You size her up at first glance. How could you not? She’s voluptuous in all the right places. You subtly walk around, studying her from all angles. Could anyone be this perfect? Her bittersweet freckles are so innocent yet alluring.
You approach slowly, harnessing your own inner desire to pounce. You suspect she’s delicate and your appetite for such sweetness is immense.
Your heart is beating through your chest. Her sweet scent is intoxicating, maddening. You slowly lick your lips with controlled anticipation.
Reaching out, your fingers gently graze her. She nods with approval. Slowly and delicately you peel away the barrier that stands between you and sheer bliss. Your precise, experienced hands waste no time.
You bring her to your lips. Your eyes close momentarily as they roll back into your head. Her sweet, almost angelic kiss is curiously assertive. It lingers, enticing you even more. She’s coming on strong now. She is full of sweet surprises. You slightly shake your head back and forth in complete disbelief.
You walk away. Her sweet song still playing in your mind.
Days go by and you can’t forget her. It’s almost like being in love.
CHOCOLATE SOUFFLE CUPCAKES WITH ORANGE CREAM
Chocolate souffle cupcakes:
6 ounces (170 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) (86 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) espresso powder
3 large eggs, separated
6 tablespoons (97 grams) sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
White chocolate orange cream:
2 ounces (56 grams) white chocolate, finely chopped
3 ounces heavy whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon orange extract
Prepare the white chocolate orange cream: 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 orange extract and whisk again. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the cream. Chill until very cold, about two hours.
Prepare the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 9 standard-size (3-ounce) muffin cups with paper liners. Stir chocolate, butter and espresso powder together in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until mostly melted, then remove from the heat and whisk until it is fully melted and smooth. (It is advised to put the butter underneath the chocolate in the pan, so it protects the chocolate from direct heat.) Cool to lukewarm, stirring occasionally.
Using electric mixer (a hand mixer, rather than a stand mixer, actually works best because the volumes are so small) 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. (You will have a little batter left over, don’t try to add it to the other cupcakes. Eating it would be a good idea!)
Bake cakes until tops are puffed and dry to the touch (some may crack) and a cake tester inserted into the center 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 begin to fall and create a perfect indentation for the orange cream.
Beat the white chocolate cream with a hand-held mixer until soft peaks form. Remove cupcakes from pan, arrange on a platter. Fill each sunken top with a healthy dollop of white chocolate orange cream. Top with shaved dark chocolate. Serve immediately
Makes 9. Don’t try to squeeze the batter into 6 cups or stretch it to make an even dozen. And don’t try to make this without using cupcake liners. It will be a disaster. Last thing, do not use chocolate chips; they have additives/stabilizers that may interfere with the outcome.
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen who adapted it from a Bon Appetit recipe (cupcakes) and a Claudia Fleming recipe (whipped cream).