Dessert: serves 6-8. Total time: 1 hour
This is a simple, almost foolproof, soufflé. A treat is to add eight crushed cardamom seeds to the basic roux.

115g/4oz sugar (plus 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon flour
4 tablespoons whipping cream
4 eggs, separated
170g/6oz dark chocolate, melted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
Pinch salt (optional)
Pinch cream tartar
2 teaspoons icing sugar, to dust

Butter a 1.5 litre (2 1/2 pint) ceramic soufflé dish and "run out'' with the extra two tablespoons of sugar. Preheat oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.

Sift the sugar and flour into a medium heavy saucepan (off the heat). Add the whipping cream, a spoonful at a time, mixing well after each addition and mix well again. Try to get rid of any lumps so you get a smooth paste. Cook over low to medium heat until sugar melts. Add the egg yolks one at a time to the sugar/flour, stirring continuously until thoroughly mixed. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in the melted chocolate, vanilla and salt. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar to form soft peaks not too stiff or it won't incorporate into the mixture.

Gently and thoroughly fold in the melted and cooled chocolate into the egg whites ­ a little at a time. Spoon the soufflé mixture into the prepared dish. Put the dish on to a baking tray ­ it conducts the heat more evenly ­ and bake on the middle shelf for 30 to 35 minutes until well risen. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.

Serve with a raspberry sauce made from 225g (8oz) fresh or frozen raspberries and 115g (4oz) sugar melted together and cooked gently until it forms a thick purée. Use the sauce as it is or pass it through a sieve. Or try a coffee sauce.