Valentine’s Day (February 14) is less than 24 hours away, so if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to spoil a loved one we have just the thing. Eric Lanlard – an award-winning master patissier and international baker to the stars – is fresh from his recent appearance on Channel 4’s The Taste (alongside Nigella Lawson) and has shared one of his favourite Valentine’s recipes with us here at Distinctive Chesterfields.
It takes just 20 minutes to whip up this tempting hot chocolate soufflé, which gives you plenty of time to pull out all the stops on Valentine’s Day evening. The author of five books – including his latest, ‘Chocolat’, Eric celebrates his favourite ingredient – chocolate – both in the publication itself and on our blog today. He’s baked for the Royal family, and Madonna, amongst others, and his just created a range of themed afternoon teas for London’s prestigious Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel.
Without further ado, then, here’s Eric’s recipe for delicious chocolate soufflés:
He says: “I love soufflé. It is such as simple recipe with few ingredients, but it still has the wow factor every time you make one. This chocolate version, especially when served with a vanilla ice-cream drop, is superb.”
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
unsalted butter, for greasing
125g (4oz) dark chocolate,
2 tsp dark rum (optional)
2 tbsp crème fraîche
4 eggs, separated, plus 2 egg whites
pinch of salt
icing sugar, for dusting
– Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan 180°C)/400°F/gas mark 6. Grease 6 ramekin dishes.
– Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the surface of the water does not touch the bowl. Stir in the rum, if using. Remove from the heat and add the crème fraîche, then the egg yolks.
– In a large, clean, dry bowl, whisk all the egg whites and the salt to soft peaks.
– Fold one-quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remaining whites.
– Fill the prepared ramekins to the top with the mixture, then clean the rims using your finger and thumb. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10–12 minutes, or until nicely risen. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.
Tip: For a delicious party trick, serve your soufflés with an ice-cream drop. Before you make the soufflés, scoop out 6 balls of good-quality vanilla ice cream and place on a freezer-proof plate. Keep in the freezer until ready to serve. When serving the soufflés at the table, drop an ice-cream ball into each soufflé.
A big thank you to Eric Lanlard for providing us with this lovely recipe. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!
Psst: Eric also has a brand new Valentine’s app out. It’s called Cake-Boy Classics, and contains everything you need to create a successful baking sensation. Brimming with recipes and features, the app contains how-tos for everything from pastries to cakes, cheesecakes and cupcakes. The app is available on both Apple and Android handsets and tablets, and Amazon Kindle.
Recipe taken from Chocolat by Eric Lanlard published by Mitchell Beazley (c) photography Kate Whitaker