Our French Foodie Getaway culinary vacation in Tours, France, is fast becoming a favorite. This short stay in one of Europe’s most charming and picturesque cities includes a market visit with cooking class, a guided wine and cheese tasting, a walking tour of the city center, and an optional day touring the famous Loire Valley chateaux.
Our culinary travelers who recently returned from their stay in Tours raved about the time the spent there. One of the dishes they prepared during the cooking class was a classic chocolate soufflé.
Soufflés are a classic French dish that harkens back to the early Eighteenth Century. They are always egg-based, using the air in the whipped eggs to create the distinct volume and texture, but they can be savory or sweet. I love them as a sweet preparation because they are naturally gluten free, can be relatively low carb, and can even be made dairy free (although this one does use butter): a perfect dessert for pleasing everyone!
Here is the recipe to tempt your tastebuds.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Cook method: Bake
- 7 ounces finely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus for preparing the molds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 large egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons warm water
- 1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
- 8 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Confectioners’ sugar for garnish
1. Brush 6 (6-ounce) ramekins with soft butter, then coat with sugar. Put the prepared ramekins in the freezer. (This can be done ahead of time.)
2. Set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F (=200 Celsius).
3. Put the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with an inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching, the water. Stir the chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Set aside to cool.
4. Combine the egg yolks and warm water in the bowl of a standing mixer or large bowl and beat until frothy. Gradually add 2 tablespoons sugar, and continue beating until ribbons form, about 5 minutes. Very lightly fold the yolks into the chocolate mixture. (Rinse the bowl well, if using for beating the egg whites.)
5. Remove prepared ramekins from the freezer. Put the egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer, or large non-reactive bowl, add the lemon juice. Beat on medium until frothy; then gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and increase speed to high. Beat until the whites hold a stiff but not dry peak.
6. Working quickly, fold about a third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it; then fold in the remaining whites until blended. Gently ladle or spoon the soufflé mixture into the ramekins, and place on a baking sheet. (Level off the surface with a straight edge, scraping any excess mixture back into the bowl.)
7. Bake immediately until the soufflé rises about 1 1/2 inches from the ramekins, and the tops are slightly browned, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately.
Check out the details of our French Foodie Getaway in Tours, and contact us to start planning your trip!
By Peg Kern
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