by SuSu, MaceVindaloo, MontanaCapo, WestHobbit, Diana
She looked at the not-yet cooked chocolate soufflés before her, tears brimming in her eyes. These were the perfect end to what should have been a romantic meal. But her boyfriend gulped down his food, and wouldn't wait for dessert, citing work and duties, etc.
Soufflé is a dish in which the guests must be ready to imbibe as soon as it comes out of the oven. No gathering of the clan, no calling people to the table. They have to be there and ready as the light, airy clouds come out of the heat. For it is the heat that gives it loft and texture.
Leia sighed and remembered how her aunts had told her how this dish would test a paramour. If he did not have the patience to wait for a soufflé, he was unworthy. Best to cut your losses and move on!
But they also taught her that for the right man, there was a way to keep the uncooked soufflé for an hour ...
Leia thought about all the times Han had disappointed her and sighed again, as she inverted a bowl over the ramekins ...
Place sugar in the container and roll the baking dish(es) around to coat the buttered areas. Dump out the excess (re-use it in the next phase).
Place the chocolate in a microwave-proof bowl and heat for a minute or two until it's melted. Be careful not the burn the chocolate, and note that it will hold it's shape even when it's melted. So be sure to stir the chocolate, and to check on it every 30 seconds.
Stir in the beaten egg yolks till it's completely combined. The mixture will stiffen up. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Using a large bowl and electric mixer, add the salt to the eggwhites and beat at medium speed until the eggwhites form soft peaks. Add the sugar a teaspoon at a time while its beating. When the sugar is all added, beat at high speed, till the eggwhites can hold stiff peaks.
Add a cup of the beaten eggwhites to the chocolate mixture, and stir it in to lighten the chocolate mixture. Then gently fold in the rest of the beaten eggwhites. You should try to retain the air as much as possible. The whites and the chocolate should be thoroughly incorporated together.
Spoon the mixture into the soufflé dish(es). You can fill it just about to the top, and if you do, run your (clean) thumb around the inside edge of the souffle dish. This will help the soufflé rise evenly above the rim.
(At this point, you can "hold" the soufflé for up to an hour before baking. You need to cover it with something which will not touch the surface of the mixture. Try an inverted bowl.)
Place the dish(es) on a baking tray, and put into the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. The top will be crusted and puffed up and jiggly. Serve it immediately! Spoon into souffle dish and run the end of your thumb around inside edge of souffle dish (this will help souffle rise evenly). Bake in middle of oven until puffed and crusted on top but still jiggly in center, 24 to 26 minutes. Serve immediately!
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