Valentine’s Day is only a few days away. If you have been following along with our series, you have simple, yet elegant hors d’oeuvres and a rich, comforting entree ready to serve for your romantic dinner. If your dinner will include more than two, you are even prepared with a fun dinner game you can play with the kids. All that is left is to end the wonderful meal with a luscious, chocolatey dessert that is sure to impress – Chocolate Souffle with a Grand Marnier Custard Sauce.
I have to admit I am a bit conflicted in posting this today. While I want to provide you with a wonderful dessert that will wow your sweetie this Valentines’ Day, I do not have wonderful photos of the dessert to wow you with. Chocolate souffles must be treated with care and eaten immediately since the air bubbles in the souffle begin to deflate after the souffle is removed from the oven. They, therefore, require a quick photographer which sadly I was not. My attempts to repeat the recipe were also derailed since I have been nursing a sick little one at home the last two days and could not run out to the store for additional supplies.
I can assure you though that the dessert was very rich and delicious. So, my tip for you is to make sure your honey has his or her boo-tay in the chair ready to enjoy the souffle.
Adapted from Real Simple
(Serves 3 – I modified the recipe slightly to make 3 servings so my daughter could try it too)
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
4 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 egg yolks
3 egg whites
3 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
pinch of cream of tartar
 Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
 Use butter to grease the insides of the ramekins. Coat the ramekins with cocoa powder and remove the excess. Coatimg the inside of the ramekins allows the souffle to rise up the sides of the dish while baking.
 Rest a bowl over a top of simmering water (the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl) and add the chocolate and butter. Stir occasionally to melt. Remove from the heat and add vanilla.
 Whisk in the egg yolks one at a time. Add the egg whites to a separate bowl.
 To the egg whites add sugar, salt and cream of tartar. Using an electric mixer whisk the egg whites until the form stiff peaks (around 15-2o minutes). This means that when you pull the mixer up, the egg whites retain their shape, like this:
 Gently add the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and fold in. This is where you need to slow down and treat the egg whites with care. Do not stir them or it will release much of the bubbles you worked so hard to create.
 Carefully spoon the mixture into the ramekins until they are about 3/4 full, place on a baking sheet and add to the oven. Cook for about 20 minutes. If you would like to prep the ramekins ahead of time and keep them in the refrigerator, add another 5 minutes to the baking time.
 Get everyone in the chairs. Here is my sweet husband and guest waiting for their desserts.
 While the souffles are baking, prepare the custard sauce.
Grand Marnier Custard Sauce
Adapted from Real Simple
1 cup milk
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon corn starch
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier orange liquer
 Heat milk in the microwave for 2 minutes on high.
 In a small saucepan, over medium-low heat whisk the egg yolk, sugar and corn starch. Slowly add the warm milk and continue to whisk.
 Continue whisking for about 15-20 minutes or until the sauce thickens. It should coat the back of a spoon. Be careful with the temperature. If it gets to hot, the eggs could scramble.
 Remove from the heat and stir in Grand Marnier. Serve in a little pitcher next to the souffle.
And here’s my poor, slightly sunken chocolate souffle. It actually didn’t sink all the way from the top. Since I was trying to stretch the recipe for 3 people, I didn’t fill the ramekins 3/4 full as directed so they were sittin’ kinda low in bowl to begin with. But did they taste good!