Looking for the sweetest gift for Valentine’s Day? Look no further than classic chocolate soufflé, scaled down to make just two servings. The key to a good soufflé is to trust your oven and the bake time – don’t be tempted to open the oven as it bakes, as this can let too much heat out and cause the delicate structure to collapse. While the soufflés bake, make the simple raspberry sauce – then serve the two together immediately from the oven, and be ready for your date to be impressed.
For the chocolate soufflés: Set an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Brush two 6- or 8-ounce ramekins with 1 tablespoon of the butter, then coat with 2 tablespoons of the sugar.
Bring a small pot or saucepan filled with 1 to 2 inches of water to a simmer over medium-low heat. In a small heatproof bowl, combine the dark chocolate and remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Place the bowl on top of the pot and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is melted. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Separate the eggs and put the whites into a medium bowl. Add the egg yolks and vanilla to the chocolate mixture and whisk well to incorporate.
Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar, cream of tartar and salt to the medium bowl with the egg whites and whip to medium-stiff peaks with an electric hand mixer.
Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture, mixing until incorporated, but trying not to overmix, which can deflate the egg whites.
Gently divide the mixture between the prepared ramekins. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake until the soufflés rise about 1 inch over the top edge of the ramekin, about 30 minutes. Try not to open the oven door – use your oven light to check their progress.
While the soufflés bake, make the raspberry coulis.
For the raspberry coulis: In a small saucepan, stir together the raspberries and sugar and cook over medium heat until the berries completely break down, 5 to 7 minutes. Strain the coulis to remove the seeds and reserve.
Serve the soufflés immediately with the raspberry coulis.