Don’t be scared by the word “Soufflé”. I remember when I first started cooking and someone suggested making a soufflé I thought, “No way. Sounds too fancy and difficult to make.”
Loosely translated, soufflé means “full of air.” That doesn’t sound so difficult, does it? In the food world, one of the best ways to get a dish “full of air” is to fold in whipped egg whites, or unsweetened meringue, into it. A classic soufflé has two main components: a starch-thickened egg yolk-rich base, and whipped egg whites.
In the case of this chocolate soufflé, the base is flavored with bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and vanilla. Without the addition of the whipped egg whites, you’d have a rich chocolate pudding. But, fold in the whipped egg whites, and something amazing happens.
All those small little bubbles you beat into the whites expand in the heat of the oven, et voila: what would have been a thick, rich, dense pudding turns into a light, ethereal, melt-in-your-mouth soufflé.