- 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted, plus more for dusting
- 4 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Vanilla ice cream, for serving
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, coarsely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 425°. Butter eight 1-cup ramekins and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Butter the paper and dust the bottoms and sides of the ramekins with confectioners' sugar.
- In a glass bowl, melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave oven, checking every 10 seconds. Stir until smooth.
- In a large stainless steel bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt at high speed until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 cup of the confectioners' sugar and beat the egg whites until they are firm and glossy peaks form.
- In another large stainless steel bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup of the confectioners' sugar until the mixture is thoroughly blended. Whisk the melted chocolate and butter mixture into the egg yolks, then gradually whisk in the all-purpose flour. Using a large, clean rubber spatula, fold in one-third of the beaten egg whites to lighten the mixture, then fold in the remaining beaten whites until almost no white streaks remain.
- Spoon enough soufflé cake batter into each of the prepared ramekins to reach three-fourths of the way up the side. Bake the cakes for about 15 minutes, or until they are puffed and just set in the middle. Leave the oven on.
- Let the soufflé cakes cool in the ramekins for about 5 minutes, or until the edges of the cakes start to pull away from the sides of the ramekins. Invert the cakes onto a large baking sheet, then peel off the parchment paper and set the cakes upright on the baking sheet. Reheat the cakes in the oven for 2 minutes.
- Transfer the soufflé cakes to plates and serve them with vanilla ice cream that has been sprinkled with the chopped thyme.
The soufflé cakes can be prepared through Step 5 and stored in their ramekins at room temperature for up to 3 hours. Remove the baked soufflé cakes from their ramekins, peel off the parchment paper and reheat them on a large baking sheet in a 425° oven for 2 minutes.