My #1 Favorite Holiday Sweet


Right out with it - it’s chocolate soufflé. My favorite holiday sweet is chocolate soufflé. Usually when people do these “countdown” type blogs, they really stretch it out. It’s not a holiday cake, it’s not cookies for Christmas, it’s chocolate soufflé, my favorite sweet Christmas dish.

Over the past few days, I’ve brought to mind many holiday treats, some traditional, some that might be new to you, but all distinctly holiday dessert ideas like croquembouche, bouche noel, spritz cookies, and linzer tart cookies.

So why is chocolate soufflé my favorite holiday sweet
when it’s not directly associated as a Christmas dessert? It’s the texture, plain and simple. On a cold winter’s night, this warm, airy, dessert feels like holiday cake meets chocolate pudding, a mini hearth in a ramekin cup.

The soft, warm texture of a soufflé is unique
because of the two-part mixing method that incorporates a tremendous amount of air. The soufflé has no yeast, it has no baking powder. It is leavened by the steam created in the oven. Like a velvet balloon, it rises under heat, and falls delicately back down in the absence of it. I create a momentary snow flurry with powdered sugar, and then burst it with one stroke of the spoon, continuing until I’m desperately scraping the browned-on chocolate from the side of the dish.

Chocolate soufflé is another sweet Christmas dish that is much easier to prepare than its French name would have you think, and worthy of your consideration as a holiday dessert. It’s my number one favorite holiday sweet, next to Heather.

 




Turn Holiday Cooking Stress into Holiday Cooking Success this year.

 

About Chef Todd

Chef Todd Mohr is a Certified Culinary Educator who has empowered home cooks all over the world with the reliable, dependable, repeatable METHODS behind cooking that build confidence, generate creativity and enable anyone to cook with the ingredients THEY desire.

8 Comments

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  • Emily
    Emily
    7:26 PM - 5 January, 2010

    Hi Chef Todd Mohr! I just sat down from eating the most delicious meal I have ever eaten/made! My family also loves it and thanks you. Although we started to cook, but then decided to add saute mushrooms, which was a nice touch. We just wanted to say thanks, and it was great!

  • Emily
    Emily
    5:49 PM - 4 January, 2010

    That sounds great! My family is really excited, and we'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks a lot!

  • cheftodd
    cheftodd
    3:15 PM - 4 January, 2010

    Sure! I'd be glad to help you with that. Actually, if you've been watching the videos, you know the answer will be in your selection of ingredients and methods. So, let's choose: chicken, beef, fish, or vegetables? Will the item be sauteed under direct, conductive heat or roasted under in-direct convective heat? What type of aromatics (garlic, onion, peppers) will you use? What type of liquid will you use to add moisture and flavor? How will you thicken the sauce? What type of starch will you serve it with?

    I'll choose a chicken breast, in a saute method, with garlic, onions, and tomatoes, with some white wine and chicken broth, served over pasta.
    Follow the saute method by getting the pan hot first. Add some olive oil until convection begins.
    Cook the chicken breast 75% one side, then finish on the other until your thermometer reads 155F.
    Remove the chicken and saute onions, garlic and tomatoes in the fond.
    Deglaze the pan with a little bit of white wine, reduce until dry.
    Add some chicken broth for moisture and flavor.
    Thicken the sauce with a cornstarch slurry.
    Plate your pasta, top with chicken breast, ladle sauce over top.
    Season with oregano, basil, thyme if you want. Make it spicy with red pepper flakes if you choose.
    Garnish with grated cheese.
    Call it Chicken lilzpilz if you want, we just invented it using basic cooking methods.

    Chef Todd.

  • Emily
    Emily
    9:17 AM - 4 January, 2010

    Hi, Chef Todd Mohr! I have been taking cooking classes at home following your videos. It is wonderful! But do you know a good simple type of dinner I could make for my family? Thank you. Bye.

  • cheftodd
    cheftodd
    9:49 AM - 23 December, 2009

    Steven-
    Thanks for the kind comment.
    The oven temperatures on Souffle are always very high because of the lack of leavening agents in the formula. There's no baking powder, no baking soda, no yeast, so it's leavened by egg protein and steam. Just like Popovers, Yorkshire Pudding, Eclairs, Puff Pastry, Beignets, we need the huge "oven spring" to get them to rise. So, 450F or 230C is the correct temperature for souffle.

    You know I won't give you a precise time to cook ANYTHING. Your oven may be different than mine, your dishes larger or thicker, or made of a different material, you may live at a different altitude that effects the boiling temperature of water. The souffle is done when it's fully risen and browning on the outside. It should still be somewhat wet inside, so the toothpick test doesn't really work. Plus, since the item is leavened by steam, you definately don't want to open the oven doors, this will drop the temperature of the oven and release moisture. Give the souffle a good 25 minutes before even looking at it. Then, when you see it's stopped rising, let the proteins set a few minutes, and it should be ready for your spoon. The cups don't need to be pre-treated, as a matter of fact, greasing the sides of the cups can inhibit leavening, as the souffle has nothing to "grab onto" as it rises up the side of your vessel.

    Happy Holidays. I'll get working on more sweets ideas.

    Chef Todd.

  • cheftodd
    cheftodd
    9:41 AM - 23 December, 2009

    Jorge-
    You can add any flavored liqueur to a souffle. Add 1 Tbsp of your favorite like Grand Manier or Kahulua, or Baileys Irish Cream, or Godiva Chocolate. As with everything I teach, it's about the METHOD. The ingredients are up to you.

    Chef Todd

  • Jorge Alberto Nunez Ayal
    Jorge Alberto Nunez Ayal
    2:21 AM - 23 December, 2009

    hi Chef i was wondering how to change the chocolate souffle, for a grand Marnier Souffle how can i acomplish that

  • Steven Page
    Steven Page
    1:46 AM - 22 December, 2009

    I've just finished my own holiday baking..or I THOUGHT I had finished, right up until finding this souffle video.

    And lucky me! I just so happen to have every single ingredient on hand still..and would really love to try this recipe out tomorrow night...but there's one small problem.

    You did not mention oven temperature. How hot should I bake them, and for how long? Also do the cups need to be pre-treated?

    Anyhoo, thanks again for the cooking classes. My husband and I have already used the skills you showed us to make several special holiday dinners for various friends and family.

    But just between you and me..I like it when you talk sweet. 🙂 More baking and desserts instruction would ALWAYS be welcomed by this self-proclaimed sweets-junkie.

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