Being an amateur cook, I always enjoy the Food section and often cut out recipes to keep and use. Being Chinese, I read the Jan. 28 Food section ("Chinese Lessons") with more than the usual amount of enthusiasm. Then I read Home Cook ("Puffed Up Again") on souffles.
Back in the days when Ma Cuisine was the only cooking school around, I learned to make a chocolate souffle from Ken Frank, in the heyday of La Toque. I have not come across a chocolate souffle anywhere in the world to surpass his recipe. Not only is it the best souffle I have ever had (and I have friends who will attest to this), it is also quick, easy and foolproof.
Please try it and see how it compares with Marion Cunningham's. With all due respect to Cunningham, I belong to a school that doesn't believe flour has any usefulness in a chocolate souffle.
KEN FRANK'S CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE
5 ounces chocolate
3 1/2 tablespoons freshly brewed espresso
3 egg yolks
4 egg whites
1 heaping tablespoon powdered sugar
Use any good finishing chocolate; we used Callebaut.
Melt chocolate in bain marie or in top of double boiler. Add espresso, then egg yolks to melted chocolate and whisk until blended.
Whip egg whites, gradually adding powdered sugar, until soft peaks form. Do not over-beat.
Pour into 4 individual ramekins brushed with melted butter and coated with granulated sugar (leave no uncovered spots or souffle will stick and not rise). Bake at 400 degrees 8 to 10 minutes. Souffle will rise straight up at least 1 inch from lip of ramekins. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately with whipped cream.