Mason Jar Kitchen: Conquering Chocolate Soufflé
Welcome to Mason Jar Kitchen.
The Mason jar—you know, that molded glass jar used for canning and preserving foods that instantly makes [insert item] look effortlessly appealing? Well, whether it's pickling veggies or preserving fruits (the original reason why Philadelphia tinsmith, John Landis Mason, invented and patented it in 1858—smart guy), making to-go lunches, impressing guests or creating DIY gifts—if it can be served, cooked or stored in a Mason jar, you can find it here. For MJK's inaugural post, I've decided to give you chocolate soufflé, and for a particular reason. MJK won't just be about cute presentation. We'll celebrate recipes that a) empower you in the kitchen and b) make the food you made with love shareable with the people you care about—because the best thing about Mason jars really are those charming screw treads on the outer rims; if you like it, you should put a lid on it and bring it to anyone you want. In fact, I took these very soufflés featured in this post to a friend during her lunch break because she's been going through the stressful process of applying to b-school. I definitely got a warm fuzzy feeling, and I hope she did, too. About feeling empowered in the kitchen, the truth is I've never made soufflé before. I've always found the thought daunting. But I also remembered that mediocre movie, Because I Said So, with a very memorable foodie moment. Everything goes wrong for Milly (Mandy Moore), but the soufflés are always right:
You can see the moment starting at 1:60 of clip below.
As intimidating as soufflés seemed, I thought, how wonderful would it be if I tried it for you and it turned out alright. Recently, just like Milly, I've started to cook and "feel" what's right in the kitchen, too. It seemed like the right time to attempt, for me, this daring endeavor.
I guess you know how it turned out. (Whew, success!) With this, may MJK be a jar-half-full exploration of cute things and fearless cooking with love.
This recipe is by trusty epicurious with few alterations.
Mason jar: 2 8 oz Kerr Jars (Always remember to properly sterilize new jars..)
- 1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon sugar
- 5 oz of bittersweet chocolate
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 6 egg whites
- 3 egg yolks
- Powdered sugar, garnish
- Brush melted butter inside jars, covering completely. Then coat with sugar. The coating will help the soufflé rise and "slide" up the jars. Put jars in freezer.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and set the rack to third bottom shelf.
- Fill a saucepan with water, and bring water to simmer over medium heat. Place chocolate in a metal or glass bowl and set the bowl over the saucepan, creating a double boiler. Chocolate burns easily; this will melt the chocolate without putting the chocolate in direct heat. Stir the chocolate to make sure there's no lumps. The chocolate will get glossy.
- Remove bowl of melted chocolate from top of saucepan, and slowly whisk in egg yolks into chocolate. It's important to whisk continuously to prevent the yolks from becoming scrambled eggs. Set aside.
- Using a mixer beat egg whites. Begin with low speed. Once the whites start to foam, about 2 minutes, increase the speed to medium. When you have soft peaks, slowly add sugar a little at a time. Then increase mixer speed to high. Beat until you have stiff peaks.
- Gently fold a spoon of whites into the chocolate mixture. When well incorporated, take the chocolate mixture and fold it into the rest of the whites. To avoid deflating the whites, don't over mix.
- Remove jars from freezer. Spoon mixture into each jar to the top of the rim.
- Place jars in a large baking pan. Fill the pan with water halfway up the jars.
- Bake until the soufflé rises about 1 1/2 inches from the jar top, and the tops get crispy, about 20-22 minutes. Not required, but sitting in front of the oven and watching the soufflé rise is fun.
- Remove from oven, dust with powdered sugar and inhale immediately.