Can chocolate soufflé really be decadent sans butter?
For whatever reason you find yourself not eating butter – maybe you’ve run out or maybe you’re just trying to cut back on the stuff. I’m here to say yes, you still can make a damn good soufflé without butter!
When making this recipe, I really did expect it to fail. I had gotten sick of looking for a recipe without butter, cream or milk in it and decided to wing it, making one up completely from scratch (which I wouldn’t recommend doing for a soufflé recipe by the way). Anyhow, I totally expected this one to be a deflated mess, a total flop…but for whatever reason, the soufflé gods were on my side this one time because this beauty came into existence. Call it luck, but here it is: a decadent butter-less soufflé!
You guys – the end product was kissed with an ever so slight crispness on the edges and so incredibly moist and fluffy in the centre. It rose well and was immensely chocolatey though not too sweet, letting the quality chocolate shine for what it is – rich, silky and dark!
P.s. If you plan on making a soufflé – any soufflé – do make sure you can get the completed dish to your table as soon as you possibly can after you take it out of the oven. Why? Well, I learnt this one the hard way but essentially, the thing starts to deflate as soon as you take it out of the oven. You have a few short minutes to enjoy the height and thereafter, it gets shorter with every blink of the eye. So, if you’re anything like me and need to take pictures of everything you eat – you’ll have to get those pretty food pictures pretty darn quickly and get eating! Not that you’ll complain of course – warm chocolate soufflé is a heavenly experience in itself. ;)
Decadent Butter-less Chocolate Soufflé
Makes 2 soufflés (using 1.5 cup [12 oz] capacity ramekins) or 4 soufflés (using 3/4 cup [6 oz] capacity ramekins)
Preparing your ramekin
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp plain flour
2/3 cup milk of choice
125g good quality dark chocolate
2 tbsp sugar
Small pinch of salt
2 whole eggs + 2 additional egg whites, yolks and whites separated
Preparing your ramekins. (1) Preheat your oven to 180°C. Meanwhile, pour a little olive oil into each ramekin and rub with a paper towel to thoroughly coat the inside of each ramekin. Next, add a tablespoon or two of sugar into one ramekin. Turn the ramekin on its side and rotate slowly, so that the sugar completely coats every bit of the ramekin. Shake the excess sugar into the next ramekin and repeat until you’ve prepared all your ramekins. Add more sugar if needed.
To make the soufflé. (2) Add your olive oil and flour to a small pot over medium heat. Stir vigorously as the mixture heats up and thickens. Don’t worry if it looks too thick – It is supposed to clump up together, resembling a roux or thick gluey paste. Just continue to stir the mixture non-stop around the pot and allow it to cook for a minute. Remove from the heat and gradually add in your milk bit-by-bit, stirring until your flour mixture and milk combine into a smooth consistency. Return the pot to the heat and cook for an additional minute, again stirring continuously. Remove from the heat and transfer its contents into a bowl.
(3) Next, quickly break or chop up your chocolate into small chunks and add this, along with your sugar and a pinch of salt, into the same bowl. Stir patiently and allow to come together. When all your chocolate has melted and combined into the mixture, stir through your egg yolks only. Set this aside.
(4) Whisk your egg whites in a large mixing bowl until stiff peaks form. Doing this with an electric beater will save you some time. Your egg whites are at stiff peaks when you are able to flip the bowl upside down without the contents falling out. Add one third of the egg whites into your chocolate mixture. Fold gently with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Once fully combined, add another third of the egg whites and repeat until you run out of egg white. Be patient with this step, it will look like it doesn’t want to combine initially but it will – and each time you fold the egg whites through your mixture, it’ll get lighter and lighter!
(5) Now, pour your prepared mixture into your ramekins. You should fill them up to the very brim or very close to. Don’t stir the mixture once in the ramekins or you’ll disrupt the sugared edges, which may affect the rising process.
Baking. (6) Place your ramekins into the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes (smaller ramekins) or 15-20 minutes (medium-sized ramekins). Do not open the oven door at any point during the cooking process as they will deflate. Once risen they will be ready to take out of the oven. Quickly dust a little icing sugar on the top of each one and serve immediately!