Liddie’s Traditional New Mexico Dishes: Chocolate Chimayo Red Soufflé
By LIDDIE MARTINEZ
A few years ago my husband was invited to participate in a dune buggy adventure in Mexico.
Had the invitation had been extended to me, which it was not; a long weekend covered in sand would not have been my idea of an awesome vacation.
Luckily, I was able to tag along with him to San Diego to meet up with his buddies and arranged my own private weekend to take in uninterrupted jaunts in Balboa Park museums, strolls along manicured gardens, lengthy coastal drives to old Spanish missions and shopping in exclusive shops in La Jolla as I waited for the dust bunnies to return from across the border.
One day while shopping, I walked into a tiny French restaurant and surprised the delightful waiter when I ordered a chocolate soufflé for lunch. It was light and airy with a dark chocolate flavor that was not too sweet served with a side dish of perfect crème anglaise. The chef came out to talk to me; apparently not too many people dining alone order chocolate soufflé in the middle of the day. He talked about the prep and shared that the key to a perfect soufflé was all in the timing and, of course, careful, concise folding of the stiff meringue without knocking the air out of it. “Error on the side of under folding.” He cautioned. He also shared his cheat for Crème Anglaise – “Don’t worry about making it. It is nothing more than melted vanilla ice cream.”
My version of this classic French recipe has a northern New Mexico twist. The red chile heat provides the perfect counterbalance to the chocolaty sweetness.
Keep in mind that you can control the heat by adjusting the heat of your chile selection (using mild to extra hot) rather than reducing or increasing the quantity in the recipe.
A red hot chocolate soufflé is the perfect end to a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner – all you need is candlelight and soft music.
I know, this is not what I would call a traditional New Mexican dish but, with your help, one day it could be. Make it and taste a new adventure!
Chocolate Chimayo Red Soufflé:
4 Tbsps. ― Unsalted Butter, room temperature
¼ Cup ― Sugar
4 Eggs ― separated
5 ounces ― semisweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsps. ― Chimayo Red Chile Powder
1 tsp. ― Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp. ― Coarse salt
½ tsp. ― Cream of Tartar
2 Scoops ― Vanilla ice cream, melted
With half the butter, butter soufflé dish or six small ramekins heavily, including sides, and coat with some of the sugar shaking out excess. Set aside. Pre-heat oven to 350°.
Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler stirring in the chile a teaspoon at a time as chocolate melts until combined. Add remaining butter, salt and cinnamon, stir well until smooth and set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, in an electric mixer, beat eggs to frothy. Add cream of tartar and continue beating to soft peaks then add the rest of the sugar a teaspoon at a time and beat to stiff peaks.
In another bowl, beat yolks until pale with a whisk then whisk chocolate mixture into the egg yolks until fully combined. With a rubber spatula, fold in egg whites until incorporated into chocolate mixture but do not over mix.
Spoon mixture equally into prepared ramekins or soufflé dish and place on cookie sheet in oven heated to 350°. Place bowl of ice cream scoops on stovetop to gently melt while soufflé cooks stirring occasionally. If using ramekins, bake 20-25 minutes until soufflé has fully risen. For a full size soufflé, bake for 35-40 minutes. Serve immediately with crème anglaise (melted ice cream). Serves 6.