Souffles are one of those dishes that I avoid sharing here on the blog. It’s not because they’re particularly difficult or anything, but they can truly test your speediness when it comes to photography. You have approximately 30 seconds from the moment the souffle comes out of the oven to photograph it before it deflates.
Chocolate Souffle or Souffle au Chocolat
After a recent cooking class, however, I was reminded of just how much I love chocolate souffles and what a shame it would be to not share a recipe for them with you.
A chocolate souffle is basically chocolate mousse that’s been baked. The texture is unlike anything other, so describing it as a cross between a mousse and cake is the most succinct I can be.
The souffle is incredibly light and fluffy. I mean, this chocolate souffle is seriously the definition of fluffy. It’s somewhat “wet” in texture; it’s not quite as dry as even the moistest cake crumb. Yet, it’s not quite as silky as a mousse.
I can also tell you that if you’re an impatient broad like myself, you will be tempted to just eat the chocolate souffle batter without even baking it. It’s honestly that yummy.
Making Chocolate Souffle
So what does a chocolate souffle actually require?
Well, let’s start with the basics. Melted chocolate, egg yolks, sugar, and some cream will produce your basic souffle batter.
The magic to getting those puffed up souffle tops is all thanks to the whipped egg whites that get folded into the batter.
The whites are whisked until they form softly curled peaks before they’re gently folded into the chocolate batter.
Serving Chocolate Souffle
My advice for serving chocolate souffle is to only bake the souffles when you’re about 15 minutes shy of eating dessert. Have whatever toppings you want to serve the souffle with, be it powdered sugar, whipped cream, or ice cream, either ready to go or set up at your dinner table.
You should also have some kind of saucer or plate ready for each ramekin so that your guests don’t burn themselves trying to grab hold of the ramekins. Then, when the souffles are perfect, quickly serve them on these saucers so that you have your 30 seconds to impress your guests with your beautifully risen chocolate souffle.
And if you happen to be a little too slow, I don’t think your guests will be any less impressed once they take a bite out of one of these!
A light and airy, French chocolate dessert made famous by its trademark "risen" top.
- 6 oz. semisweet chocolate baking squares/bar (170 grams)
- 6 eggs yolks and whites separated
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar (133 grams) divided, plus more for ramekins
- 2 tbsp heavy cream or half n half (30 grams)
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar (.84 grams)
- 1 tbsp softened butter (14 grams) for greasing ramekins
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Brush softened butter on the insides of the ramekins. Sprinkle granulated sugar all along the inside of each ramekin.
Place a medium, heatproof bowl over a small saucepan with simmering water (you're essentially creating a double boiler by doing this). Place the chocolate in the medium bowl and allow it to completely melt. Remove the bowl and set it on the counter to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and half of the granulated sugar (1/3 cup) together until thick and pale. You can use an electric beater, if you like. You want the batter to drop from the whisk in a ribbon-like fashion.
To the bowl with the now slightly cooled chocolate, add the cream/half n half and whisk until combined. (see note) The chocolate will look as though it's seized up a bit - this is OK.
Now, very slowly stream in the egg yolk mixture into the chocolate, whisking the two together vigorously as you do. Temporarily set this aside.
To the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites with the cream of tartar on high speed until foamy. Sprinkle in the remaining sugar and continue to whisk on high speed until softly curled peaks form. When you hold the whisk upside down, the whites should stay on the whisk, but the tips should softly curl. It should look a bit like shaving cream.
Add 1/3 of the whipped egg whites to your chocolate batter. Whisk the whites in to lighten up the batter. Now, add another third of egg whites, but this time, gently fold them into the chocolate batter using a rubber spatula. Add the remaining egg whites and, again, gently fold them in to incorporate.
Use a cookie scooper or ice cream scooper to gently distribute the chocolate batter into the prepared ramekins. The batter should reach up a little past the inner ridge on the inside of the ramekins, near the top. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake the chocolate souffles on the middle rack for approximately 16 to 17 minutes, until they're puffed up and only slightly wobbly in the center. If they're not set, quickly close the oven and bake for another couple minutes.
To serve, quickly remove the souffles from the oven and place on saucers/serving plates in front of your guests. Be quick, as the souffles will deflate very rapidly!
If you have a stabilizer (a rubber ring you can place bowls on), use that to help you whisk the chocolate while you stream in the cream. A stabilizer will make it easier to keep the bowl in place since both hands will be preoccupied and unable to hold onto the actual bowl.
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