I have been considering getting a Staub cast-iron cocotte for a while. A couple of weeks ago, with a combination of a sale and gift cards, I got a set of a 5.5. qt cocotte and 2 0.25 qt mini-cocottes online (at the time of writing, Williams – Sonoma has the cheapest price, but the same set is sold at Bed, Bath and Beyond or Sur La Table ).
It turns out that, when i was buying it, I thought that the minis would be bigger — the size that I had in mind, for some reason, was about 0.75 qt (even though the website description was clear). So when they arrived, they looked very cute, but awfully small, and I was not sure whether they’d be useful for much besides decoration.
That seemed to be a somewhat common question online, and the suggestions were mostly along the lines of individual servings of desserts, mac-n-cheese, eggs, etc. And so I decided, for the first time in my life, to make chocolate souffle. I used 2 of my new mini-cocottes, and one Le Creuset stoneware container that I was given as a gift years ago.
This is the recipe I used (cut in half): Double chocolate souffle .
After the 15 mins mentioned in the recipe, the souffles still looked a bit under-done. As my oven’s temperature tends to be on the lower side, I decided to keep the souffles in for another 3 mins.
Here is what they looked like when they came out of the oven:
I should have pulled them out at the 15 min mark — as it was, they turned out a bit too “cake-y” in texture (not dry, just… not souffle), and that was due to being in the oven too long. The cracks in the tops should have given me a hint — the recipe’s photos have smooth tops. But they still tasted good (hey, I love my chocolate, and will happily eat double-chocolate cake!). And as for size — actually, half of one of those portions was plenty for me, as an after-dinner dessert.
And cleaning the Staubs was a breeze! Stuff pretty much wiped right off. The Le Creuset was a bit more difficult (partially due to the container’s shape).
In conclusion: the mini-Staubs seem to work very well, and are about the right size for baked indulgences.