Soufflé is famous for being one of the most intimidating desserts for home cooks. However, this recipe will show you the most straightforward way to nail this elevated dish every time!
To prepare the roux, in a small bowl, sift together flour and salt. Add the cold butter into the dry mixture, and knead lightly by hand until it comes together. Leave it aside.
In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Whisk the flour mixture and the vanilla bean paste into the milk. Sift in two-thirds of the sugar and turn the heat to medium.
Whisk the mixture constantly to prevent any burning or bits of flour from clumping up. When the base comes to a boil, whisk and cook it on medium heat until the base starts to thicken and pull away from the bottom of the pan, about one more minute.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over the stove and fold into the base mixture. Once incorporated, add the egg yolks to the base and whisk rigorously to prevent the yolks from scrambling.
Transfer mixture into a mixing bowl and place into the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This allows the base to cool before folding in the meringue.
In a clean mixing bowl, beat the room-temperature egg whites with cream of tartar at low speed for 30 seconds. Once the egg whites are foamy, increase the speed and gradually sift in the remaining one-third of the sugar. Beat for 5 more minutes, or until the egg whites have reached a stiff peak.
Preheat the oven to 190 °C and position the rack near the lower-middle part of the oven.
Add a quarter of the egg white mixture into the soufflé base and mix well. This lightens the base and makes it easier to fold the rest of the meringue mixture in.
Add the remaining meringue into the base and mix using the fold technique. Avoid breaking the air bubbles as much as possible, and stop immediately when you see no more streaks of whites. Don’t overwork the mixture!
Prepare the ramekins. Prevent the soufflé from sticking brushing melted butter down the bottoms and sides of the ramekins. Add a small amount of sugar, turning the ramekins on its side and rotating it slowly to coat the ramekin evenly.
Fill the buttered and sugared ramekins evenly with the soufflé batter. Fill almost entirely to the top of the ramekin, leaving one-quarter inch of room at the top.
Bake at 190 degrees C for 17 minutes. Garnish the soufflé immediately with powdered sugar and serve it right away.