Traditional Christmas Recipes: Almond-Cherry Soufflés

Christmas time is an opportunity to try all those mouthwatering recipes for traditional dishes and cookies from Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

Almond-Cherry Soufflés with Warm German Chocolate Sauce
By themselves, these rich, flavorful soufflés are virtually fat-free. The German chocolate sauce is rich but not too sweet, as most German-produced chocolate has a higher percentage of cocoa and less sugar than most American chocolate.
culinary_online_almond souffle
Butter and sugar for preparing ramekins
1 1/2 cups German pitted preserved Morello cherries (Sauerkirschen)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon German almond extract
5 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 recipe warm chocolate sauce (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and sugar 6 8-ounce ramekins, place on a baking sheet, and set aside.
Combine cherries, lemon juice and almond extract in a blender and puree until very smooth and almost fluffy. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.
In a large, clean, metal bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until very soft peaks form. Continue to beat while slowly adding sugar in a steady stream. Beat until peaks are stiff but not dry. Use a rubber spatula to beat one-third of egg whites into cherry puree. Gently fold puree into remaining egg whites. Divide this mixture among ramekins and smooth the tops. Bake just until well-risen and beginning to brown, 12 to 14 minutes.

To serve, immediately bring soufflés to the table. Pass around warm chocolate sauce, so that each person may split his soufflé in the middle and spoon in sauce if desired.

Warm Chocolate Sauce:
Heat 2 or 3 inches of water in a small saucepan to a low simmer. Combine 5 ounces coarsely chopped German milk chocolate with 3 tablespoons butter and 1/4 cup heavy cream in a heatproof bowl that fits over saucepan — bowl should not touch water. Stir until chocolate melts. Remove from heat and stir well until smooth; serve immediately. (Sauce may be reheated by setting it over simmering water as in preparation.)

Enjoy and Guten Appetit!