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piecrusts courtesy of your friend, gluten

Hey Gluten, what did you do to make everybody hate you so much? If you want to know, Luscious is a little touchy about all the gluten-free hype that’s gone on for while. Now truly, some individuals have serious gluten allergies, and for them, the Luscious gals are very happy about all the gluten-free foods now available. But there’s a lot of trash talk going on about poor Gluten, and Luscious finds that irksome (irksome was not the word Anne-Charlotte used.) Gluten is cool. Gluten is, like, magic. Gluten, the naturally developing wheat protein that gives us chewy breads and flaky pie crusts, is a badass.

Jennifer says "Kiss My Am"

Oh, food trends. Luscious suspects that some of these gluten-haters are the same people dissing much-maligned Dairy just so their friends will think they’re cool. Anne-Charlotte and Jennifer  know that a lovingly made apple pie coming out of the Luscious oven is about two million times better for you than hunk of soy cheese driven to your store in 18-wheeler.  And the girls will crank up the Foghat, drive their Trans Am to the parking lot of the trendiest gluten-free vegan establishment in San Francisco, and stand on the hood  loudly proclaiming it to every hipster going in.  That’ll show ‘em.

Okay, okay, okay. Luscious does actually make gluten-free desserts. The girls are a little fearful of gluten-free flour (what do you have to do to get the gluten out? Pact with the devil?) but some classic desserts are naturally flourless.  Luscious’ amazing chocolate truffles and meringue cookies are like crack, available for order anytime you need to free yourself from gluten.  And they make a absolutely killer chocolate souffle, but tragically, it will never be part of the Luscious menu: this delicate treat starts to deflate within a minute of coming out of the oven, so must be eaten immediately. So you can either come over to the House of Luscious and eat your souffle right there, or… make your own. Need a fabulous chocolate soufflé recipe? Voila! (that’s French for “keep scrolling.)

Luscious Chocolate Orange Soufflés
Makes individual souffles for 4 lucky ducks

Ingredients
3 large eggs.  (Get the freshest eggs you can, they’re pretty much the main ingredient)
4oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped. (The other main ingredient, so mess around here either.)
3 Tbsp butter
1 tbsp orange liqueur (we like Paula’s Texas Orange)
1 tsp orange zest (optional)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar

Firstly, butter 4 lovely ramekins, then dust the sides and bottom with sugar. This will give your little souffles something to grab ahold of as they bake up. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Then separate the eggs. Yeah, it’s kind of a pain, so just get it over with. If you’re OCD like Luscious, wash your hands about 20 times during this process to prevent salmonella contamination. The whites should go in a medium-sized bowl, you’ll beat these in a bit so you need some room. Going ahead and beats those lovely yolks.

Yolks and whites, separate but equal.

Put the chocolate, butter, and orange liquer in a large glass bowl. Melt in a double boiler, or microwave in 15 second increments, stirring in between microwavings, until melted and smooth. Don’t try to get crazy and go for 30 seconds just to see what happens. What will happen is, you’ll waste a bunch of good chocolate by scorching it. When it’s melted, set aside for 10 minutes to cool.

Mmmm. choco-licious.

Now, get going on the egg whites. Beat on medium speed until foamy. No, a little foamier than that– give it another minute. Then add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Next, add the sugar GRADUALLY and keep beating just until you get stiff peaks. That’s what she said. Hey, look, it’s meringue!

Look at those egg whites now!

Stir the egg yolks into the cooled chocolate. Stir in about a third of the meringue, then fold in the rest until just incorporated. Be gentle here, to preserve the structure of the meringue you just spent time on.

Butter 4 individual ramekins, then dust with sugar. Evenly distribute the chocolate mixture among the ramekins.  At this point you can cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to a day and half. (This makes an awesome make ahead dessert for a dinner party.)  When you’re ready to serve, pop ‘em in the oven, bake for 20 minutes until puffed and set. For the love of God, don’t open the oven until you’re pretty sure they’re done.  Dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with orange sauce (see below). Eat, eat!

Puffy and creamy and chocolately, couldn't you just die?

Orange Sauce
2 tablespoons orange liquer
zest and juice of one orange
3 tablespoons orange marmalade
dash of ginger (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan, cook on medium heat until bubbly and somewhat reduced, about 10 minutes.

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