My first fancy dessert

Chocolate Cake
When I was 17, my parents took me to my first fancy restaurant.  I had been to places that had beautiful place-settings… folded napkins… multiple forks… but I had never been to a place that saw food as an art form.

We ate foods on sticks that shouldn’t have been on sticks.  Everything was stacked on something with a different color sauce drizzled across and a spice dusting here or there.  I was inspired.  Why couldn’t our goulash look like this?

When the waiter asked if we wanted dessert, my sister and I made the cutest, saddest, hungriest eyes we could and my parents agreed to split a chocolate souffle with everyone.

I had never tried a souffle before, but the waiter assure me it would be like a “chocolate cake”… but cake didn’t even begin to describe the bliss.  The edges were crisp.  The cake was tender and delicate.  And the center was filled with a molten chocolate that leaked out like my fork had just hit a chocolate artery.  I was in heaven.

I had never eaten a dessert prepared so artistically before.  When the waiter asked if there was anything else he could get us, I joked that I wanted the recipe for that “cake.”  He agreed and hurried off to the kitchen.

What had I done?  The conversation around the table turned to hushed inquiries about if the recipe was free or I had just added thousands of dollars to the bill.  As the waiter approached the table, my parents asked how much the recipe cost.  They happened to give out two recipes on the menu and this was one of them.  (I must not be the only person who loved that cake!).  So here is the Chocolate Souffle Recipe that almost got me seriously grounded.  I have never been able to re-create it like they did, but it is still delicious.

Chocolate Souffle Recipe

6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
4 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate
¼ cup Sugar
1¼ Tbsp Corn Starch
2 eggs + 2 egg yolks

In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and chocolate together. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar and cornstarch. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and yolks together. Add the melted butter-chocolate mixture to the sugar mixture and combine thoroughly with a wire whisk. Stir in the eggs and whisk just until smooth. Place in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 4 metal rings (about 2.75 inches across and 2 inches high) with greased parchment paper. (Alternative, use 6 smaller molds.) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set the molds on the sheet. Scoop the mixture into the molds so they are two-thirds full, and make sure the molds are not leaking.

Bake on the top oven rack for 20 minutes or until there is about a nickel/dime sized center of uncooked batter.  Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and while holding each mold with tongs, slide a metal spatula underneath, carefully lift, and transfer to a serving plate. Gently lift off the mold and remove the parchment paper. Serve immediately.

About Author Steve Hanson

Steve Hanson is the author of The Dax and Zippa Series, Monsters Midnight Feast, Wizards In The West, Butterflies Don't Chew Bubblegum and The Whens. View his Profile.

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