Served in espresso cups, this irresistible dessert is topped with a hazelnut praline. What could be better for Valentine's Day?
Serves 6 -8
For the soufflé
180g good quality dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
3 eggs, plus 1 extra white
30g caster sugar
225ml double cream
2 tbsp Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
6 - 8 espresso cups
For the hazelnut praline
Sunflower oil, to grease
150g blanched hazelnuts
150g caster sugar
- Place the espresso cups on a tray. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and put into a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of just-boiled water, ensuring the bowl is not touching the water. Give the chocolate an occasional stir to help it to melt, then remove the bowl from the pan and allow the chocolate to cool slightly.
- Separate the eggs, putting all 4 whites in the same bowl. Add all but 1 tbsp of the sugar to the yolks and beat with a wooden spoon until well combined. Stir the yolk mixture into the melted chocolate.
- Lightly whip the cream, until it is roughly the same consistency as the chocolate, and fold into the chocolate mixture along with the Frangelico.
- Whisk the 4 egg whites in a large bowl to medium-stiff peaks, then whisk in the reserved 1 tbsp sugar. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate cream mixture, making sure the mixture is a uniform colour with no streaks of egg white. Divide the mixture evenly between the espresso cups and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set, or ideally overnight.
- To make the hazelnut praline, lightly oil a baking sheet. Put the nuts and sugar into a heavy-based saucepan and heat gently. As the sugar begins to melt, use a fork to gently encourage the unmelted sugar to the sides of the pan, to melt and caramelise.
- When the sugar is a rich golden colour and the hazelnuts are lightly toasted, tip the mixture out onto the oiled baking sheet and flatten with the fork. Allow to cool completely.
- Once cooled, coarsely grind the praline using a pestle and mortar or break into pieces by bashing with a rolling pin. Decorate the top of each chilled soufflé with a scattering of hazelnut praline, and serve. Any spare praline can be stored in an airtight container, to be served with good vanilla ice cream.
For a decorative finish, when the praline is cooling but still slightly warm, pull out 8 hazelnuts, one at a time, and they will come away covered in caramel with a shard of caramel attached. Place one on top of each soufflé to serve.