I have made these yummy souffles three different times, and have never been disappointed. They are very rich, and chocolate-y. They are a little labor intensive, but worth every minute.
Tips – As with making a creme brulee, you want a silky texture to the cream. To ensure there are no lumps, strain the mixture through a sieve. Also when making the peanut butter pastry cream, the recipe makes about twice as much as what you need for the souffles.
Chocolate Souffles with Peanut Butter Centers
Peanut Butter pastry cream
1 cup whole milk
1 cup half and half
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (do not use old-fashioned-style or freshly ground)
10 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 large egg yolks
7 tablespoons water
1/4 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
For peanut butter pastry cream:
Bring milk and half and half to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Whisk egg and egg yolk in medium bowl. Add sugar, cornstarch, and flour to eggs; whisk to blend. Gradually whisk hot milk mixture into egg mixture, then return to same saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat. Whisk peanut butter into hot pastry cream. Strain into medium bowl. Season with salt. Place plastic wrap directly onto surface of pastry cream. Chill until cold, at least 3 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.
For chocolate soufflés:
Place chocolate and butter in large heat-resistant bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water; stir until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat; cover. Whisk yolks, 7 tablespoons water, milk, and cocoa in medium bowl until cocoa dissolves. Using electric mixer, beat whites, cream of tartar, and salt in large bowl until frothy. With mixer running, gradually add sugar to egg white mixture; beat until shiny peaks form, about 3 minutes. Add yolk mixture to white mixture; fold (there may be a small amount of liquid that will not blend in). Fold half of egg mixture into warm (not hot) chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining egg mixture. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Place plastic wrap directly onto surface of soufflé mixture; chill.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and sugar eight 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups. Fill halfway with soufflé mixture. Spoon rounded tablespoon peanut butter pastry cream into center of each. Spoon remaining soufflé mixture atop pastry cream to cover and fill ramekins. Bake until soufflés rise about 1 inch above dish and are almost set in center, about 24 minutes. Serve immediately.
Bon Appétit, November 2006