This is one of Ryan's all-time favorite desserts: the chocolate souffle from Press Restaurant here in Napa Valley.
2 C milk
½ C + 1 T Sugar, plus additional for ramekins
½ C All-purpose flour
8 T butter, plus additional for ramekins
8 eggs, whites and yolks separated
9 oz 70% chocolate, chopped
1 ounce chocolate liqueur such as crème de cacao (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare ramekins by coating the insides with butter. Add a teaspoon or two of sugar into a ramekin and coat the bottom and insides of each, pouring excess sugar into the next ramekin until all are coated. Keep chilled in the refrigerator until ready to use.
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk slowly until it comes to a simmer. Whisk in the chocolate until melted and smooth. Add the sugar and 1 ounce chocolate liqueur and whisk until combined.
In a medium large saucepan melt 8 T butter, over medium low heat. Whisk in ½ C flour and cook the flour about 3 minutes, being careful to not let it brown. The roux should be very smooth. Add the chocolate mixture and cook over medium low heat, until mixture is thick and smooth, about 10 minutes.
Take the pan off of the heat and add 8 egg yolks, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Allow soufflé base to cool to room temperature.
Place the remaining 8 egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer, and beat at medium high until stiff peaks form.
Fold one-third of the egg whites into the soufflé base. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
Completely fill each of the prepared ramekins with the soufflé mixture, tapping gently to remove any air pockets. Run your thumb around the inside of each soufflé, leaving a slight depression around the edge of each soufflé. This will help the soufflé to rise evenly and form a nice hat as they rise.
Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until soufflés have risen and are set, but still soft in the middle.
Dust chocolate souffle with powdered sugar and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and crème anglaise.
Serves 6 (8 ounce ramekins)
` Recipe compliments of PRESS Restaurant in St. Helena