Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bittersweet Chocolate Soufflé with Earl Grey Custard Sauce

No Picture, because you really do have to eat it immediately.

6 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon Earl Grey tea leaves (from 3 tea bags)

1/3 cup whole milk
8 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 1/2 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 large egg yolks
5 large egg whites

For sauce:
Whisk egg yolks and 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl to blend well. Combine milk, cream, tea leaves, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into egg yolk mixture; return to same saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until custard thickens enough to leave path on spoon when finger is drawn across, about 8 minutes (do not boil). Immediately strain sauce into small bowl. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, at least 4 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

For soufflé:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter 6-cup soufflé dish; coat dish with sugar. Combine milk and 5 tablespoons sugar in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves and milk comes to simmer. Remove from heat; add both chocolates and stir until melted and smooth. Whisk in egg yolks.
Using electric mixer, beat whites in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 3 tablespoons sugar, beating until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into warm chocolate mixture in 3 additions. Transfer mixture to prepared dish.
Bake soufflé until just set in center and top is puffed and cracked all over, about 32 minutes. Serve soufflé immediately with custard sauce.

Notes: I cut back on the sugar in the sauce, and it was still really sweet. It was also super thick straight out of the fridge (more like custard), so bringing it back to room temperature might be good. It would also probably be good with mint tea or orange zest.

When you fold, it shouldn't be completely homogeneous; mine was still marbled and had small lumps of egg whites. It sorted itself out in the oven pretty well. I made a half batch in a 5-cup pyrex dish, and that baked about 20 minutes.

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