Banana Chocolate Chip Souffle

I've always loved to cook, and I always put that love into everything that I cook. Which explains why I enjoying preparing special treats for Valentine's Day, a holiday dedicated to sweet love -- and to a love of sweets.

Often, people take the easy way out on Valentine's Day and just buy each other chocolates. Instead, why not put some extra love into the holiday this year and create an out-of-the-ordinary dish filled with sweet sensations especially for your Valentine? Make souffles!

My recipe for Banana Chocolate Chip Souffles will really get your loved one's attention. Its mixture of tropical fruit and chocolate is one of the great dessert flavor combinations, wonderfully tantalizing, complex, and satisfying.

You can add the word "easy" to those adjectives, too. Yes, souffles, considered by some cooks to be difficult, can actually be a snap.

This one starts out simply because, unlike classic souffles, it doesn't require that you make a thick pastry cream base by carefully cooking together egg yolks, sugar, flour, and milk. Instead, the recipe gets its body largely from a base of pureed ripe bananas, which also helps to make these souffles more stable than some of the classic ones that have cooks tiptoeing around the kitchen during baking.

To get the right consistency, and a full, sweet banana flavor, be sure to use bananas that are very ripe. You'll know they are when their skins are covered in brown spots, with no hints of green. Go buy the bananas now and leave them out on your kitchen counter so they'll be ready on the big day!

The chocolate is important, too. Don't use milk chocolate, which has too mild a flavor to stand up to the banana's rich, complex, tropical sweetness. Instead, look for good-quality semisweet chocolate. You'll only need a 1-ounce piece, but that's OK; you can save the rest to nibble on with your sweetheart.

Many people worry that the timing of souffles is crucial, and that they'll get distracted, or that the preparation will cause a lapse in time between the main course and dessert. That certainly isn't the case here. You can actually prepare the souffle mixture and put it in the individual ramekins several hours ahead of time and just leave them in the refrigerator. Then, start preheating the oven around the time you serve your main course. After you clear those plates, pop the souffles in the oven and make coffee or relax over the last of your wine.

In no more than about a quarter hour later, you'll have the perfect romantic dessert ready to share. And remember: With this easy recipe, you can go on celebrating Valentine's Day as often as you want throughout the year.

Banana Chocolate Chip Souffles Recipe

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook time: 30 minutes

    Yield: Serves 3

Banana Chocolate Chip Souffles Recipe Ingredients


    2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    2 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar

    2 tablespoons granulated sugar

    4 ounces very ripe peeled banana, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

    1 tablespoon dark rum

    1 tablespoons lemon juice


    1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

    6 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, for sprinkling

    6 large cage-free egg whites

    1 ounce premium quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small chips about 1/4 inch

Banana Chocolate Chip Souffles Recipe Directions

    First, make the Banana Base. In a small saucepan over high heat, melt the butter and cook it until it turns nut-brown, watching carefully to make sure it doesn't burn. Stir in the brown and granulated sugars and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until it turns caramel-colored, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped banana and stir until well coated. Continue cooking for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rum and lemon juice. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse on and off until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature.

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

    For the souffles, brush the inside bottom and sides of 3 individual 6-ounce ramekins with the softened butter. Sprinkle the butter evenly all over with 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of the sugar.

    To make the souffle mixture, put the egg whites in a clean mixing bowl. Beat with a hand-held electric mixer at medium-high speed while pouring in the remaining 4 tablespoons of sugar in a slow, steady stream. Continue beating until the egg whites form moderately stiff peaks that barely stand up straight when the beaters are lifted out.

    With a rubber spatula, gently fold half of the beaten egg whites into the cooled banana mixture. Gently, evenly, fold in the chocolate chips. Then, fold in the rest of the egg whites just until a few streaks of white remain. Spoon the souffle mixture evenly among the 3 prepared ramekins, mounding it above their rims. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven until they are nicely risen and their tops are golden brown, about 12 minutes. (Add a few extra minutes to that time if you prepared the souffle mixture in advance and refrigerated it until baking.)

    With an oven pad, carefully transfer the ramekins to individual serving plates. Serve immediately.

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