Melt the butter, and using a small pastry brush, brush the inside of 6 soufflé moulds or ramekins, 4cm deep by 8cm across. Sprinkle the finely grated chocolate over the butter to coat the insides, tapping out any excess. Place in the refrigerator to set.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4.
Put the pastry cream in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder. Add the egg yolks and whisk them into the mixture until smooth.
Put the egg whites into a mixing bowl and whisk them until they start to firm and turn white in colour. Sprinkle in the caster sugar, a little at a time, until a smooth meringue is achieved. Do not over whisk the eggs whites or they will become granular and the soufflé will not rise properly.
Very gently fold the egg white into the chocolate mixture.
Roll the mint leaves into a ball and chopped very finely and add to the soufflé mixture.
Remove the soufflé moulds from the refrigerator and fill them to the top, leaving the edges clean or the soufflés with catch as they are rising and cook unevenly – use your index finger and thumb to wipe around the edge of the moulds. Put the soufflés on a baking sheet and cook them in a hot oven for 7 minutes. They should double their size and feel firm to the touch.
Remove from the oven and dust with icing sugar. Serve immediately.
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