Monday, May 16, 2011

Chef Ludo's Chocolate Soufflé Pour Une!

Ever have a hankering for some chocolate after dinner? And not just a nibble of your 70% cocoa Lindt bar, but warm satisfying chocolately goodness? Thursday night was one of those nights for me. Chocolate soufflés are something I crave ever since I had my first many moons ago at the now closed Carmine’s Restaurant (in Albany, NY, now Grappa 72). Last May I picked up Chef Ludo Lefebvre’s cookbook Crave and finally made something from it tonight. His soufflé recipe always came to mind when I wanted one. I decided to make them tonight. Rather than make 4-9 oz. ramekins of soufflés, I opted to pare down the recipe for 1, using 2-4 oz. ramekins, as I was only baking for myself.
The recipe I normally use contains melted butter. Chef Ludo keeps it simple and light with
just beaten egg whites, sugar and melted chocolate. Since I didn’t have any cream, I didn’t make the accompanying chocolate sauce or whipped cream. Instead, I topped my treat with vanilla ice cream, the way the soufflés were served at Carmine’s. The richness of the ice cream satisfied my craving after only 1 ramekin, so I saved the second one for Saturday night. 

This recipe is quick and easy to make, doesn’t take more than 30 minutes and can be made with things you already have in the pantry; making it the perfect decadent dessert in a pinch. You could even whip it up at the end of a date and I think it would easily impress a budding special someone...
Chocolate Soufflé(s) Pour Une (adapted from Crave by Chef Ludo Lefebvre, page 108)

½ tablespoon unsalted butter, melted (for coating the ramekin(s))
⅛ cup of granulated sugar, plus about 2 tablespoons (for coating the ramekin(s))
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 large egg whites
Vanilla ice cream
Cinnamon (for sprinkling)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Use a pastry brush to coat the inside of 2-4oz. ramekins or 1-9 oz. ramekin with butter and then coat with the 2 tablespoons sugar. Place the ramekin(s) in a heavy-duty pan (I used a sauté pan) and add enough water to come halfway up the dish(es) (this will help the soufflés cook evenly). 
In a small bowl over a medium sauce pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate. 
While the chocolate is melting, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Beat in the  cup sugar into the egg whites. Take the melted chocolate and beat it gentle into the egg white-sugar mixture. Give it a few folds to make sure the chocolate is incorporated, being careful not to deflate the egg whites. Fill each ramekin with the mixture. 
Bake in the oven for 14 minutes. 
Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve warm. 

Just a note about Crave: As Krissy Lefebvre, Chef Ludo's wife and business partner, reminds us, Crave is a now a "collector's item" so if you ever see a copy, scoop it up! I find the book is beautiful and inspiring. Chef Ludo has some extravagant dishes but everything looks as good as you'd see at Ludobites, but he gives you the instructions to make them at home. What could be better?

What do I want to make next from Crave?: Melon and Prosciutto Risotto (ingenious!) page 87


Follow Chef Ludo on Twitter: @chefludo
and Krissy, too!: @FrenchChefWife

1 comment:

Jill@MadAboutMacarons said...

What a fabulous soufflé. Full of the best chocolate and yet it sounds so light. Love your photo with the recipe and photo in the background. Even better it's for one - it's the kind of dessert that you spend the evening fighting over who got the best serving ;-)