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Soufflés are, arguably, one of the most daunting desserts to undertake. Its structure is fragile but when you pull out a perfectly constructed soufflé, there is nothing more impressive! This chocolate hazelnut soufflé has all of the impressive finesse to wow anyone you make them for as well as the delectable and delicate flavor combination of chocolate and hazelnut. Even if you are making these for 2, you might end up eating all 4 of them!
The thing that makes soufflés so delicate and so finicky is that they have little gluten structure, which we know is the element in baking that gives a baked good strength and the ability to hold its form. Without gluten, they collapse. With soufflés you have to be super gentle with the batter, so as to not knock out any of the air incorporated in the egg whites AND you also don’t want to mess with them AT. ALL. once they’re in the oven. Don’t tap the ramekin to knock out all the air bubbles, you’ll have a super flat soufflé then. You also want to close the oven door super gently so as to not knock the soufflés down. I know, they’re super finicky.
A key to making awesome soufflés is properly greasing your ramekin. When baking a cake, you’ll see bakers greasing their cake pans with butter and flour so that the cake releases fully from the pan. Well, we’re not taking the soufflé out of the ramekin, so you might be wondering why do we grease the ramekin at all? Well, when we grease the ramekin (and sugaring it), we’re allowing the batter to sort of climb up the ramekin when it rapidly inflates from all of the steam (think of rock climbing). Greasing and sugaring the ramekin acts like a support for the soufflé to get nice and tall. If you look at a deflated soufflé, you’ll see that the middle caves in first. This is why.
Two super big key components to making the soufflés, that we need to touch base on are:
- Properly whipping egg whites to stiff peaks.
- Properly folding in the egg whites into the rest of the mix.
When you mix in the egg whites, you want to fold them in gently, working in quarters, folding up and under. You also want to make sure that it’s not fully mixed. If everything is fully mixed, you will have knocked out a significant amount of air out of your egg whites and your soufflés won’t properly inflate. A little bit of egg white showing is perfectly fine.
When I first was developing this recipe, I really wanted to introduce you guys to gianduja chocolate. This stuff is amazing; it has a high couverture (it can melt super easily) and it’s a hazelnut chocolate. However, when I was shopping around for it… Wow, it was expensive and I didn’t want you guys to think you had to buy this super expensive chocolate just for 3 ounces. I mean you could; I would if I didn’t have to pay bills. I’d be a fat kid all over that stuff. Anyway, after consulting with some other dessert recipes, I determined that using a certain beloved chocolate hazelnut spread (Nutella) would work just fine. If you’re not a huge fan of that, you can always buy a chocolate hazelnut candy bar and melt it.
Since I was using the spread for this recipe, I still warmed up the spread because I found it easier to incorporate the egg yolks into the chocolate if it were warmed up. A quick 30-second date in the microwave does the trick!
Alrighty all, I believe that’s all of my sage wisdom on this recipe. You’re going to do great! Soufflés are cake once you do a batch! Believe me, taking pictures of them is way more nerve-wracking than baking them. If you happen to have any trouble or questions, simply email me and we’ll work it out!
Chocolate Hazelnut (Nutella) Souffles are such an elegant but surprisingly easy dessert to make. Topped with powdered sugar, this dessert is made to impress and is gluten-free friendly!
- 3 each Eggs separated
- 2 ounces Sugar
- 3 ounces chocolate hazelnut spread
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Butter for greasing
- Sugar for greasing
Separate eggs. Begin whipping egg whites in a mixer with the whisk attachment on medium speed to build up froth, about 2 minutes. Increase speed and add cream of tartar along with sugar and whip egg whites to stiff peaks.
Microwave chocolate spread for 30 seconds and add egg yolks, stir to combine.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease and sugar 4 ramekins and place on a sheet tray for easy removal from the oven. Place a sheet of tin foil on the top rack of the oven, above where the soufflés will be.
Gently fold in egg white to chocolate mixture, being sure to not over mix.
Carefully place batter in ramekins and gently place in oven, closing the door carefully. Bake soufflés for 15 minutes.
Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.
*After much trial and error, I placed a piece of tin foil on the top rack of my oven to prevent the tops of my souffles from burning. *If you aren't a crazy hazelnut fan, you can use your favorite chocolate still to make this recipe