After frantically making Valentine’s Day cards for too many kids tonight, I’ve become a full fledged Valentine’s Day grump. Now that there’s no candy exchanged in our schools, I don’t really see the point. The moms race around to help their kids make these little cards as well as a pretty little box to store them in. Everyone gets said card, some with pencils, stickers, or other gadget, but mostly they end up promptly in the garbage. All that work filling up the recycling bin.
It all made a lot more sense when candy was the end game. I know, it sounds crazy to advocate for more sugar, but I think that we need a few days of excess to teach moderation.
Tomorrow, before my kids head off to school to exchange valentines with their friends, they’ll wake up to a wildly fun giant chocolate bar. They can choose to eat it in one riotous sitting before falling into a sugar coma, or nibble it slowly over weeks. And we’ll close the day with more chocolate in the form of individual chocolate souffles. Souffles are a favorite and special dessert for the whole family, not just my husband.
We’ll close the day of love as a family by cracking through the delicate chocolate shell of our souffles, and lobbing a grenade of vanilla ice cream deep within. There may even be a large extra souffle for second helpings. Because that’s what love is all about. Surprise and delight at the dessert.
- 4 large egg yolks
- 7 large egg whites
- ¼ cup sugar plus additional for coating ramekins
- 8 ounces fine quality semi-sweet chocolate
- 4 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
- If you're planning on cooking the souffles immediately, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Butter 6 1-cup ramekins (4x2 inches) and coat with sugar, knocking out excess sugar.
- Break the chocolate into coarse chunks. In a small saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add chocolate, stirring until smooth. Transfer mixture to a large bowl, let cool for 2 minutes, and stir in yolks.
- In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat whites with a pinch of salt until they just hold stiff peaks. Gradually add ¼ cup of sugar, beating until just combined. Stir one fourth whites into chocolate mixture to lighten and fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.
- Divide soufflé mixture among ramekins and smooth tops with a knife. Run tip of knife around edges of soufflés to aid rising. Soufflés may be made up to this point 1 day ahead and kept chilled, loosely wrapped in plastic wrap.
- Bake soufflés on a baking sheet in lower third of oven until puffed and surfaces are cracked, about 20 minutes.
- Top soufflés with ice cream or crème vanille and serve immediately. Serves 6.