A splash of Grand Marnier livens up this dreamy, chocolate-capped soufflé.
For the Soufflé
1/2 cup unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the ramekins
1 cup sugar, plus 8 Tbsp. to coat the ramekins
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
7 egg yolks
1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp. orange extract
1/2 tsp. orange zest
2 Tbsp. Grand Marnier
8 egg whites
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread butter onto the sides and bottoms of 8 1-cup ramekins. Add 1 Tbsp. sugar to each ramekin and swirl the camekin to coat the bottom and sides completely. Turn each ramekin upside down and tao gently to remove any excess sugar.
In a large saucepan, heat the 1/2 cup of butter over low heat until melted. Whisk in the flour. Continue whisking until the mixture is smooth and slightly thickened. Add the milk, raise heat to medium, and continue whisking until the mixture is very thick and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla bean paste, orange extract, orange zest and salt. Whisk in the milk mixture and Grand Marnier until smooth.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until just foamy. Slowly add 1 cup of sugar in a steady stream and beat the meringue until it just holds stiff, glossy peaks. Stir one-quarter of the meringue into the yolk mixture to lighten it. With a large rubber spatula, gently fold the remaining meringue into the mixture until no white streaks remain. Spoon the batter into the ramekins filling them just to their rims. Use a small offset spatula to level the tops. Place the ramekins a few inches apart in a large glass baking dish and add enough hot water to the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake the soufflés in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes, or until they are puffed and their tops are golden.
For the Chocolate Crème Anglaise
1 cup half-and-half
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate
In a large saucepan, bring the half-and-half to a simmer. While the half-and-half heats, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the egg yolks, granulated sugar, vanilla bean paste and salt. Beat the mixture on medium-low speed until it lightens and thickens. With the mixer running, slowly pour the hot cream mixture into the whisking yolks, carefully pouring it down the sides of the bowl to prevent the hot liquid from scrambling the yolks. Continue whisking until all the ingredients are combined. Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and whisk over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and add the chocolate.
Allow the chocolate to sit undisturbed for a few minutes, then whisk to fully incorporate. Transfer the cream to a small metal bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place over a pot of hot water that’s just been taken off a simmer to keep warm.
When the soufflés are done, immediately transfer the ramekins to dessert plates. Using two forks, pull open the center of each soufflé and pour some crème anglaise into the opening. Serve immediately. Makes 8 individual servings.