Soufflé is one of those special treats that, for a long time, I reserved for trips to select French restaurants. I obediently ordered my soufflé in advance of my meal and patiently waited as the chef created this magical dessert just for me. And when it was served, so puffy and glorious, I relished every bite of it, believing that the preparation of this luxurious treat was too complicated and not to be tried at home. And then, one snowy day, when my kids were little, and I had a particular chocolate craving, I was brave enough to try making a chocolate soufflé on my own. I tried a few different variations and ended up serving this very recipe to my three kids. They all loved it and it’s become a staple in my house on snow days. Of course, this is also perfect for a very special dinner, like a stay-at-home Valentine’s Day celebration, perhaps?! No matter what the occasion, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your soufflés are puffy, airy and just right:
- Eggs must be at room temperature
- Do not open the oven door unless you are ready to take the soufflés out
- Serve immediately as the soufflés will gradually deflate once coming out of the oven.
This recipe come from my Aunt Donna in Pittsburgh. I adapted it slightly using pastry flour, which yields a slightly soft and crumbly texture as you eat them. She typically uses Grand Marnier, but I switched that out for ouzo with great success.
- ½ lb unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg and 1 yolk
- 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla
- 2 tablespoons Ouzo or Grand Marnier
- 2 cups pastry flour, plus 1 cup reserved, see comment
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg and 1 yolk, reserving the second yolk for the egg wash. Blend the egg into the butter, scraping down the sides. Add the ouzo and vanilla and blend well to incorporate well.
- Sift 2 cups of the flour and baking soda. Add the flour slowly incorporating fully after each addition, scraping down the sides. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Add the last cup of flour as needed. You should be able to roll the dough easily.
- With a small cookie scoop or spoon roll about 1½ tablespoons of dough into a 6” log. Twist and place on a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of water with the reserved yolk. Brush each cookie and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds.
- Bake for 14-15 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through. The cookies should be golden brown on the bottom and top. Once removed from the oven let them rest for 2 minutes before placing on a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Pastry flour can be found easily at Whole Foods.