The magic of chocolate soufflés is that they're both rich and light. The chocolate mixture can be prepared two or three days ahead, and the ramekins a day; whisk the eggwhites and fold them into the chocolate mixture just before the soufflés go in the oven.
- Butter, softened for greasing
- 70 gm caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 6 eggwhites
- Chocolate or vanilla-bean ice-cream, to serve
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 tsp caster sugar
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 2 tbsp Dutch-process cocoa, plus extra for dusting
- 150 ml milk
- Scraped seeds of ½ vanilla bean
- 50 gm dark chocolate (64%-70% cocoa solids)
- 1 tbsp dark sweet dessert wine, such as Pedro Ximénez or topaque
- Chocolate ice-cream, to serve
- 1Generously butter six 125ml ramekins; it's important to butter the sides all the way to the rim to help the soufflés rise. Refrigerate ramekins until butter is set (15 minutes), then dust liberally with caster sugar.
- 2For chocolate cream, whisk egg, egg yolks, and sugar in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Add cornflour and cocoa and whisk to combine. Bring milk and vanilla seeds to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour into egg mixture, whisking to combine, then return to a clean saucepan and stir vigorously over high heat until mixture thickly coats the spoon (2-4 minutes). Add chocolate and stir until smooth. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, cover directly with plastic wrap and stand to cool (1 hour). Add wine and beat with a wooden spoon to a smooth cream, then stand at room temperature.
- 3Preheat oven to 200C. If chocolate cream has been made ahead, bring it to room temperature and whisk until smooth. Whisk eggwhite with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form, then gradually add sugar, whisking until smooth, firm peaks form. Fold a third of the eggwhite mixture into the chocolate cream until evenly combined, then repeat with remaining eggwhite mixture.
- 4Spoon mixture into prepared moulds to the top. Level tops with a knife, then run your finger just around tops of rims to remove excess soufflé mixture (to prevent soufflés sticking). Bake until puffed (13-15 minutes), dust with cocoa and serve with chocolate ice-cream.