You will need:
8 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
6 eggs, separated
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and then set aside to cool slightly.
As you can see in the picture below, I do not have a double boiler. All you really need a pot to boil water in and a heat-safe bowl to place on top. Ideally, you want the top bowl to rest above the water in the pot and on the rim of the pot so that there is no gap between pot and bowl. Unfortunately, I did not have a metal or glass bowl that quite did the trick available to me that day, so I went with one that had handles to rest on the rim. Brilliant, I know.
Seen above: A Master's degree at work.
In a large, clean mixing bowl (cold and metal if you can manage it), beat the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar vigorously with a whisk or with an electric mixer if you want to save your arm. Beat until soft peaks form and then beat in 1/4 cup sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
In another large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth. Fold in slightly cooled chocolate one spoonful at a time. Make sure the chocolate has cooled a little and that you add it bit by bit. Otherwise, you will cook the eggs. And it will be gross.
Once the chocolate is folded in, fold in 1/4 of the egg white mixture. Fold in until just blended. This will lighten up the mixture and make it easier to fold in the rest of the whites without damaging the whites.
Fold the rest of the whites into the mixture. Fold as gently as possible and stop as soon as the white streaks disappear.
Pour into buttered ramekins. This recipe is enough for one 1.5 qt ramekin or six 1 cup ramekins. Bake in 375 F oven. Bake for about 30 minutes for a large souffle; about 10 minutes for the smaller souffles. When done the souffles will be puffed up and mostly set, jiggling a little in the center when moved.
Let cool for a few minutes then serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
~ The Pink One