Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rich Chocolate Souffle Cakes with Creme Anglaise

I was delighted with these little souffles for so many reasons! First, they represent the second time I've gotten Ener-G egg replacer to act like egg whites and puff up a souffle. Second, unlike most souffles which need to be eaten immediately, these won't deflate much and are actually just as yummy served chilled as they are warm out of the oven - which means they are a perfect candidate for a make-ahead dessert while entertaining. Third, you can probably make them entirely with ingredients you have in your pantry, which means no dashing out to the grocery store in the cold weather. And finally, of course, they are decadently delicious! Never let it be said that a vegan can't indulge...

These do take a bit of work, but I promise it's worth it - plan on setting aside a full hour start to finish.

Begin by coating 4 (4-ounce) ramekins with cooking spray. Sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon sugar, turning to coat the bottoms and sides. Set aside.

Combine 1/3 cup raw sugar with 1/4 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring so the sugar dissolves, then remove from heat. Stir in 1 and 1/2 ounces of chocolate (I recommend the dark chocolate from the Endangered Species chocolate company, which is certified vegan and whose proceeds -as the name suggests - go to a good cause!). Stir with a whisk, until the chocolate melts.

In a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch and a dash of salt. Add to the chocolate mixture in the saucepan, stirring with a whisk until combined. Whisk in the equivalent of 1 egg using egg replacer (such as Ener-G) and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract. Set aside.

Now it's time to mimic egg whites! Combine the equivalent of 2 eggs in a large bowl with 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar - there are other ways to make "eggs", I know, but you really will want Ener-G powder here. Why? Because when you beat it with a mixer for a full 12 - yes, 12 - minutes, it actually forms a white, glossy, thick mixture similar to beaten egg whites. In the last few minutes of beating (or about the 9 to 10 minute mark), gradually add 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of raw sugar, a little at a time, incorporating each portion before adding the next.

Gently stir one-fourth of the "egg white" mixture into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remaining "egg whites". Spoon the mixture evenly into the 4 ramekins.

Place the ramekins in a large baking dish (an 11x7-inch dish worked well). Fill the dish with hot water to a depth of about 3/4 inch. I probably added not quite enough water, but luckily I don't think it mattered too much.

Bake the souffles at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Once out of the oven, be very careful extracting them from the baking dish, since the hot water is still in the bottom.

While the souffles puff up, make the creme anglaise:

Make the equivalent of 1 egg (see how much you can do with Ener-G?), and combine with a dash of salt. Gradually add 3 tablespoons raw sugar, and whisk vigorously for about 3 minutes - the mixture will be nice and glossy and thick.

Meanwhile, heat 1/2 cup plain soy milk (such as Silk) in a saucepan over medium heat, just until bubbles form around the edge, but before it boils. The original recipe suggested this would happen at 180 degrees, but I removed my pan from the heat at 130 degrees, because the soy milk was just on the verge of boiling.

Gradually whisk the hot soy milk into the "egg" mixture, then return the entire mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium-low for 5 minutes, stirring constantly; it should be thick by the end. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

1 souffle plus 1 tablespoon of creme anglaise is 280 calories. You'll probably have some creme anglaise leftover, so use it to top berries or other desserts!

cornstarch $3.49

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance