Nothing screams Valentine’s Day like a soufflé. This is a decadent, light and airy dessert that is made even better with the addition of copious amounts of chocolate. And because it’s for Valentine’s Day, we’re not settling for just any ol’ chocolate dessert. No, we’re taking it a step further with dark chocolate and Grand Marnier, an orange flavored liqueur. Dust this flavorful dessert with powdered sugar to add an extra special touch.
As we get older, we take Valentine’s Day for granted. We begin to think of it as any other day. We might even make excuses, stating that we don’t need one day in February to show someone how much we love them. While, yes, this is true that we should be showing our loved ones how much we care for them on a daily basis, it is still important to make this day special for them. Ask yourself what makes this day so special. Whether it’s because of the love that people have to give, the ridiculous amount of candy, flowers and cards passed around or our desire to make people happy, this day can be a special day to many. Let’s celebrate it with a sweet treat from the oven to show someone just how much we care for them. Forget about the expensive store-bought gifts, and opt for a homemade treat instead.
For me what makes this day important and special is definitely the chocolate. It’s a day that offers an excuse to eat decadent desserts in large amounts, especially those that are dipped, drenched, topped or smothered in chocolate. This holiday of love becomes even better with the addition of a dessert like these Grand Marnier Chocolate Soufflés.
Grand Marnier Chocolate Soufflés
Yield: 6 servings
Glassware: 6 ceramic ramekins
Stand mixer or electric hand mixer
2 tbsps (15 ml) butter, room temperature
4 large egg whites, room temperature
3 large egg yolks, room temperature
3.55 oz (105 ml) granulated sugar, plus more for dusting
4 oz (115 g) dark chocolate, finely chopped
4 oz (115 g) semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tsp (5 ml) espresso powder, optional
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) cream of tarter
1 tsp (5 ml)vanilla extract
2 ounces (50 ml) Grand Marnier
powdered sugar, for garnish
fresh whipped cream, optional
1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
2. Grease the ramekins with the 2 tablespoons butter, and then dust with granulated sugar. Set aside.
3. Bring a medium pot of water to a simmer. Place the finely chopped chocolate in a glass or metal bowl and place over the simmering water. Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally, until completely smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool down slightly. Stir in the pinch of salt and add the espresso powder, if you’ve decided to use it.
4. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites until frothy and just foamy. As the mixer is running, slowly stream in half of the granulated sugar and the 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tarter. Beat on high until stiff peaks form and the whites are glossy.
5. Whisk the egg yolks into the melted chocolate, one at a time. Then add the Grand Marnier, vanilla extract and remaining granulated sugar. Mix until completely smooth. The mixture will be slightly grainy because of the granulated sugar, but that is okay.
6. Carefully fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, a little bit at a time. Be careful not to delate the whites. Blend until all of the whites have been added and they are completely smooth.
7. Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared ramekins, dividing it evenly between each. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet, and then place it in the preheated oven. Bake until the tops have puffed and are somewhat firm, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve right away with fresh whipped cream or a dusting of powdered sugar. Enjoy!