I have one friend who likes to tease me because I am such a chocolate snob. I won’t eat Hershey’s. Sorry Hershey. Your taste, texture and overall lack luster appearance just doesn’t do it for me. What my friend doesn’t realize is that I wear the ridicule like a badge of honor; like a brash wine or cigar snob.
I can walk by our office jar of grocery store chocolates like it’s no big deal, like I am just THAT GIRL who prefers healthier fare, craves wheat grass and avoids sugar like the plague.
But I am not THAT GIRL. Oh, how I wish I were; my jeans would fit a bit better I am sure. But no, that is not my M.O. I am just choosy with my chocolate and truly have no desire for anything sub par.
Chocolate is a lot like fine wine. When you cook with or drink a cheap wine, well…it tastes cheap. But when you sip an exquisite wine, it reverberates in your mouth and soul and fills your senses with a feeling of complete satisfaction. Chocolate is no different. When you cook with or eat fine chocolate, there’s a difference. It has a such a full, multi-layered flavor and this carries through to create complex flavor in your baked goods.
Take my go-to Chocolate Souffle Cake. It’s my fail-safe cake for bringing to parties and for serving guests at my home. It’s always finessed with fresh raspberries and draws, “oohs” and “ahhs” and many “mmmms” every single time while eyes roll and carb avoiding friends stealthily pinch a bite of their husband’s slice—again and again.
But the reason it draws this kind of response is not solely the list of awe-inspiring ingredients like Kahlua, espresso powder and cocoa and not all because of me, the amazing baker, even though I do like to take the credit. Honestly though, the wow factor that takes it from good to memorable is the quality of the cocoa powder. For this cake I used Chuao’s Cacao Rouge cocoa powder which
I stock pile had on hand.
Now I know we can’t all get our hands on that particular brand and frankly even I run out of Cacao Rouge now and then…gasp! So I do have to slum it at the market like everyone else once in awhile, and most of the time I can at least find some unsweetened Ghirardelli cocoa powder to stand-in for it. No, it does not compare, but yes, it absolutely does taste better than the other stuff.
I know I am a chocolate snob, but I could have worse faults I suppose.
I hope you get a chance to bake this Cooking Light Chocolate Souffle Cake. Yes, it is from Cooking Light…so you really don’t have any excuse to avoid it…unless all you have is Hershey’s I guess.
Dark Chocolate Souffle Cake
Taken directly from www.Cookinglight.com
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup water
1 T. instant espresso or coffee granules
2/3 cup Dutch process or unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 t salt
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons Kahlúa (coffee-flavored liqueur)
3 large egg yolks (not extra large)
1/3 cup sifted cake flour (such as Swan’s Down)
7 large egg whites at room temperature (not extra large)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/4 c. raspberries, optional
For the Cake: Preheat oven to 300°. Coat bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan with cooking spray. Set aside. Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, water, and espresso in a large saucepan; stir well and bring to a boil. Remove from heat; add cocoa, salt, and chocolates, stirring with a whisk until chocolate melts. Stir in Kahlúa and egg yolks. Stir in flour; cool to room temperature. Set aside.
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed of a mixer until foamy. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold one-fourth of egg white mixture into chocolate mixture; repeat procedure with remaining egg white mixture, one-fourth at a time. Spoon into prepared pan. Bake at 300° for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool completely on wire rack. Remove sides from pan; sift powdered sugar over cake. Garnish with raspberries.
Added note and request for interactive commentary!: This recipe was originally posted in 2013 and I have made this cake at least 20+ times from my own blog with great success. Recently (the last two times I have made it, 2018 and 2019), it has risen considerably more and therefore the bottom seems to get weighted down eventually and it protrudes out a little. It still holds up, and it tastes great but it doesn’t look as stellar as it used to. I have two theories on this: One is that my eggs I have used recently are larger than the original eggs I used. I buy Large Organic but they have been particularly large lately, resembling more of an extra large egg. Since there are 7 egg whites and 3 egg yolks in this recipe, larger eggs could have a pretty big impact and change the rise. Another theory is that the recipe verbatim from Cooking Light calls for “Dutch process OR Unsweetened cocoa powder”. The last two times I have definitely used Dutch Process. Unsweetened and Dutch Process are definitely two different beasts. The latter being less acidic since it is alkalized with potassium carbonate. Perhaps, I used to choose unsweetened rather than Dutch Process? If you want to weigh in, please do!