chocolate fallen soufflé cupcakes

These are yummy. That's it. I've made them a couple of times for birthdays and gifts and they are very easy and do-able.

I wish I could say that I can make soufflés but I can't. This is my closest attempt...and they're fallen... These are definitely a go-to recipe when you don't know what to make!

These are step-by-step pictures on the process and it may seem time-consuming and mean lots of equipment to wash...it is. But I am the master of trying to lessen the amount of dishes to wash and use the easiest, most time-saving ways. So if I'm willing to do this, then I'm sure everyone will be able to.

First you have to melt the chocolate, butter, and espresso powder on the stove. Keep an eye on this and keep stirring or your chocolate will easily burn. Once chocolate is all melted, take it off the stove and set it aside to cool down.
Next, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. I used a hand-held mixer because I don't have a stand mixer. Using electric mixers is very useful and time-saving. I think my arm would break off if I didn't have one. Add in some of the sugar and all the salt until medium firm peaks form.
It's not too bad. Be careful not to overmix which I always end up doing because it's so fast with the electric mixer.

Well for the next step, I forgot to take pictures...but it's basically in a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks and sugar together until thick and pale (used an electric mixer, it's very fast!). Then add the cooled down chocolate and vanilla extract into the mixture.
Then gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture using a spatula.
It doesn't have to be perfect, but try to not deflate the egg whites. And that's it! So I used a pot for melting, a bowl for egg whites, a bowl for egg yolk mixture, one beater (which I beat the egg whites first so I didn't have to wash and clean for the egg yolk mixture), and spatula. Nothing to it!
Line up your cupcake tin with liners. This is very important to have liners because the cupcakes will not come out even if you butter your tin generously. They're too delicate.
Fill them up about 3/4ths the way. I had a little more leftover from the 12, so I filled up the rest in a ramekin.
Bake and voila! First they're slightly puffy, but then they fall...hence the name fallen soufflé.

Here's the recipe! Guess where I got it from? Of course! Smitten kitchen! She adds a white chocolate mint cream, but I didn't. If you eat it with vanilla ice cream...omggg its super yummy especially when the cupcake is warm. My step to step is slightly different, but results should be the same!

6 ounces (170 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used semisweet)
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) (86 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) espresso or instant coffee powder
3 large eggs, separated
6 tablespoons (97 grams) sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 9 standard-size (3-ounce) muffin cups with paper liners. Stir chocolate, butter and espresso powder together in heavy medium saucepan over low heat mostly melted, then remove from the heat and whisk until it is fully melted and smooth. (I like to put the butter underneath the chocolate in the pan, so that it protects the chocolate from the direct heat.) Cool to lukewarm, stirring occasionally.

Using electric mixer (a hand mixer, rather than a stand mixer, actually works best here because the volumes are so small) beat egg yolks and 3 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl until mixture is very thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Briefly beat lukewarm chocolate mixture, then vanilla extract, into yolk mixture. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in another medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and all of the salt, beating until medium-firm peaks form. Fold whites into chocolate mixture in 3 additions. Divide batter among prepared cups, filling each three-fourths of the way.

Bake cakes until tops are puffed and dry to the touch (some may crack, embrace it) and a tester inserted into the centers comes out with some moist crumbs attached, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in pan on a cooling rack, where the cupcakes will almost immediately start to fall.

Chocolate fallen soufflé cupackes courtesy of smittenkitchen


沙茶 popcorn

For Thanksgiving, we went to Connie and David's house. David was craving some snackies and apparently, him and bplee invented their own snack. They called it 沙茶 popcorn and the ingredients are exactly what it says: 沙茶酱 and popcorn. You can buy any old popcorn, David used butter flavored microwavable popcorn.

Now for those of you who do not know what 沙茶酱 is, it is a kind of Asian barbeque sauce, mostly originated from Southeast Asia for their satays. How I know it is the sauce we use to dip our hot pot ingredients.

There's no recipe for it, it's about how much of the 沙茶酱 flavor you want in it. First pop the corn and place in bowl with lid; while it's still warm, add as much 沙茶酱 in it. 沙茶酱 has this layer of oil and then the crushed spices. I'd say, putting more of the oil in it would flavor the popcorn better because the chunky spices end up clumping.

Then shake it all up. Look at David shaking the pot.

This is what you end up with. Sounds pretty crazy, but it's pretty delicious.