Rebirth & Chocolate Soufflés

Girl Meets Sugar - chocolate souffle

Hello world! I can’t believe it, but it’s been almost a year since my last post. The past 12 months have been so busy with new and exciting projects that I had to push my baking/blogging to the side to make time to work on these projects. I found myself having urges to get back into it but could never find the time. That is, until now…! And what better way to celebrate the rebirth of my blog than by making chocolate soufflés?!

Easy chocolate souffle

Girl Meets Sugar - easy chocolate souffle

I don’t think I’ve ever had a chocolate soufflé before so I wasn’t sure what the texture and taste should be like. All I know is that the best soufflés I’ve seen have always had lots of height, and unfortunately for me my soufflés sank within 2 seconds of taking them out of the oven. What a sad moment :(

Girl Meets Sugar - easy chocolate souffle

The insides of the soufflés were really light and moist – foamy even, with the tops and sides being quite crunchy for the added texture. If you like your chocolate I’d probably add more chocolate into the mix as I found the original recipe I used had quite a mild chocolate flavour (I’ll note this in the recipe below).

All in all, this dessert is quick and easy to whip up and would be perfect for entertaining dinner guests. Serve it up with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream for added richness.

Girl Meets Sugar - easy chocolate souffle

Easy Chocolate Soufflés (Serves 6)

Ingredients
7 large egg whites, room temperature
3 large egg yolks, room temperature
150g bittersweet chocolate, chopped (use up to 200g if you love your chocolate)
2 tbsp butter, room temperature, plus more for prepping soufflé dish
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar, plus extra for prepping souffle dish

Method
1. At least an hour and up to a day before, remove eggs from fridge and separate (they separate easier while they’re still cold). Allow eggs to come to room temperature.
2. When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 200C.
3. Prepare soufflé ramekins. Generously butter then sprinkle with sugar. Knock out excess. Place dishes in the fridge until you’re ready to fill them.
4. Beat yolks on medium until thick and pale yellow.
5. Melt your chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. If opting for the microwave – dump chocolate into a microwavable bowl, preferably not glass because that conducts too much heat. Cook one minute on half power. Remove and stir. Continue cooking for 30 seconds at a time on half power, stirring between, until chocolate is melted. Add butter and salt and stir until fully combined. If butter will not fully melt, it’s okay to put everything back in the microwave for 15 seconds longer (at half power again).
6. Fold yolks into chocolate until fully combined.
7. Whip egg whites on medium speed until they form soft peaks – make sure you have a perfectly clean, dry mixing bowl.
8. Add the sugar half at a time, beating for a few seconds after each addition. Beat until whites are shiny and form stiff peaks. Do not over beat. If you over beat, your whites will become rigid and won’t be able to expand in the oven and rise.
9. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold about a quarter of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture until fully combined. Spoon the remaining whites on top and fold until mostly combined. Don’t over fold here. It’s okay to leave a few streaks.
10. Spoon the batter into the prepared ramekins and smooth the top.
11. Reduce the oven temp to 190C.
12. Bake for around 16 minutes until the crust is browned, but the middle jiggles slightly when you gently shake them.
13. Serve immediately to your table full of admiring guests.

Girl Meets Sugar - easy chocolate souffle

Girl Meets Sugar - easy chocolate souffle

Polished off 2 souffles each in under 2 minutes flat

Easiest 5 Minute Chocolate Cake

Okay, this isn’t exactly the best looking cake around but what it lacks in aesthetics is made up for by the fact that this is one of the easiest recipes you will ever find – it takes 5 minutes to put together from start to finish and you cook it using the microwave! If you’re the type to get sudden rushes of cake cravings in the middle of the night but can’t be bothered to get off your butt and into the kitchen to bake then this is the recipe for you. The best thing is in order to satisfy your craving there’s no need to make one giant sized mountain of a cake – this recipe serves one.

The difference between making this an average tasting cake and a great tasting cake lies in the amount of chocolate chips you put in. You’ll need at least 3 tablespoons of chocolate chips to make this awesome. If you don’t have chocolate chips then just crush up any other chocolate bar you have lying around. Just make sure you put in enough otherwise it might be a little on the bland side. Also, the instructions below are what I used for my 1100W microwave. You’ll need to adjust the amount of cooking time depending on how powerful your microwave is.

Easiest 5 Minute Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

4 tablespoons flour (any type of flour is fine)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons whisked egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (if you don’t have chocolate chips, try a broken up chocolate bar – I can’t stress how much this amps the awesomeness of your cake)
splash vanilla essence or other flavoring – try peppermint or cinnamon

love in a mug: (left) pre-microwave, (right) post-microwave

Method

Add all of the dry ingredients to the mug and mix.
Add the egg and combine well.
Stir in milk and oil.
Add chocolate chips and splash of vanilla. Stir well.
Microwave for 3 minutes on medium in a 1100w oven, or 4 minutes in a 700w oven.
It will start to crown over the top of the mug. Don’t panic! It will collapse once the heat stops.

Enjoy!

Tiramisu Charlotte Cake (Eggless)

Before 2011 ends I just wanted to do one last post. I made this cake for my Mum’s, Aunt’s and Better Half’s birthdays so a lot of love went into this creation. It’s actually much easier to make than it looks, no baking is required! Also, for people who can’t stand the thought of raw eggs in desserts this recipe awesome because it’s eggless :)

The tricky part is getting the texture right – you don’t want the sponge fingers too soggy or cream too runny. In order to avoid running into these problems the trick is to soak the sponge fingers in the espresso syrup for no more than one second, and with the cream ensure it is full fat cream as you want to be able to whip it to the soft peak stage (when the whisk is quickly lifted from the egg whites you should be able to see a droopy tip).

egg whites at soft peak stage

To make the little love heart in the middle I cut out some baking paper into the shape of a heart, stuck it on to the top of the cake and then sprinkled over some shaved dark chocolate. I used a pair of tweezers to quickly remove the baking paper and voilà a cute little love heart appeared before my eyes.

Eggless Tiramisu Charlotte Cake

Espresso Syrup
1 tablespoon instant espresso/strong coffee powder
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup (125ml) boiling water
1 tablespoon Marsala (I used rum)

Filling
250g mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons icing sugar
2 tablespoons Marsala (I used rum)
1 cup (250 ml) heavy/whipping cream

about 24 sponge fingers (savoiardo)
50g dark chocolate

cocoa powder, to dust
dark chocolate shavings (optional)
strawberries for decoration (optional)

Method

Espresso Syrup: Dissolve instant espresso coffee powder, sugar in boiling water. Leave to cool. Stir in 1 tablespoon rum. Set aside.

Filling: In a mixing bowl, with a manual whisk, whisk mascarpone cheese with icing sugar, vanilla extract, rum and 3 tablespoons of the espresso syrup until blended.

With an electric mixer whisk the whipping cream until soft peaks (do not over whip). With a spatula, fold in 1/4 of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture and mix gently to combine. Fold in the remaining whipped cream to the mascarpone mixture.

Assembly: Cut off one end of the sponge fingers so that each one is about 3″ in length. Line the sides of a 7″ round baking pan* (with a removable base or use a springform pan) with the sponge fingers (do not dip these in the espresso syrup). You will need about 17 sponge fingers (depending on the type/brand). If the last sponge finger cannot fit in nicely, trim away part of it to fit it in. Save the leftover small pieces.

One at a time, gently dip (do not soak) one side of the sponge fingers in the espresso syrup and use them to line the base of the pan. Cut the sponge fingers into shorter lengths if necessary. Use the leftover pieces to fill the gaps.

Spoon over half of the mascarpone filling. Spread evenly. Grate the dark chocolate over the filling. Repeat with another layer of sponge fingers and spoon over the remaining filling. Spread and smooth the top. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, best left overnight.

Just before serving, unmold the cake and dust the top with cocoa powder. Decorate with dark chocolate shavings and strawberries (as desired).

Enjoy!