Monthly Archives: January 2009
Just before opening Cafe du Soleil I was being treated by a physical therapist for a pulled muscle. We were talking about food as she stretched me and electrocuted me (those of you have gone through PT will know what I mean). She didn’t know much about French food and she asked me if a “coq au vin” was a kind of dessert made with cocoa. I laughed and told her that even though the words are pronounced alike, the “coq” was in fact a chicken dish (or more accurately rooster, but noone serves rooster here). But she got me thinking about the play on words and I decided to create a chocolate dessert using wine. Thus was born my “Valrhona Cocoa Vin”.
At Cafe du Soleil we describe the “Valrhona Cocoa Vin” as a Warm Flourless Chocolate Souffle Cake. The technique I use is to bake it halfway in a water bath, then cool it to room temperature. I finish the baking to order resulting in a lovely mousselike texture that’s a cross between a Chocolate Souffle and a Warm Chocolate Cake. I serve it with an orange wine sauce (hence, the “vin”) and whipped cream on the side. The benefit to making a dessert like this versus a traditional Choclate Souffle is that you can do it ahead of time and just put the finishing touches on while your guests wait for dessert.
You can use the same recipe formula to make different results. You could bake the same batter like a Brownie or Chocolate Cake in a 350F oven. It will rise up like a souffle and then fall in the middle as it cools (this is normal). Just don’t overbake it or it will be too dry. It is done when a toothpick inserted into the middle is still very moist, but not tasing of raw batter. I usually call this a Fallen Flourless Chocolate Souffle Cake.
No matter how you bake it or what you call it you’ll find that it’s a delicious recipe with a lovely texture. I use Valrhona brand chocolate (about 70% Cocoa Solids) which has an excellent and pure flavor. And as with all desserts, the sweetness can be varied according to taste. I like mine on the less sweet side so this recipe reflects that.
Valrhona Cocoa Vin
Makes about 12 servings
8 Extra Large Eggs, Separated
1/4 cup Sugar, Granulated
9 ozs Valrhona Chocolate, Bittersweet, Chopped into small pieces
6 ozs Butter, Unsalted
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Lime or Lemon Juice
Non-stick cooking spray
Powdered Sugar for dusting cake
Optional Garnish – 3 T. Toasted Hazelnuts, Chopped
Orange Wine Sauce:
2 cups Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
Zest of 1/2 Orange, Grated
3/4 cup White Wine, any kind will do
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar (or less if you like)
1) Preheat oven to 300F.
2) Spray 6 souffle cups with cooking spray and set into a roasting pan.
3) Place chocolate and butter into a medium mixing bowl, and melt by placing over a pan of simmering water. Cool slightly.
4) Beat egg yolks, half the sugar, and the salt at high speed in mixer until light and pale yellow in color. Fold the melted chocolate into this mixture.
5) Beat Egg whites with remaining sugar and lemon or lime juice until medium peaks form, then fold gently into chocolate/yolk mixture. Divide batter into souffle cups, filling about 3/4 full.
6) Add simmering water to the roasting pan until it comes halfway up the sides of the cups. Bake in oven about 20 minutes until it begins to rise slighty (about to the top of the souffle cups). Remove from oven and remove from water bath to allow to cool to room temperature. Set aside until ready to serve.
7) Prepare Wine Sauce: combine orange juice, grated zest, wine, and sugar and bring to a boil, then simmer until reduced by half to yield about 1 1/2 cups sauce. Set aside.
To Finish Souffle Cakes:
Heat oven to 400F, place cakes on a baking tray. Run a knife around the top edge of the cups so the cake doesn’t stick to the cup. Bake for about 10 minutes until cakes rise about 1/2 an inch above the rim of the souffle dish. Be careful not to burn the edge of the cakes, if the edge of the cakes starts to get too dark before they have risen lower the oven temperature slighty.
Dust each cake with powdered sugar and optional hazelnuts, serve with Orange Wine Sauce on the side, and some Whipped Cream if desired. I like to spoon the wine sauce into the center of each souffle as I serve it to the guests.