A treat from top to bottom

Torte soufflé from Shiro in South Pasadena is garnished with chocolate whipped cream. (Ken Hively / LAT)

Dear SOS: I went to Shiro restaurant in South Pasadena, and the chocolate torte soufflé was out of this world. Is there any chance chef-owner Hideo Yamashiro would share the recipe?

AGNES HUNG

Pacific Palisades

Dear Agnes: The recipe you requested has all the intensity of a flourless chocolate cake but with that light, airy texture you expect of a soufflé. The restaurant serves it with a chocolate whipped cream. (Sprinkle in cocoa and sugar to taste while you're whipping the cream.)

Chocolate torte souffle

Total time: About 45 minutes plus baking time

Servings: 8 to 10

Note: Adapted from Hideo Yamashiro at Shiro restaurant in South Pasadena.

5 eggs, separated

Scant 2/3 cup sugar, divided

2.5 ounces milk chocolate

4 ounces dark chocolate

7 tablespoons butter, plus more for buttering the pan

Flour for dusting the cake pan

1. Beat the egg whites using a hand-held or stand mixer for 10 minutes on the lowest speed with 1 teaspoon sugar. Increase the speed to medium, and when the whites have reached soft peaks, slowly pour in the remaining sugar. Continue to beat to stiff peaks, but be careful not to overbeat.

2. Melt the chocolate with the butter in a double boiler over medium heat until combined, about 10 to 12 minutes.

3. Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl and fold them gently into the egg white mixture. Gently fold in the chocolate.

4. Line the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with buttered parchment paper. Place the mixture in the pan. Bake the cake in a 350-degree oven for 25 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out mostly clean — there will be just a few sticky crumbs clinging to the toothpick.

5. Cool on a rack to just warm before unmolding. Serve slightly warm.


Each serving: 253 calories; 5 grams protein; 23 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 17 grams fat; 9 grams saturated fat; 128 mg. cholesterol; 42 mg. sodium.