Watching their own soufflé puff into a light and delectable dessert is a great way for kids to gain insight into how the distinctive texture and flavor of a dish are created. For this recipe, you'll need eight 3-inch ramekins or ovenproof bowls.
Heat the oven to 375°. Help your child evenly grease each ramekin with a bit of butter and sprinkle in 1 teaspoon of sugar. Rotate the ramekin to evenly coat the inside and then pour out the excess sugar. The sugar will prevent the soufflé from sticking to the sides of the ramekin and produce a slightly crisp crust. Place the ramekins on a sheet pan and set aside the pan.
Combine the chocolate chips, heavy cream, flour, and vanilla extract in a double boiler and stir the mixture over low heat until melted and smooth. It's important to heat the chocolate slowly, or it will seize (become lumpy and hard). Keep the mixture warm over low heat until you're ready to use it.
Separate 6 eggs, placing 6 of the whites in one bowl and 5 yolks in the other (discard the sixth yolk). Add the remaining 2 whole eggs to the bowl with the yolks and whisk them all together. When they're blended, gradually whisk in several tablespoons of the melted chocolate mixture. Be sure to add the hot chocolate slowly so that it doesn't accidentally cook the eggs. Repeat until half of the chocolate has been added, then whisk in the remaining chocolate at once.
Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. This incorporates air into the egg whites, which will help the soufflé rise and expand like a balloon. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold a quarter of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture until just combined. Continue folding in the remaining egg whites until well blended.
Working quickly but carefully, divide the mixture among the ramekins, filling each to 1/2 inch from the top. Bake the soufflés on the sheet pan in the center of the oven until well puffed, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove the soufflés from the oven. Using a spoon, carefully make a small slit in the top of each soufflé and fill it with some softened vanilla ice cream. Be careful, the ramekins are very hot. Serve right away and enjoy! Serves 8.