Cocktail Recipes, Spirits, and Local Bars

Warm Milk Chocolate Soufflés with Vanilla Ice Cream

Warm Milk Chocolate Soufflés with Vanilla Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 14 ounces good-quality milk chocolate (such as Lindt or Ghirardelli), chopped
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • Powdered sugar (for dusting)

Recipe Preparation

  • Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter eight 3/4-cup soufflé dishes. Coat soufflé dishes with sugar. Arrange soufflé dishes on heavy large baking sheet. Stir milk chocolate and butter in medium metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water until chocolate mixture is melted and smooth (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Cool chocolate mixture to lukewarm.

  • Using electric mixer, beat egg yolks, whole eggs, and sugar in large bowl until pale, thick, and tripled in volume, about 6 minutes. Fold 1/3 of egg mixture into lukewarm chocolate mixture to lighten. Gently fold chocolate mixture into remaining egg mixture. Spoon into prepared dishes, dividing equally. Smooth tops.

  • Bake until soufflés rise and edges are crisp and dark brown but centers are still soft, about 25 minutes. Dust tops with powdered sugar. Transfer to plates. Serve immediately, passing ice cream separately.

Recipe by Ercole Ristorante Italiano Calgary CanadaReviews Section

Soufflés

This Classic Cheese Soufflé is made with sharp Cheddar cheese. To gain the most height, don&rsquot over fold the cheese mixture before pouring it into the soufflé dish.

2 Tablespoons Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

2 Cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cayenne Pepper

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 2-Quart soufflé dish. Sprinkle evenly with grated Parmesan cheese. To prepare cheese sauce: In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over a low heat. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. With wire whisk, gradually whisk in warm milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, until sauce has thickened and boils. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Stir in Cheddar cheese, kosher salt, and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring, just until cheese has melted and sauce is smooth. Remove saucepan from heat.

In a bowl, with wire whisk, lightly beat egg yolks. Gradually whisk in 1/2 cup hot cheese sauce. Gradually whisk egg yolk mixture into cheese sauce in saucepan. Stir rapidly to prevent curdling. Pour cheese mixture back into bowl.

In large-size bowl, with mixer on high speed, beat 6 egg whites until stiff peaks form when beaters are lifted. With rubber spatula, gently fold 1/3 of beaten egg whites into cheese mixture. Fold in remaining egg whites just until blended.

Pour mixture into prepared soufflé dish. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes until soufflé has puffed and is golden brown and knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean. Remove from oven and serve hot. Serves 4

Note: If you want to create a top-hat effect (center will rise higher than edge), with back of spoon, make 1-inch deep indentation all around top of soufflé about 1 inch from edge of dish.


Recipe Summary

  • Unsalted butter, room temperature, for ramekins
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 large egg yolks, plus 5 large whites, room temperature
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup), melted, and coole
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 large pinches cream of tartar
  • Confectioners' sugar and Dutch-process cocoa powder, for dusting
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with rack in lower third. Butter six 6-ounce ramekins coat with sugar. Place on a rimmed baking sheet.

Whisk together flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk together milk and egg yolks, then whisk mixture into saucepan along with vanilla seeds. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a boil let boil 1 minute, whisking frequently. (Mixture should be very thick.)

Remove from heat and divide mixture evenly between two bowls. Whisk chocolate into one half let second half stand 5 minutes, then whisk in sour cream. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of each let cool to warm room temperature, about 10 minutes. (Or place over an ice-water bath and whisk until cool.) Souffle bases can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature and whisk to loosen before proceeding.

Whisk egg whites to break up a bit, then pour half (about 1/4 cup) into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until foamy add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add 2 tablespoons granulated sugar beat until peaks are stiff and glossy, 1 to 2 minutes. Spoon a dollop of mixture into chocolate base whisk to lighten. Add remainder and gently fold in until combined (don't worry if some streaks remain). Repeat with other half of egg whites and vanilla base.

Divide chocolate mixture among prepared ramekins, then spoon vanilla mixture into centers. For a marbled effect, swirl with a small spatula. Bake until risen and set, about 16 minutes. Serve immediately, dusted with confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder, with scoops of ice cream.


Chocolate Fudge Cakes for 2

Let me begin with: this is a recipe where diets do not belong.

I was going to wait until closer to Valentine’s Day to post this fabulously indulgent recipe, but couldn’t wait another minute to show it to you.

This small batch recipe yields two undeniably fudgy cakes. One for you and one for your sweetheart or best friend/kid/sibling/parent/any chocolate lover in your life. You will need two 6-ounce ramekins, which is the common size used for most custards, chocolate soufflé, etc. While the centers are melted chocolate, the outer edges of the cakes taste like a combination of my chocolate cupcakes and homemade brownies. In fact, those two recipes were my inspiration for today’s recipe.

About the ingredients used: I use brown sugar not only to sweeten the cakes, but to provide a little extra flavor and moisture. Vegetable oil makes the cakes extra moist while the egg provides richness. You will not use an entire egg. Rather, you will crack an egg, beat it, and use 2 Tablespoons in this chocolate batter. When testing this recipe, I found using the entire egg made the cakes taste eggy and spongey. Let’s avoid that. Flour gives the cakes structure while the leaveners lift the cakes as they bake.

Heavy cream and pure chocolate are melted down to create the fudgy base of the cakes. The mix of these two ingredients is how both chocolate ganache and chocolate truffles begin. So, you can imagine what it does for little mini cakes! Yum.

The chocolate flavor is incredibly intense. Don’t expect a sickeningly sweet cake semi-sweet chocolate is used and only 3 Tablespoons of extra sugar for the entire 2 cake recipe. All you’ll taste is rich chocolate.


Below left: Separate your eggs. It’s convenient that this recipe uses 3 egg whites and 3 egg yolks– there’s no extra yolks or whites. If you’re interested, an egg separator always makes this task this easier. You don’t want any remnants of yolks in your egg white because any fat will prevent the whites from whipping properly.

Below right: Whisk egg yolks, vanilla, and salt into your chocolate/butter mixture.

Here is the chocolate/butter/yolk/vanilla/salt mixture:

Below left: Whip egg whites and cream of tartar into soft peaks.

And below right: After you slowly add/beat in the sugar, the egg whites will considerably expand in volume and eventually reach stiff peaks.

Below left: In 3 additions, slowly fold the beaten whites into the chocolate mixture.

And below right: Here is the batter after folding in all of the egg whites.

Refrigerate batter as you preheat the oven. See how it slightly thickened when compared to the photo above?

Now it’s time to prepare the ramekins/dishes.

Below right: Spread or brush every crevice/inch of your ramekin with softened butter, then coat in granulated sugar. The sugar coating helps the soufflés rise straight up (no sticking!) and adds a pleasant crust around the exterior. You saw me do this step in the video tutorial above.

Below left: Spoon batter into ramekins, then level off with a knife or flat icing spatula.


Recipe Summary

  • Souffle:
  • Cooking spray
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups fat-free milk
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 6 large egg whites
  • Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup fat-free milk
  • ½ ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Position oven rack to the lowest setting, and remove middle rack. Preheat oven to 425°.

To prepare the soufflés, lightly coat 6 (8-ounce) soufflé dishes with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons sugar. Set aside.

Combine remaining 1/2 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, 3 tablespoons cocoa, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add 1 1/4 cups milk, stirring constantly with a whisk bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly with a whisk remove from heat. Add 3 ounces chocolate stir until smooth. Transfer mixture to a large bowl cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla and egg yolk.

Place egg whites in a large mixing bowl beat at high speed with a mixer until stiff peaks form (do not overbeat). Gently fold one-fourth of egg whites into chocolate mixture gently fold in remaining egg white mixture. Gently spoon mixture into prepared dishes. Sharply tap dishes 2 or 3 times on counter to level. Place dishes on a baking sheet place baking sheet on the bottom rack of 425° oven. Immediately reduce oven temperature to 350° (do not remove soufflés from oven). Bake 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the side of soufflé comes out clean.

To prepare sauce, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1/3 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, and 1 tablespoon flour stir well with a whisk. Gradually add 1/2 cup milk, stirring well with a whisk bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat add 1/2 ounce chocolate, stirring until smooth. Serve warm with soufflés.


Chocolate Soufflé Recipe

Why It Works

  • A dark chocolate ganache, deepened with the addition of unsweetened chocolate, makes a simple base that bakes up into a moist, not dry, soufflé.
  • The significant quantity of cocoa powder produces a soufflé base that’s stable enough to last overnight in the refrigerator before baking.

Chocolate soufflé has stood the test of time as a go-to for chocolate lovers everywhere. Light, airy, and served à la minute, this dramatic dessert, gluten-free and delightfully rich, rises up out of its ramekin in the oven and must be delivered promptly to the diner before it begins to shrink back into itself. While many soufflés are served with a sauce poured inside, this one stays moist enough on the inside that it's not entirely necessary. Crème anglaise, though, would make a great optional garnish for pouring into a small hole made in the center.

Unlike some sweet soufflés, this version doesn’t use pastry cream as its base. Instead, a deep chocolate ganache—made with three types of chocolate—produces a stable base with a pronounced and well-rounded chocolate flavor.

Making a successful soufflé is not nearly as difficult as it sounds, but it does require doing a few things properly. They include:

  • Liberally buttering and sugaring your ramekins. This includes the inner base and walls, all the way up to the top rim. First, slather the butter all over the inner surfaces, up to and including the top edge of each ramekin, then thoroughly coat the insides with sugar. This will ensure the soufflés rise up without any snags or cracks.
  • Making sure the bowl holding the ganache does not touch the simmering water below success with the ganache hinges on it not getting too hot.
  • Not being shy about fully incorporating the egg whites. Thoroughly stirring in a quarter of the beaten egg whites first lightens the soufflé mixture and prepares it for the rest, which must be gently folded in until there are no visible whites left. Note that any pockets of unincorporated egg whites will rise more rapidly than the surrounding batter and cause cracking. So take your time and make sure all of the egg whites are completely incorporated.

This recipe was adapted from one of many featured in the curriculum of the French Culinary Institute.


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp. table salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Warm the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat until tiny bubbles appear. Meanwhile, in a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow. Add the cornstarch and salt and whisk well. Pour the hot milk into the yolk mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens to the consistency of thick pudding, about 2 minutes. (It will look lumpy as it starts to thicken but will smooth out as you continue to whisk.)
  • Remove from the heat and scrape the pastry cream into a large clean metal bowl. Whisk in the vanilla and then lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 1 hour.

Make Ahead Tips

The pastry cream needs to chill for at least 1 hour before use and may be made ahead and refrigerated for up to a day.


Gianduja ice cream chocolate chip cookie sandwiches

What could be better than a scoop of gianduja ice cream, velvet-smooth and creamy with sweet chocolate undertones and the richness of roasted hazelnuts?

If you’re an ice cream purist, not much. But if you enjoy the sweet things in life on a scale of decadence just tipping into over-indulgence, I’d suggest trying a scoop of gianduja ice cream sandwiched between two crispy, chewy chocolate chip cookies. It’s heaven. Or as close as you’re going to get through a mouthful of frozen dessert anyway.

Chocolate and hazelnut is a winning combination – just look at the thousands of jars of Nutella sold every year. When I was little, my Mum would only let us have this calorific creamy confection as a special holiday treat. We’d eagerly slather chocolatey dollops onto thick white bread spread with butter (oh go on, don’t say you’ve never tried Nutella and butter, if not, you haven’t lived), watching the level of spread slowly recede with a mixture of sadness that it would soon be finished, and excitement about the collectable cartoon glass it would reveal. In fact I’m sure we’ve still got a few Nutella jar glasses kicking around at the back of a cupboard somewhere . . .

Creamy gianduja ice cream made with rich roasted hazelnuts

Gianduja, or gianduia, is a posher version of Nutella. With up to 50% hazelnuts compared to Nutella’s 13 per 100g, it’s the Rolls Royce of the chocolate/nut world the 70%, single estate cocoa truffle to a golden-foiled Ferrero Rocher, the triple cooked chip to a pack of Cheesy Wotsits. That’s not to say there isn’t a time and place for both ends of the scale (I’m as partial to the crispy creamy crunch of a Ferrero Rocher as any of the Ambassador’s guests), but if you’re looking for smooth, sophisticated flavour, gianduja is the way to go.

I do a lot of baking on this blog, but I’m also a big fan of ice cream. After several months of making my own bread and extolling its benefits, both in price and flavour, over the shop bought stuff, I started to think about my ice cream buying habits. Why spend upwards of £4 per tiny tub when I could make it at home, experiment with new flavours and use gorgeous ingredients of my choosing?

Chewy chocolate chip cookies

So I asked for an ice cream maker for my birthday. It’s not til next Saturday, but as I’m going to be in Italy for the big day (most likely eating ice cream on the beach), I opened it last weekend at an early celebration. My Dad had also scoured Amazon looking for the best book of ice cream recipes he could find, so my ice cream maker came accompanied by the Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Desserts book and a copy of David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop.

If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll know that I’m a little bit obsessed with David Lebovitz‘s recipes. They’re incredible. This book is no exception, and if you love ice cream but don’t own a copy, I suggest you go and buy one right now. It’s a frozen bible of ice creams, sorbets, granitas and yoghurts, sauces and sprinkles, mix-ins and more. There’s even a chapter on vessels including brownies, blondies and how to make your own cones.

The recipe below combines chocolate chip ice cream sandwich cookies with creamy gianduja ice cream. The hazelnuts are roasted, infused into the milk then removed completely, resulting in a silky-smooth finish which contrasts beautifully with the chewy crunch of the chocolate and nut cookies. Once frozen, they take on an incredible fudgey texture – a million miles from the cardboardy ice cream sandwiches you might find in newsagent freezers. Once you’ve tried this recipe, I guarantee you will never look back.

Gianduja ice cream (from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop):
(makes about 1L)

Ingredients:

185g hazelnuts, toasted in an oven at 175 degrees C for 10-12 mins, or until lightly golden
250ml full fat milk
500ml double cream
150g granulated sugar
1/4 tsp coarse salt
115g milk chocolate, around 30% cocoa, finely chopped
5 large free range egg yolks
1/8tsp vanilla extract

Rub the hazelnuts in a kitchen towel to remove as much of the papery skins as possible, then blitz to crumbs in a food processor.

Warm the milk with 250ml of the cream, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Once warm, remove from the heat, add the chopped hazelnuts and steep for an hour at room temperature.

Put the chopped milk chocolate in a large bowl. Warm the remaining cream then pour over the milk chocolate and stir until completely melted and smooth. Set a sieve over the top of the mixture.

Pour the hazelnut infused milk through a sieve into a medium saucepan, squeezing the nuts to extract as much flavour as possible. Discard the hazelnuts. Rewarm the hazelnut-infused mixture.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm hazelnut mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the sieve and stir it into the milk chocolate mixture. Add the vanilla and stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture in the fridge, then freeze in your ice cream maker.

To make the ice cream sandwiches, place a large scoop of the ice cream between two chocolate chip cookies. Press down firmly, wrap in cling film and freeze until set. For a good cookie recipe, click here.


Chocolate Soufflés

Heaven to bite into! This is one of those desserts you need to plan ahead for and you want to serve warm. It may sound intimidating, but it’s extremely easy to nail if you follow the instructions carefully. After trying recipes from several chefs, I’ve found my winner! And with some raspberry coulis drizzled down the middle? OMG!

Chocolate Soufflé

Prep Ramekins
Generously brush four 5-oz. ramekins (vertical strokes from the bottom to the rim) with softened unsalted butter. Set that in the fridge for five minutes. Repeat with another coating of butter, then dust with a coating of either granulated sugar or finely grated chocolate (yum) and set them on a sheet pan covered with parchment. Don’t omit this step!! The granules of sugar or chocolate act like ball bearings and help the soufflé lift off in the oven!

Refrigerate until ready to fill and bake.

Melt Chocolate
4 oz (113 g) dark chocolate

Can you use just any chocolate?
70% Dark chocolate is my preferred chocolate for fine chocolate desserts but since chocolate is truly an individual preference, go with what you love!! Callebaut, Lindt, Guittard, Vahlrona, Ghirardelli and Scharffen Berger are all wonderful. You can buy them in bars, chunks, or “callets” (chocolate morsels that resemble chocolate chips but which are formulated for melting rather than baking).

Using a large knife, chop the chocolate into small pieces and set in a bowl on top of a pot with an inch of simmering water (also called a bain marie or double boiler). Don’t let the bowl touch the water or it will heat it too quickly. A gentle melting is what you want here. Once it’s melted, set the bowl on a dishtowel on the counter to wait for the roux.

Roux
2 T (28 g) unsalted butter
2 T (15 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup+ 2 tsp. (132 g) cold whole milk
1/4 tsp salt
2 large FRESH egg yolks (36 g)

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add all-purpose flour and stir for one minute until a light peanut butter color. Reduce to low heat, add COLD milk and whisk it until it thickens.

Using a spatula, add the roux to the melted chocolate and stir together along with the salt.

Once it’s incorporated, add the egg yolks and mix. The mixture should be smooth and shiny.

Meringue
4 large FRESH egg whites* (120 g) at room temperature
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
2 T (25g) white sugar

*Pro tip: crack your eggs on flat surfaces it will give you less shell shatter

In the bowl of your mixer, (make sure your mixer and whisk are very clean and absolutely dry), whip the egg whites and cream of tartar. (If beating with a hand mixer, make sure your bowl is either stainless steel, glass or ceramic because plastic bowls easily retain oils).

Once the egg whites are foamy, add the sugar a little at a time. Don’t overbeat! The peaks should hold their shape, resemble a stiff shaving cream and have a shine. If you go too far, they will look curdled. If this happens, sorry, but you’ll have to start over.

Add 1/3 rd of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and stir aggressively to mix well. Doing this before you fold in the rest lightens the mixture and preps them for the rest. Gently fold in the rest of the egg whites, stopping when you can’t see any more white.

Remove the ramekins from the fridge. Pour the soufflé mix to the top of each ramekin and use a knife to level the top. Pinch your thumb and index finger together and go along the top edge of each ramekin so the edge of the soufflé doesn’t touch the ramekin at the top. This will allow it to more easily rise.

Bake at 375°F (191°C) for 12-15 minutes in center of the oven. Dust with a sifting of either cocoa or powdered sugar and serve/eat immediately.

For extra fun, make a hole in the top and drizzle some raspberry coulis down the middle!

Raspberry Coulis
1/2 cup (116 g) frozen raspberries, defrosted
2 T (24 g) white sugar
1 T water

Place the raspberries in a food processor or blender and puree them.

Heat the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. Drizzle into the raspberries and pulse until blended.

Drizzle a spoonful into the center of your soufflé for a delicious compliment to the chocolate flavor!

Other delicious toppings: a dollop of whip cream, a cannula (spoonful) of vanilla ice cream, fresh raspberries, chocolate shavings, or a fruit syrup of your choice.

Adapted from recipes and techniques by Chef Gordon Ramsay, John Mitzewich (Chef John) and Chef Jeffrey Buben.