Carefully butter the insides and rims of four 200ml or six 150ml soufflé dishes, then coat evenly with 1 tablespoon caster sugar.
Pour the milk into a small saucepan and put over moderate heat. Break the chocolate into small pieces and stir it into the milk. As soon as the milk reaches scalding point, remove from the heat, cover and leave to stand for 2–3 minutes, until the chocolate has melted.
Meanwhile, separate the eggs, put the whites into a large, clean bowl and put aside. Put 3 egg yolks into a small bowl – the other two are not needed and can be kept for another purpose.
Add 2 tablespoons caster sugar to the cornflour in a large pan, and over low heat gradually whisk in the chocolate milk to form a smooth paste. Then increase the heat, beating continuously, until the sauce boils and becomes stiff.
Remove from the heat and beat in the cream, rum and egg yolks. Scrape the mixture from the sides of the pan with a spatula and cover with the lid to prevent a skin forming, then put aside.
Before you begin your meal, preheat the oven to 230°C. Put a baking tray with a raised edge into the oven to heat.
When the main course is over, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks (an electric beater is quickest). Add the remaining caster sugar and whisk again until the whites are stiff and shiny.
Fold a large spoonful of the egg white into the chocolate sauce, then gently fold in all the remaining egg white. Spoon the mixture into the soufflé dishes and put on the baking tray in the oven.
Bake for 8–10 minutes, or until well-risen and lightly set, with soft centres. Remove from the oven, sift over the icing sugar, and serve immediately.
For a non-alcoholic soufflé, omit the rum and beat some finely grated orange zest into the sauce.
NUTRIENTS PER SERVING, WHEN SERVING 4:
good source of vitamins A, B group and E.
For successful soufflés, the oven must be very hot and the egg whites must always be beaten in a clean, dry bowl with a clean, dry whisk or electric beaters.