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Vanilla soufflé cakes with molten chocolate
Preparation time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Butter and sugar to coat ramekins
1. Butter the ramekins and coat with sugar, shaking out the excess.
2. To make the sauce: Combine the chocolate and water in a small heatproof bowl set in a skillet of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Place the bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes or more to firm up the sauce while you make the soufflé cakes.
3. To make the soufflé cakes (up to 3 hours in advance): In bowl of food processor, combine cottage cheese, egg yolks, flour, salt, and vanilla extract. Process until the cheese is perfectly smooth, 2–3 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a medium bowl. Set aside.
4. In a clean, dry mixer bowl, combine egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted. Add sugar gradually and beat until stiff and glossy but not dry. Fold one-quarter of the egg whites into the cheese mixture. Fold in remaining egg whites. Pour batter into ramekins. Chill until ready to bake.
5. When the chocolate mixture is firm, use a teaspoon or a tiny scoop to form 6 chocolate balls. Refrigerate the balls on a saucer until needed.
6. To bake: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Just before baking, sprinkle the top of each soufflé cake evenly with a pinch of sugar. Center a ball of chocolate sauce on top of each cake (the chocolate will sink part way into the cake while baking). Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake 13–15 minutes until the soufflé cakes are puffed golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
Yield: 6 servings
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