Remember going to the drug store as a kid and seeing the candy underneath the counter for 5 cents, and begging for a 5 cent advance on your allowance (because you’d already spent your last allowance on a My Little Pony or Troll doll) so you could have a piece on Saturday morning? No? No My Little Pony fans out there? Just me? Oh well, I’m not a proud person.

I was never eying the bazooka bubble gum or the packets of sweet tarts. For me, my Saturday morning candy-lust was always directed at the York peppermint patties. The flavors are mint for each other (get it? get it? Tough crowd…), but if you prefer your chocolate with a different flavoring, you can absolutely substitute extracts when making the cream. Raspberry, almond and orange all sound enticing to me, but you choose your favorites.

Or why choose? If you wanted, you could separate the cream after whipping it, and fold in some flavoring to each separated bit of cream.

Because it is a souffle, this flourless chocolate “cake” is much less dense than the flourless chocolate desserts that are so ubiquitous right now. It definitely makes for a nice change. But as far as I’m concerned, there is a reason why those cakes are everywhere. They’re yummy. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say chocolate cake in general is just yummy.

And this one is no exception. Definitely a very tasty and unexpected twist on a flourless chocolate dessert.

Chocolate Soufflé Cupcakes with White Chocolate Mint Cream
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 12 souffles

Ingredients

6 ounces (170 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped (I preferred this with bittersweet)
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) (86 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 large eggs, separated
6 tablespoons (97 grams) sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ounces (56 grams) white chocolate, finely chopped
3 ounces heavy whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract

Preparation

1. Place the white chocolate in a small bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer, pour it over the chocolate and let it sit for a minute to melt the chocolate. Whisk well. Add the peppermint extract and whisk again. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the cream. Chill until very cold, about two hours.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 9 standard-size (3-ounce) muffin cups with paper liners (don’t skip the liners, as I’m prone to do. Souffles are delicate and will be happy to be pried out of their pan). Stir chocolate, and butter together in heavy medium saucepan over low heat mostly melted, then remove from the heat and whisk until it is fully melted and smooth.  Cool to lukewarm, stirring occasionally.

3. Using electric mixer, 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.

4. Bake cakes until tops are puffed and dry to the touch (they crack, get over it. It’s going to be covered in cream anyway) 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. It will be all the better to put your mint cream on them.

5. Beat mint white chocolate cream with electric beaters until soft peaks form. Remove cupcakes from pan, arrange on a platter. Fill each sunken top with a healthy spoonful of white chocolate mint cream.

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