I’m posting the recipe first…(someone is waiting for it) and I want to add something about Cafe Nicholson , the restaurant where Edna Lewis worked—-bear with me….
1 cup milk
1/2 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, grated
1/3 cup hot water
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
5 large egg whites
Hot Chocolate Sauce
1 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, grated
1 cup water
3 tablespoons sugar
small piece vanilla bean or 1/2 teasponn pure vanilla extract
Confectioners sugar for sprinkling
Whipped cream, for serving
1. Souffle: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, with a rack in the center. In a small saucepan, scald the milk with the vanilla bean. ( if using the vanilla extract, do not add it now.) Turn off the heat; set aside.
2. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over medium heat, stirring for 3 minutes, until opaque but not brown. Remove the vanilla bean from the milk and add the milk, whisking vigorously cook the mixture, whisking occasionally, until thick and smooth, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat. If using the vanilla extract, add it now.
4. Whisk in the hot water, sugar and salt until blended. Add the egg yolks, stirring vigorously until smooth and satiny. Cover the chocolate base with wax paper, pressing it directly on the surface; set aside in a warm place.
5. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until they are stiff but not dry. Fold a little of the egg whites into the chocolate base; gently fold in the remainder. Spoon gently into a 2 quart unbuttered souffle dish or four to six 1 cup remekins. In either case, the dishes should be about 3/4 full.
6. Bake until puffed and browned, 20 -25 minutes for a large souffle; 12 – 13 minutes for individual ones.
7: Hot Chocolate Sauce: Meanwhile, in a small heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the chocolate, water , sugar and vanilla bean, if using. (if using the vanilla extract, do not add it now.) Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, remove the vanilla bean and keep the sauce warm until needed. Stir in the vanilla extract, if using, just before serving.
8. Sprinkle the souffle with confectioners sugar and serve immediately with the hot chocolate sauce and whipped cream.