Elton's Chocolate Souffle'
INGREDIENTS:11/3 cups (8.75 ounces) roughly chopped bittersweet chocolate1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter4 large egg yolksPinch of salt12 large egg whitesPinch of cream of tartar5 tablespoons granulated sugar2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter, for greasing the ramekins1/2 cup granulated sugar, for sugaring the ramekins2 cups Vanilla Crme Anglaise, recipe follows1 cup fresh whipped creamMETHOD:Preheat the oven to 400F.Place the chocolate in a clean, dry mixing bowl set over a pot of simmering water. (Donot allow the bottom of the mixing bowl to touch the simmering water or the chocolatemay scorch.) Stir the chocolate with a heat-proof, rubber spatula until melted and smooth.Remove the bowl from heat and add 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of the butter, whiskinguntil melted. Set chocolate mixture aside to cool, about 5 minutes.Whisk the egg yolks and salt into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth; set aside.Combine the egg whites and the cream of tartar in the bowl of a standing mixer. Whiskthe whites on medium-low speed and add the sugar, one teaspoon at a time, increasingspeed gradually. Continue mixing until the whites are soft, glossy and tripled in volume(medium-stiff peaks).Fold one-third of the whites into the chocolate mixture, being careful not to over mix.Add the remaining whites, one-third at a time, until all of the whites have beenincorporated.Brush 2 tablespoons of the softened butter evenly over the bottom and sides of 8 (8-ounce) ramekins or individual baking dishes. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the 1/2 cup ofsugar in each ramekin and roll sugar to coat the bottom and sides. Tap out any excesssugar. Make sure that there is an even coating of butter and sugar so that the souffl riseswithout catching the sides or the rim.Spoon 3/4 cup of souffl batter into each prepared ramekin. (At this point, the soufflscan be chilled for up to 2 hours, if desired.) Bake the souffls at 400F for 12 to 15minutes, or until the tops are puffed and the edges are lightly brown.Remove the souffls from the oven and serve immediately. At the table, cut an X in thetop of each souffl and pour several tablespoons of the anglaise into each souffl. Topwith a generous dollop of whipped cream.INGREDIENTS:VAILLA CRME AGLAISEMakes 3 cups2 cups half and half1/2 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise6 large egg yolks1/2 cup granulated sugar1/8 teaspoon saltMETHOD:Pour the half and half into a small saucepan. Scrape the vanilla bean into the half and halfand add the vanilla bean pod. Heat the half and half over medium heat just until scalded,about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt until slightly thickened and pale yellow.Pour the hot half and half mixture into egg mixture in a slow, steady stream whilewhisking constantly.Prepare an ice water bath by filling a large bowl halfway with ice and water.Pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly for 3 to 5minutes or until the custard coats the back of a spoon.Strain the mixture through a fine-meshed strainer or sieve into a clean container set insidethe prepared water bath. Stir occasionally until cool. Cover and refrigerate the anglaiseuntil completely chilled before serving. The anglaise will keep in an airtight container inthe refrigerator for up to one week.INGREDIENTS:WHIPPED CREAMMakes about 8 cups1 quart heavy cream, chilled2 1/2 tablespoons sugar1 teaspoon grated lemon zestMETHOD:Place the cream in a large, bowl (or standing mixer with whisk attachment) and whiskuntil firm and doubled in size. Add sugar and lemon zest and continue whisking justuntil incorporated. The whipped cream should hold it's shape and slightly topple overwhen whisk is removed from the bowl. (Be careful not to over mix as cream will clumptogether and taste like butter.) Use immediately.