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Esurientes - The Comfort Zone

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Alice Medrich's Low Fat Chocolate Souffles

So, it seems I can make a souffle!....Yesterday I made bread for the first time, which actually looked and tasted like bread. Today I'm doing souffles...evidently I'm kitchen Superwoman! :-)
What's more, I can make a low-fat souffle, no nyah! :-P But if you read to the end of this post, so can you. It's very easy and, as Nigella Lawson puts it, there were no culinary pyrotechnics involved.
This is one of my entries for this month's Is My Blog Burning, with the theme we've all been waiting for with bated breath....the souffle. Go on with you, it seems to say - let's see if you really are the chef the photos on your blog suggest. Sure, you can make pretty cupcakes, but can you do the do? Can you do the souffle??

Well, we'll find out later tonight when I make a full-sized dinner souffle, but this was a way to warm up this afternoon. I had already decided my savoury souffle theme when I was flicking through my new copy of Alice Medrich's "Chocolate & the art of low-fat desserts", which really is all it's cracked up to be. Other bloggers have recommended this book, and likewise, I cannot recommend it highly enough; not only for the recipes, but for ideas on how to lower fat in everyday baking and cooking. And, in contrast to so many low-fat cookbooks, she doen't use any fake or spooky chemical ingredients. Everything is made using real chocolate, real eggs, real butter; just in different quantities and using different techniques.

So, in reacquainting myself with the book last night, I saw the page with chocolate souffles and knew I'd have to give them a go. Medrich notes:
"I like my souffles dark and very rich in chocolate flavour, never light and ethereal! These meet my standards - and no one will ever suspect how light they really are"
And she is right; these are gooey souffles, almost like one of those chocolate fondant desserts. They're light but taste very rich and very chocolatey; your guests would be very surprised to know they're made with cocoa, no butter and only 1 egg yolk. Only 2.6 grams of fat and 127 calories in each one. And you can see evidence that mine really did rise very high, like a 'real souffle'!

I served mine with a tart, fruity sauce made by warming up some raspberry preserves and lemon juice. I thought this combination worked very well, as the souffle on its own could possibly taste a bit too rich and bitter. It's definitely not a sweet dessert so those not into desserts or sweets would possilby enjoy this. I didn't sugar the ramekins (which was optional), which might have better balanced the bitterness but, of course, then you would be upping the calories...and that would defeat the purpose.
It'd also be pretty damn good with a blob of thick cream... ;-)
Read on for the recipe:

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Chocolate Souffles
from "Chocolate and the art of low-fat desserts", Alice Medrich

Serves 8
5 teaspoons sugar, for cups (optional)
1 cup powdered (icing) sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup low-fat milk
4 egg whites, at room temperature

2 egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 1 cup souffle cups/ramekins.

1: Position the rack in the lower third of the oven and prehat to 250F (175C). Spray souffle cups with vegetable oil spray. If sugaring the cups, pour a little granulated sugar into 1 cup and tilk to coat the bottom and sides. Tap our excess sugar into the next cup and continue until all the cups are sugared.
2: Sift the powdered sugar, cocoa and flour into the top of a double boiler, or heavy saucepan. Add the milk and 1/2 cup water and whisk until smooth. Cook over gently simmering water (or not), whisking continuously, for about 10 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat. Set aside.
3: Beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in sugar, beating at high speed until stiff but not dry.
4: Whisk the egg yolks and vanilla into the chocolate mixture. Fold about a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining whites. Divide mixture evenly among the cups. It can c9ome to about 1/4 inch below the rims. Souffles may be cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.
5: Place the cups on a baking sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes (19-20 if souffles were prepared in advance and refrigerated), or until souffles have puffed well above the rims. Do not overbake.

Note: Medrich suggests tucking a small piece of bittersweet chocolate deep into each souffle before baking, or folding 1/3 cup of chocolate chips into the batter with the egg whites for a splurge.

Calories per serving: 127
Fat: 2.6g
% calories from fat: 17%
Protein: 4.3g
Carbohydrates: 24.6g
Cholesterol: 53.6 mg.


  • did I read that right? LOW FAT chocolate souffle? im sold- definetely a recipe thats getting bookmarked. great entry Niki!

    By Blogger tanvi, at 10/23/2005 05:14:00 pm  

  • I love the photo where you're pouring sauce on the souffle, Niki. Great job, especially for a first-timer! But I want to hear about that bread!

    By Blogger Nic, at 10/23/2005 11:18:00 pm  

  • That looks fabulous Niki.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/24/2005 10:37:00 am  

  • I used Alice's book for my souffle entry too, but I made chocolate chestnut souffle cake. She's my hero.

    By Blogger Jessica "Su Good Sweets", at 10/24/2005 01:29:00 pm  

  • Low fat chocolate soufflé. And it's easy. Life is good. Thanks for the beautiful photos of your first ever soufflé. You are indeed kitchen souperwoman

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/25/2005 02:51:00 am  

  • Such molten chocolately goodness Niki, that looks yummy! I've been re-reading Alice Medrich's books recently and am thinking I'll experiment with her truffle recipes in Bittersweet.

    Did you see that she has a 2006 calendar out? One of the Camberwell newsagents dedicated a window to it!

    By Blogger plum, at 10/25/2005 11:00:00 am  

  • That looks so good! All light and rich and gooey at the same time. I can't stand it! Sigh.

    By Blogger Rachael Narins, at 10/25/2005 10:36:00 pm  

  • Wowzer! This does not look like anything is denied here! My first though when seeing the picture was oh my! You've found the holy grail I think!

    By Blogger Robyn, at 10/26/2005 01:46:00 am  

  • I would love to replicate this, but... You are talking about egg yolks, but I cannot find any in the ingredients list. 1 egg yolk, as somewhere in the text? 4 yolks, the ones which match the 4 egg whites? Please clearify, maybe I am just to dumb!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/27/2005 12:48:00 am  

  • Oopsie - you're right. I typed this recipe out very quickly, and missed the egg yolks. There are 2, and I've just altered the recipe to include them.

    Good luck to anyone who does try it. It's so very easy, and very effective!!

    By Blogger Niki, at 10/27/2005 11:12:00 pm  

  • I think the preheating temperature was wrong as well?
    I tried baking them at 250F but then they didn't rise at all. So I decided to search for the same Alice Medrich's recipe and that one said 350F, which worked for me.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/16/2007 12:59:00 pm  

  • my batter is bitter, bitter, bitter. i reread the ingredients 3 times and followed the instructions but ended up adding a whole cup of splenda just to keep them from being inedible. did anyone have issues with the sweetness? (i love dark chocolate but these were crazy bitter).

    By Blogger laila aka stylishgirl, at 7/16/2008 01:39:00 pm  

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