Chocolate Peppermint Soufflés

IMG_0824There is no culinary experience as sensual – as sinfully decadent – as dipping a spoon into a warm chocolate souffle and raising it to your lips. I’ll admit my body betrayed me, and I went back for more.

For a spectacular and satisfying finish to your holiday meal, make a warm Chocolate Peppermint Soufflé for each guest. The top is encrusted with sugar and crushed candy cane, and the inside is a heavenly blend of dark chocolate, espresso, and peppermint.

Be prepared to bring the soufflé straight from the oven to the table, because even though this version has a little more density than most, it’s still the nature of the soufflé to deflate quickly. Enjoy them while they are warm and fluffy!

Oh, and you can make them ahead and keep them in the fridge. Just remember to bring them to room temperature before baking.

Chocolate Peppermint Soufflés
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Ingredients
  • 3 candy canes (1/2 oz. each)
  • ⅔ cup sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped (good quality, no chips!)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup half & half
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 egg yolks, room temperature!
  • 4 egg whites, room temperature!
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 F. Place the rack in the lowest position.
  2. Finely crush the candy canes and move to a small bowl. If necessary, sift the crushed candy through a strainer. Larger pieces may be re-crushed or saved for decorating the soufflés.
  3. Add ⅓ cup sugar to the bowl and combine well.
  4. Prepare the ramekins by buttering generously and then adding sugar and candy cane mixture, tipping the ramekin to entirely cover the butter. Pour excess back into the small bowl. Set aside.
  5. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.
  6. In a small pan, whisk the flour, remaining ⅓ cup sugar, espresso powder, cornstarch, and salt together until well blended.
  7. Turn the burner to medium heat and slowly add the half & half, whisking continuously. Continue to cook until it begins to thicken. It can just start to bubble, but don’t allow it to boil.
  8. Pour over the chocolate and let it sit for one minute. Gently stir until it is combined. Let it cool for at least 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Add the vanilla, peppermint extract, and egg yolks. Stir well.
  10. In a medium bowl, whip the egg whites, cream of tartar, and pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.
  11. Divide between the 4 ramekins. Ideally, the ramekin should be ¾ filled. A little more or less is just fine.
  12. Sprinkle generously with some of the remaining sugar and peppermint mixture. Add a few larger pieces of candy cane if you’d like for more color. Not too many, or it won’t rise properly.
  13. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and put into the oven. Close the oven door and turn the heat down to 375 F.
  14. Bake for about 16-18 minutes. Serve immediately!

 

Folding egg whites into chocolate mixture

Folding egg whites into chocolate mixture

Spoon batter into ramekins

Spoon batter into ramekins

Sprinkle generously with sugar/candy cane

Sprinkle generously with sugar/candy cane

Dig in!

Dig in!

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