Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Chocolate Souffles

Happy New Year! Last night we had a low-key celebration: my in-laws Nancy and David visited because we didn't see them during the Christmas holiday and I took the opportunity to indulge at the cheese and Mediterranean bar at my local Wegman's. Have you been to Wegman's (those on the East Coast in the States)? My mom works at Wegman's and is a Wegman's evangelist. Wegman's this and Wegman's that: the woman is obsessed! It's an upscale grocery store with prepared foods out the wazoo so I bought some cheese and baguettes and olives and dips and, sigh, it's just all too much. Because I have no consideration for caloric intake, and because a truly indulgent night isn't complete without dessert, I made chocolate souffles.

I was always a bit scared of souffle. It's decidedly a bit froufrou and I am a more "throw things in a pot" type of cook. But, darnit, this was New Year's and it was souffle or bust! And I got some nice new ramekins for Christmas.

And guess what? They were easy and turned out pretty damn well. I made them around 4 pm and served them around 9: you can make the batter beforehand and serve later: just refrigerate. Here is my recipe, only very slightly altered from one found at Epicurious. This makes 4-6 servings, dependent on the size of ramekins you're filling. Chocolate lovers rejoice!

Chocolate Souffle

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

8-10 ounces (about 2 chocolate bars) bittersweet chocolate
1 1/3 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 large egg yolks, room temperature, lightly beaten
6 large egg whites, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar; more for souffle ramekins

Heat oven to 400°. Butter and sugar six 6-ounce souffle ramekins. Place on a rimmed baking sheet; set aside.

On the stove, melt the chocolate until smooth. Remove from the heat and keep warm.

In a medium saucepan combine milk and cornstarch. Stir well with a wooden spoon to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring continuously, until thick.

Remove milk mixture from the heat and stir in warm melted chocolate. Let cool slightly. Add lightly beaten egg yolks and stir until well combined.

In a mixing bowl, whip egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Slowly add sugar and increase speed to high. Whip until shiny and stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes.

Using a whisk, lighten the chocolate mixture with about 1/3 of the beaten egg whites. Stir until well-combined. Using a large rubber spatula, fold in remaining egg whites until just incorporated.

Spoon mixture into prepared souffle ramekins; the mixture should come up to the top of the ramekin. Transfer filled souffle ramekins on rimmed baking sheet to oven. Bake until risen, 12 to 15 minutes. Serve.

The New Year's spread. Cheese-tastic!

(Mostly) no chocolate was harmed in the baking of these souffles.

This is a good recipe to fake it. Definitely the end result looks fancy-smancy.



  1. If you rub the powdered sugar through a fine sieve, you will get a pretty, snowy dusting on the souffles. Glad the ramekins worked out! And readers can go to for lots of chef-developed, customer rated recipes, and videos of cooking techniques. Happy New Year to all!


  2. I told you she's a Wegman's evangelist.

    Thanks, mom.

  3. I really like your new 'do, souffles look good too.

    Kris & Chris

  4. Thank you for the compliment, and the rhyme! They were richy rich, but if you like chocolate (and I know you two do!) then get out a spoon!

  5. I was just at a lunch (here on Long Island) where we were all singing the praises of Wegmans! And bemoaning the fact that there are none in our area. One of the women said she had it on good authority that the owner did not want to open one in New York. Any truth to the rumor? Maybe MONG knows. . . .

  6. MONG, your services are needed!

    That's strange considering Wegman's started in upstate NY (Rochester) and there are a gazillion of them there.

    All I know is that since they moved in, my grocery bill has gone up!! (I make an "occasion" out of shopping there: I get a coffee and peruse like the small-town girl I am.)

  7. Your Crohn's agrees with the Chocolate soufle?

  8. I just had surgery in the spring so I'm enjoying food that would normally bother me quite a bit...and I'm a bit of a foodie so I'm enjoying every minute of it!

  9. Naw, Cyndy, I'm just a part-time cooking coach and not privy to any of that information--haven't even heard any scuttlebutt about the NYC area. Wegman's opens one or two stores a year and I do know their emphasis now is in Virginia and Maryland. My understanding is that they want to keep new stores within a day's drive of their distribution centers, so perishables arrive fresher and truckers don't have to spend time away from their families. They opened a huge center off of I81 in PA, and not far from I80 , very accessable to the MD and VA markets. Also, Wegmans likes to support local farms, and here in our Nazareth store, for example, our sweet corn as well as other in-season produce is delivered by the farmer from maybe an hour's drive away, at most. This may not be possible in the NYC area.


  10. MONG
    Thanks for the Wegman's info. I guess I will just have to make the most of my visits to Wegmans in PA!

  11. Thanks.

    New Year Chocolate on