CHOCOLATE GINGERBREAD SOUFFLE

For coating the ramekins
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup granulated sugar

For the soufflés
3 ounces good quality dark chocolate (60 or 70% cocoa)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon unsulphured molasses
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
A pinch of ground clove
3 egg yolks
4 egg whites
A pinch of cream of tartar


1 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2 Brush 4 small (3- to 4-ounce) ramekins with melted butter. Coat the buttered ramekins with granulated sugar by rotating the sugar around the bottom and sides. Tap out excess sugar.

3 Place the chocolate, butter, molasses, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon and clove in a large glass bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave for another 30 seconds until melted. Stir again to combine.

4 Stir the egg yolks, one at a time, into the chocolate mixture. The chocolate will turn a little thick and sticky.

5 Beat the egg whites with cream of tartar to soft peaks using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. (Soft peaks means when you lift the whisk, the egg whites are starting to hold themselves but slowly fall back down after a second or two. Stiff peaks is when the egg whites hold themselves straight up without falling.)

6 Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, a little at a time. Keep folding until the mixture is fluffy and has a light brown color but don’t over mix.

7 Divide the mixture among the 4 ramekins, filling them ¾ of the way up. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes until they’re nicely blown up. Do not open the oven during the baking process as that might prevent the soufflés from rising.

8 Serve immediately.

9 For a quick warm vanilla sauce to serve with the soufflés, simply melt vanilla ice cream until warm in the microwave or on the stovetop. Flavor it with a teaspoon of rum, if you wish. Poke a hole in the soufflé and pour in desired amount of sauce.

Serves 4

Gingerbread Soufflé