Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Roy Yamaguchi's Classic Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflé (2/24)

Three posts in three days?  Holy butter I'm on a roll.  Today, the long-awaited soufflé number two, conducted by a famous recipe from the mastermind behind the huge Hawaiian fusion empire, Roy's.  I decided to make this soufflé because I wanted to do a classic chocolate soufflé towards the beginning of this endeavor, and I have fond memories of eating this delicious dessert at the original Roy's on Oahu last September.

The end result is stunning and seems complicated, but the process was actually surprisingly simple.

First things first.  Mix your two dry ingredients together in a bowl: one cup of sugar, and I used three tablespoons of whole wheat pastry flour instead of cornstarch.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eight egg yolks and the whites of four eggs.

Weigh out eight ounces of your favorite dark chocolate.  I just used some of those standard Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips that most supermarkets have in their baking sections.

Melt one-and-a-half sticks of butter in a saucepan and bring the butter to a simmer.

Once the butter simmers, throw in those eight ounces of chocolate.  The aroma of dark chocolate and butter is always intoxicating.

Stir gently, but constantly, to melt the chocolate and incorporate the butter evenly.

Just keep stirring, just keep stirring, what do you do, you stir, stir, stir.  Go watch Finding Nemo if that went completely over your head.

Once the chocolate is smooth and silky and the butter is nicely incorporated, wait for the mixture to bubble at the edges before continuing.

Slowly incorporate and mix the sugar and whole wheat pastry flour mixture into the saucepan.  Continue to mix thoroughly as you add the sugar and flour to avoid lumps of flour.  But even if you have lumps, use your whisk to break them apart.

The chocolate should have a slight pull and some graininess from the sugar.

Add the whisked egg whites and egg yolk a little bit at a time while slowly incorporating the eggs into the chocolate mixture.

Continue to slowly mix until the sugar melts and the mixture takes on a smooth, silky texture and appearance.  Refrigerate overnight, or at least four hours.  The coolness of the base mixture is important to ensure the dramatic melting effect when you cut into this soufflé.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and cut up some rectangles of parchment paper to line the insides of four metal soufflé/cake rings.  Use a room-temperature chunk of butter to aggressively butter any point of contact that the soufflé base will have with the parchment paper on the bottom and sides.

The measurements of the parchment paper don't have to be exact.  In the end, you'll be stripping each soufflé of its metal and paper anyhow.

Fill two-thirds of each prepared ring with the chocolate base.  Don't worry if things don't look neat.  The soufflé will either grow into the messy sides or will easily chip off the main part of the soufflé.  Throw these in the oven and set a timer for thirty minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven, use tongs to grab the sides of each ring, and slide a metal spatula under the ring to transfer each soufflé to their respective plates.  I used a metal pastry scraper because I only have a cruddy, chipped, bent-out-of-shape plastic spatula.  Gently (very gently!) lift the metal ring up off of the soufflé and slowly remove any parchment paper that doesn't lift with the metal ring.

I opted to serve this soufflé with some delicious berries, a dollop of Full Tilt's vanilla bean ice cream, and a sprig of mint.

A brittle, slightly crisp exterior opened up to a spongy cake and a lava-like flood of dark chocolate bliss.  Sweet, bright berries richened the flavor profile and the cool, creamy ice cream wrapped itself in the velvety dark chocolate.  I don't usually like chocolate desserts, but this was to die for.  I might have burned my tongue a few times from impatience.

Actually, instead of attempting to describe just how delicious this soufflé was, I would like to quote a description by New Zealand Natural of their own ice cream that I find easily applicable to the experience in my mouth when I ate this soufflé:

"Stick in a spoon. Now taste. Oh yes...pure, [warm] and very, very good. Actually, it's way better than just good. Impossibly delicious, unbelievably fresh, stunning. Truth be told, nature doesn't get any smoother, any purer, any creamier than this - but let's not go overboard. Enough. Stop reading. Please enjoy."

Done and done.


  1. In the end, isn't this just a version of Michel Bras' famous chocolate coulant? It doesn't seem very uniquely Roy's.

    1. I wouldn't consider this recipe uniquely Roy's, but I would say that most people would suggest ordering this at his restaurant. I've never had the privilege of eating Michel Bras' food, but I'm guessing the main difference in recipes is that Roy provides a basic, dark chocolate recipe, while Michel's recipe (online at least) emphasizes the incorporation of coffee et al. I could be completely off though. What do you think? Your comments mean a ton!

    2. I think we saw the same recipe online for the coulant! I'm not so sure that Bras' original version incorporated all those other ingredients. That's not really the point though. The point is that the "molten chocolate cake" and its variations are SO played out. It's almost a culinary cliché at this point, and I dread seeing the cakes on menus all over the place. :p

    3. I like the 24 project because it explores one technique/type of cooking and provides a lot of variations on that one theme. Part of the point is that Mike hasn't really done souffles before, so it seems like it would be remiss to skip over the basic recipes. Cheese and chocolate are the ones everyone knows, and I'd argue that they're important to cover because of that status. In fact, if there are any other "cliche" souffles, I think Mike should totally do them before branching out in the later months (though hurry up Mike, it's May already!).

    4. Yea, I agree. They're definitely very played out, but I'd also say that as long as it tastes delicious, I don't mind. Even the simplest and most basic/uncomplicated souffle can make me swoon.

      In other news, you're right, Steph. I need to hurry up!

  2. Okay, so, Mike, you know chocolate desserts do not souffle my heart, but this, this, I melt. Also, I googled "holy butter i'm on a roll" and you appear to have invented this wonderful phrase. Hats off, chef.

    1. You are awesome, haha. I hope to one day souffle your heart in person with either this or an even more delicious souffle.

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