I don’t have room in my apartment for a proper built-in oven, so I just have a small electric one. When I moved into this new apartment, I discovered, much to my dismay, that not all of my oven-proof pans would fit into this new oven – gone was the possibility to feed 10 people with one dish. What I realised today is that not only is this oven smaller in width and length, it’s also much smaller in height. It just hadn’t been a problem before!
I guess I also underestimated how much these soufflés would rise. Maybe I should have put them on the bottom shelf, rather than in the middle. Anyway, this explains why the tops are not only deliciously crusty, but also slightly burnt… I even had to leave the oven door open to cool quickly while I waited for them to deflate slightly so that I could squeeze them out. Unfortunately, they got a bit scraped, and collapsed in the process. Don’t worry though, they’re still delicious!
I do really enjoy this apartment in spite of its numerous quirks and annoyances. I’ve come to appreciate the noise of the street below, as people in their cars go about their busy lives while I relax and procrastinate up here. I’m going to be quite nostalgic when I have to leave it in a few months to move on to my next adventure, somewhere else in France.
I’ll probably be back soon to write up a savoury soufflé recipe, I have some cheese lying around that needs to be used. It’s a great way to make small, individual meals (or desserts) and avoid wasting any leftovers (I’m terrible with leftovers).
To make these, I used Lindt dark chocolate with caramel and fleur de sel and it really does give them an extra kick. I think next time I might try some chocolate with chilli or blueberry. Yum!
70g bittersweet chocolate
1 egg yolk at room temperature
2 egg whites
1 pinch of salt
30g caster sugar
whipped cream or custard to serve
Preheat your oven to 190°C (375°F). Prepare your soufflé dish or 2 small ramekins by lightly buttering then sprinkling with sugar.
Break your chocolate into squares then melt it in a bain marie* on the stove, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the egg yolk. The mixture will become quite stiff.
Beat the egg whites and salt with an electric mixer at medium speed until they form soft peaks. Add the sugar progressively and continue to mix until stiff peaks begin to form. Stir half of the mixture into the chocolate then gently fold in the rest. You can do all of the above by hand, it will just take a bit longer.
Spoon or pour into your ramekins and remove any drips on the inside with your finger to help the soufflé rise evenly. Bake in the middle of the oven until crusted on top but still slightly wobbly – 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven. Serve immediately with some whipped cream or custard!
* Bain marie : heat a saucepan until the water is barely simmering. Place the chocolate in a metal bowl over the water to melt gently.