Celebrate with a soufflé

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Before you fill someone's Easter basket with eggs and chocolate bunnies, consider saving the eggs and chocolate for something better: a delicious individual chocolate soufflé.

Not only are soufflés the ideal complement to your Easter-themed dinner setting, but they actually have some awesome nutritional value, thanks to the incredible, edible egg.

"Honestly, eggs are wonderful foods," says Caroline Susie, RD, manager of employee wellness at Methodist Health System. "They're complete proteins full of essential amino acids, iron, vitamins, and carotenoids, just to name a few."

Read on to see why you might want break out the eggs for more than just Easter.

Powerful protein

The egg delivers a power-packed punch of nutritional benefits. Low in fat and calories, an average egg contains 6 grams of protein and all essential amino acids.

"Our bodies can't produce every essential amino acid, but within one egg, you get them all," Susie says.

Half of an egg's protein is found in the egg white, with the other half in the yolk. Feeling sluggish? One egg contains 50 percent of our daily allowance of B12, ideal for energy and heart health.

Eggstra benefits

Eggs are also full of lutein and choline. Lutein is key in preventing macular degeneration, while choline has been linked to brain development and memory. Round it out with iron, folate, and vitamins A, E, and D, and you have one pretty nutritious food.

"What many people don't realize is that certain vitamins require fat to be absorbed," Susie says. "The fat is in the yolk, so when you only eat egg whites, your body doesn't absorb all the nutrients in the whole egg, like the 41 units of vitamin D, about 11 percent of your daily value."

With so many nutritional benefits, it's easier to dive guilt-free into this one of these decadent chocolate soufflés.

Chocolate soufflés with chocolate sauce

Recipe courtesy of Chef Cherif Brahmi of rise n°1 in Dallas, used by permission of Pelican Publishing

Number of servings: 4 individual soufflés

Ingredients

Ramekins

½ cup butter

¼ cup granulated sugar

Chocolate soufflés

3 egg yolks

1¼ cups granulated sugar, divided

¼ cup flour

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 cups whole milk, scalded

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

10 large egg whites

Chocolate sauce

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup half-and-half

½ cup granulated sugar

½ pound bittersweet chocolate morsels

Powdered sugar for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Butter four 12-ounce ramekins to the top. Using a rolling motion, coat ramekins with sugar. Set aside.
  • For the soufflés, combine egg yolks, ¾ cup sugar, flour, and cornstarch in a small mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Slowly add hot scalded milk to mixture, whisking constantly until milk is incorporated.
  • Transfer mixture into a nonaluminum saucepan and heat over medium heat. Stir constantly. Heat and stir until pastry cream thickens and boils. Do not scorch the bottom. When it reaches a boil, pour into a storage container or bowl to cool. Stir occasionally to prevent skim from forming on top.
  • Add cocoa and mix well. Set aside.
  • Beat egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer at high speed. While beating, add remaining sugar. Beat until soft peaks form.
  • With a rubber spatula, fold egg whites and pastry cream into a bowl. Stir. Pour mixture into ramekins. Keep edges of ramekins clean.
  • Place soufflés on lowest rack of oven. Leave 6 to 8 inches of space above the ramekins to allow soufflés to rise. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Tops of soufflés should be browned.
  • For the chocolate sauce, while the soufflés are baking, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Place cream, half-and-half, granulated sugar, and chocolate in pan and mix well. Bring sauce to a boil while whipping occasionally. Remove from heat when it reaches a boil.
  • Dust top of chocolate soufflés with powdered sugar. Pour chocolate sauce over soufflés.

Nutrition information

Serving size: 1 soufflé. Amount per serving: 367 calories; 18.5g total fat

*Hedda Dowd, Cherif Brahmi, and Celine Chick, Rise to the Occasion: A French Food Experience (Pelican Publishing Company, 2010)

Want to make this dessert eggstra light? Caroline Susie, RD, suggests skipping the sauce (you'll save 50 calories and 3.5 grams of fat) or sharing your soufflé with a couple of friends or relatives.

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