40g unsalted butter, plus extra, at room temperature, to grease
150g caster sugar, plus 1/4 cup (55g) extra
200g good quality dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids, chopped, plus 75g extra, grated
2 egg yolks, plus 5 eggwhites
150ml pure cream
1 Preheat oven to 220C or 200C fan. Brush six 1/2-cup soufflé dishes evenly with extra butter (see my secrets, below right). Chill for 5 mins. Brush lightly with another layer of extra butter. Place 1 tbsp of extra caster sugar into a soufflé dish and roll around inside of dish to evenly coat. Pour any excess sugar into another soufflé dish. Repeat with remaining extra sugar and soufflé dishes.
2 Half-fill a small saucepan with water and heat on medium-high. Bring to boil, then remove from heat. Place chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl that fits neatly over pan without touching water. Place bowl over pan and set aside until chocolate and butter slowly melt together. Remove bowl from pan and stir. Add egg yolks and stir to combine.
3 Using a whisk or electric mixer, beat eggwhites and 2 tbsp of caster sugar until soft peaks form. Gradually sprinkle in 80g of remaining caster sugar, beating constantly until soft, shiny peaks form.
4 Using a flexible spatula, fold one-third of eggwhite mixture into chocolate mixture. Gently mix in a clockwise direction several times, making sure you mix from centre of base of bowl. Turn bowl in an anticlockwise direction a full turn and repeat mixing process, until eggwhite is thoroughly incorporated. Add remaining eggwhite and repeat mixing process, making sure you don’t knock too much air out.
5 Divide mixture between soufflé dishes, filling dishes almost to top. Bake for 10 mins, until soufflés rise 3cm above tops of dishes.
6 Meanwhile, whip cream and remaining caster sugar until soft peaks form. Fold in extra grated chocolate. Serve soufflés immediately topped with chocolate cream.
• Use softened, not melted, butter to grease the soufflé dishes. Dip a pastry brush into the butter, wiping off any excess, then evenly grease each dish, including the lip. When brushing the dishes for the second time, use even, upward strokes to grease the sides.
• It’s so important to be careful when incorporating the beaten eggwhite into the chocolate mixture. Stirring too roughly can knock the air out of the eggwhite, which will result in dense soufflés that barely rise.
COOK 1hr 5mins
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (330g) caster sugar, plus 1/4 cup (55g) extra
2 cups (300g) self-raising flour, sifted
1 cup (100g) hazelnut meal
2/3 cup (165ml) milk
1 tbsp hazelnut or olive oil
350g good quality dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids, chopped
600ml pure cream
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
50ml Frangelico or other hazelnut liqueur
1 To make candied orange, cut each orange into eight wedges. Place in a saucepan, cover with sugar and stand for 10 mins. Add 100ml water and stir on low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil. Simmer for 45 mins, until orange is soft and coated with thick syrup. Remove from heat. Stand for 1 hr to steep. Strain syrup into a bowl, reserving orange. Stir Frangelico into syrup and set aside. Cut reserved orange into small pieces and set aside.
2 Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200C or 180C fan. Grease a 24cm springform pan and line base with baking paper.
3 Using an electric mixer, cream butter and gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour and hazelnut meal. Alternately fold flour mixture and milk into butter mixture, starting and finishing with a little flour mixture. Fold in hazelnut oil. Spoon mixture into prepared pan and bake for 20 mins, until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 mins. Remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
4 Half-fill a small saucepan with water and heat on medium-high. Bring to boil, then remove from heat. Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl that fits neatly over pan without touching water. Place bowl over pan and stand for 3 mins, until chocolate melts. Stir with a metal spoon until chocolate is shiny and smooth. Remove bowl from pan and cool.
5 Whip half of cream and extra caster sugar until soft peaks form. Using a flexible spatula, fold whipped cream into cooled melted chocolate until smooth and shiny. Set aside. Whip remaining cream until soft peaks form. Set aside.
6 Using a long knife, carefully split cake crossways into three layers. Brush Frangelico-orange syrup liberally over base of cake and top with one-third of chocolate mousse. Gently spread one-third of whipped cream over chocolate mousse. Top with second layer of cake, brush with syrup and top with half of remaining mousse and cream. Repeat with remaining cake, syrup, mousse and cream, then decorate with candied orange pieces. Cut into wedges and serve.
• Chocolate quality varies widely. Couverture is high quality chocolate that contains a minimum amount of combined cocoa butter and cocoa solids. The best chocolate is “conched” or kneaded for longer than lesser quality product, so it is super smooth. Great chocolate melts quickly and is gorgeously smooth in the mouth. Lindt, Belcolade, Valrhona and Michel Cluizel are all worth the extra pennies.