allow the chocolate mixture to cool until it feels just comfortably warm to your finger. Now, using a large metal spoon add a little of the meringue to the chocolate mixture and mix thoroughly to combine. Pour the resultant chocolate mixture on top of the remaining meringue and fold both mixtures together with your metal spoon until just blended.
Spoon the resultant mixture into the prepared soufflé dishes (the mixture should come just below the rim). Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 220ºC (425ºF, Gas Mark 7) and bake for between 8 and 10 minutes, or until just barely set (the centres should be soft and should wobble when gently shaken).
Remove from the oven, quickly dust the tops with icing sugar and serve immediately.