Makes six 1-cup soufflés
1 teaspoon butter, softened
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into small chunks
1/3 cup light cream
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon water
8 egg whites
Brush the inside of the soufflé dishes with soft butter. Lightly sprinkle with sugar and rotate dishes so the sugar evenly coats the surface. Refrigerate until needed.
In a medium bowl, combine cocoa and chocolate. In a small pan, combine light cream with water, and bring to a boil. Pour into bowl of chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
In a small pan, combine sugar with water. Bring to a boil, and heat to the soft- ball stage, or 250 degrees on the candy thermometer. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk, whip egg whites until fluffy.
Slowly add hot sugar to the egg whites, pouring it down the side of the bowl as the whites whip. Whisk egg whites to soft peaks; do not overbeat. Add warm chocolate mixture to beaten egg whites.
Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in until thoroughly combined. Spoon or pipe into soufflé molds.
Refrigerate, uncovered, up to 24 hours ahead of serving.
To serve, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Allow soufflés to come to room temperature, 15 to 20 minutes. Place on a baking sheet, and bake until risen, 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar before serving. Serve immediately.