My husband loves two things in life (other than me and music): pasta and chocolate. Every year he asks me for a pasta dish for Christmas dinner and I always say “no”, because I don’t find pasta particularly festive. This means that I feel that I must at least make a dessert involving chocolate. This year, I decided on Chocolate Soufflé. Best decision ever! See, my mom had given me four white ramekins, plus four oven pots, so I was also burning to try them out.

The soufflés were all that I had wishes for: fluffy and lush on the inside, crusty on the top and crunchy and sweet on the sides. They were also incredibly quick and easy to make, the best part being that I prepared them a day ahead and I only had to take them out of the freezer about half an hour prior to popping them into the oven. So this is a beautiful and stress-free dessert to serve for guests.

Make -ahead Chocolate Soufflé

Ingredients (for the content of five small  ramekins):
2 tbsp butter
¼ cup sugar (plus more to coat the ramekins)
1 tbsp of water
200g dark chocolate (I used couverture, because I happened to have some leftover)
1/8 tsp salt
1 generous chug vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp confectioner’s sugar

For the raspberry sauce and garnish:
150g raspberries (I used frozen)
4 tbsp sugar
10 fresh raspberries and edible gold dust (for garnish)

For preparation, generously rub butter onto the inside of the ramekins. Then coat the inside of every dish with sugar.

In a water bath (bowl in boiling pot of water – be careful, it will get hot!), melt the butter and the chocolate (it was supposed to be chopped, but I ignored this advice, because the chocolate bar I had was just way too thick and hard for me to do anything with it other than hurt myself in the process of chopping it). Add the vanilla extract.

Separate the eggs into two separate (large) bowls.

In a pot, boil the ¼ cup of sugar with the water until the sugar has dissolved. Whisk the egg yolks with a mixer and pour the sugar water into it, beating it until it triples in volume (about two minutes). Add the chocolate mixture to the egg-yolk-sugar-water mix.

Clean the beaters of your mixer and whisk the egg whites, adding the baking powder mid-way through, until stiff. Add the powdered sugar toward the end, mix until it is evenly distributed. Fold the egg-whites carefully under the chocolate mass. Distribute evenly into the five ramekins that you have prepared. Cover the ramekins with plastic foil and place into your freezer for three hours (or overnight).

Place the frozen raspberries onto the bottom of your pot, and boil with ½ a cup of water and the sugar. Mash the raspberries with the back of a fork until obtaining a smooth sauce. Let run through a colander (with the help of a spoon), removing all seeds. Place into a small plastic container with a lid and let cool in your fridge. Or use right away, if you like.

Half an hour prior to baking your chocolate soufflés, take them out of the freezer. Uncover them and let them rest at room temperature. Wash the fresh raspberries and pat them dry.

Heat your oven up to 200 °C.  Place the ramekins into the cold oven and let bake for about 15 minutes (or more, depending on your oven). Chocolate Souffle with Rasberry Garnish and Gold Dust 02 klThe soufflé should rise over the top end of the ramekin and will begin to turn darker on the edges.

Using oven mitts take the soufflés out of the oven and place onto a small plate. Garnish with the fresh raspberries, the raspberry sauce and the gold dust. Chocolate Souffle with Rasberry Garnish and Gold Dust klklServe immediately and indulge!

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