Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Chocolate Soufflé ~ a sinfully delicious dessert!

Chocolate Soufflé is a very dear dish that I used to make previous to marriage. My brother, Sree used to love this so much. And since I used to make it with gelatin, I never tasted it. But I knew it must've been rich and so delicious. There were many a happy days spent making this for him. Well, not just him, but Amma used to like it a lot too. I used to buy all those raw things needed and have made these in late nights or early mornings. I really don't remember how many times, I must've made these.

But after marriage, I found hubby dear wasn't very keen on this. And marriage brought in so many things, that we don't have enough time to indulge in those good old memories. These took the backseat and I haven't made these in a long time. Of course, now hubby dear likes whatever I make. And also seeing that Konda loves chocolate of any type, I thought I should try it once again and relive those wonderful times spent in parents home. With this came the want of tasting it. And I remembered China Grass or Agar Agar.

Agar or agar agar is a gelatinous substance chiefly used as a culture medium for microbial work. It is an unbranched polysaccharide obtained from the cell membrane of some species of red algae or seaweed. It can be used as a laxative, a vegetarian gelatin substitute, a thickener for soups, injellies, ice-cream and Japanese desserts such as anmitsu, as a clarifying agent in brewing, and for paper sizing fabrics. The word agar comes from the Malay word agar-agar (meaning jelly). It is also known as kanten, agal-agal (Ceylon agar), or China grass. Chemically, agar is a polymer made up of subunits of the sugar galactose. Agar polysaccharides serve as the primary structural support for the algae's cell walls.

Agar-Agar is the sea's natural gelatin. White and semi-translucent, it is sold in packages as washed and dried strips or in powdered form. It can be used to make jellies, puddings and custards. For making jelly, it is boiled in water until the solids dissolve. One then adds sweetener, flavouring, colouring, fruit or vegetables, and pours the liquid into molds to be served as desserts and vegetable aspics, or incorporated with other desserts, such as a jelly layer on a cake.Agar-agar is approximately 80% fiber, so it can serve as a great intestinal regulator. Its bulk quality is behind one of the latest fad diets in Asia, the a Kanten diet. Once ingested, kanten triples in size and absorbs water. This results in the consumer feeling more full. Recently this diet has received some press coverage in the United States as well. The diet has shown promise in obesity studies.

In Indian cuisine, agar agar is known as "China Grass" and is used for making desserts.
Source- Wikipedia

So having these in mind, got all the things needed and finally out with the delicious Chocolate Soufflé

Ingredients Needed

Condensed Milk - 400 gms
Coco powder - 3 tsp
Milk - 2 cups
Fresh Cream - 1 cup
China Grass - 4 tsp (Gelatin - 2 tsp)
Chocolate chips or just chocolates - 50 gms
Mixed nuts - 50 gms ( I used walnuts, almonds, cashewnuts, raisins)

Method to prepare

Dissolve china grass in 1/2 cup water over a pan of hot water.

Add cocoa to 1 cup milk. Heat over a pan of hot water and make a smooth paste.

Add dissolved china grass, cocoa paste, rest of milk, chopped nuts and chocolate pieces to condensed milk. Mix well.

Whisk cream till stiff. Fold into the mixture. Pour the mixture into a soufflé dish and chill.

Serve decorated with stiffly beaten cream and chocolate curls.

Dissolve gelatin in 1/2 cup water over a pan of hot water.

For the first time in my life, I tasted this delicious dessert that I have been making over 10 years and it was worth all the wait. All because of china grass. Wish I have known about this long ago, I wouldn't have missed it for anything.

Sending this to Susan from The Well-Seasoned Cook. who is hosting this week's Weekend Herb Blogging, an event started by Kalyn.

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kamala said...

I like anything with chocolate.The Dessert looks so coool delicious

ANJALI J. said...

looks great.. very refreshing.. yum! i can imagine the taste..uhmmmm..

Happy cook said...

I love chocolate and with all these delicious ingridients, i am sure i will love them.
Love the picture too.
It is funny how our hubbies tend to love all our cooking now, than the time we were just married :-)

Vanamala said...

Looks tasty yummy smoothie. Nice Dessert sri

Dhivya said...

wow!great entry!!!love those pictures

Kalai said...

Awesome dessert, Valli! :)

Rachel said...

that looks sinfully delcious!

Divya Vikram said...

Lov chocolate..SO i should love these..Thanks for sharing..

Lavi said...

lovely drink..beautifull pictures..

Medhaa said...

we used to always make china grass but without the chocolate. Love this recipe.

Just curious, how come you cannot eat gelatin.

Mandira said...

looks light and delicious... thanks for the info on agar agar :)

Uma said...

that really is a must-try dessert. looks fantabulous. great entry.

Nalini said...


Your recipe look delicous, but I think it is more like a pudding. As far as I know a soufflé is a light, fluffy, baked dish made with egg yolks and beaten egg whites combined with various other ingredients and served as a savory main dish or sweetened as a dessert.

Mansi Desai said...

that sure looks sinful Srivalli!:) btw, I'm gonna post a dosa for you tonight before you kill me!:)

Namratha said...

Nice idea to use Agar Agar instead of Gelatin, I recently came to know about Gelatin, and have been hesitant to use it since then. Agar Agar is a good bet, the souffle looks very inviting!

DK said...

I have been meaning to make souffles for a long while now. Your post reminded me of the same..

This pudding/dessert luks simply awesome. I have china grass - of course ..so will make it pronto. Bookmarked :)

Arundathi said...

Valli - that looks decadent. Is China Grass available in most supermarkets?

Veda Murthy said...

oh wow....looks delish!!!!!!!!

Swapna said...

your Chocolate Souffe looks delicious Srivalli.....you can see another version in my place....

Srivalli said...

kamala, thank you...me too..thats why it was so nice finally tasting this

Anjali, yes it was yummy!

Happy cook, thank you!...yes its so very funny right..even I always think about it and laugh..

Swapna, Veda, Mansi, Mandira, Rachel, Kalai, Dhivya, Vanamala, Divya, Lavi, Uma, Thank you all for your lovely comments!

Medhaa, thats nice to know!...I am a vegetrain though not a vagen..thats why

Nalini, yeah technically right...maybe because this uses the vegetrain part of it..its called so

Namratha, yeah its good when you dont'use gelatin!

DK, thanks..do make yours

Arundathi, thank you..I got it from nilagris..so it should be easy for you to get

Susan said...

I still have two packages of agar agar in my closet (one of the strands, and the other flakes). I always worry that I will use too much, and my recipe will come out like a bouncing rubber ball! Now I see that there is a vegetarian chocolate soufflé in my future!

Thanks for joining WHB, Srivalli!

Kalyn said...

Looks very tasty. This is the first time I've heard of agar agar being called China Grass.

Srivalli said...

Susan, glad you can make a good use of that...do make sure you take the correct measurement...it at times come out wobbly as you said!

Kalyn, yep its called so as it was first grown over there...thanks

Ranjani said...

This looks really good! Got me craving some chocolate now:)

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