This is the soufflé recipe that catapulted me into the top 3 of MasterChef. I battled my heart out in the toughest pressure test in MasterChef History, and one of the best episodes of MasterChef this season. In this pressure test battle between Frank and I, we had to cook three different types of soufflés in 60 minutes; one cheese, one chocolate, and one raspberry. I almost died! I was running between my two stations measuring all the ingredients, whipping up the meringues, and cooking the bases. When I finally put my soufflés in the oven, I stood up to take a breath and nothing came out! I was about to pass the heck out! I just said a prayer and hoped for the best. In the end I pulled my soufflés out and all three were perfect.
My chocolate soufflé is the most special because it came thru in the clutch. Frank had won the cheese soufflé and his raspberry soufflé could not compare to my perfect raspberry soufflé. It all came down to mastering this recipe right here! It’s very precise and requires measuring ingredients to the exact gram. Also, one of the main tips for perfect soufflés is the egg whites. They must be handled with clean hands, free from all oil. That way your meringue will have a perfect medium stiff peak. By the way, after Frank had left Gordon said “Josh! That chocolate soufflé was so perfect, that Guy Savoy would have sh*t his pants at the sight of it!” Ha ha!
Here you go!
Vanilla Pastry Cream Base
2 c milk
40 g butter
2 vanilla beans (spilt and scraped)
40 g corn starch
80 g egg yolks (approx. 4 yolks)
100 g egg whites (approx. 3 1/2 eggs)
50 g sugar
50 g vanilla pastry cream base
100 g chocolate
butter – as needed
sugar – as needed
butter 4 ramekins and coat with sugar
preheat oven to 425F
- In a saucepan heat half of the milk, all of the butter and the 2 vanilla beans. place on medium heat.
- In a bowl, mix the rest of the milk with the cornstarch and egg yolks to make a slurry.
- Once the milk is at scald point whisk in slurry and cook to boil. Take off heat and reserve for soufflé assembly.
- Melt chocolate over double boiler.
- In a stand mixer add egg whites and a pinch of salt. Whisk on medium until frothy. Slowly rain in sugar to make meringue. Increase speed from 4 to 5 to 6 as your meringue gets stiffer.
- When you take your meringue out of the mixer it should be a pointy tip on your whisk attachment and should droop over like an elf’s hat.
- Fold 50 g pastry cream base into melted chocolate
- In 3 steps fold the meringue into the chocolate mixture while rotating bowl. No Streaks!
- Place mixture into ramekins, flatten it with a small offset spatula and wipe the rim with your thumb to create a “moat”. DO NOT BANG THE BOTTOM OF THE RAMEKIN ON THE COUNTER.
- Place in oven at 425 degrees F for 11-12 mins
Tip: While soufflés are in oven run around and panic like your life depended on it! Sweat like you’re playing full court basketball! Say a lot of prayers and 11 1/2 minutes later you should have perfect soufflés.
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