Creamy, rich, and fluffy like clouds of dessert heaven, this easy chocolate souffle recipe is the epitome of French indulgence. Made with just a handful of ingredients, the chocolate souffle will quickly become one of your favorite French desserts.
Easy Chocolate Souffle Recipe
The meaning of the word soufflé in French is blown, which is no doubt a reflection of its blown up appearance.
Unfortunately, the souffle, be it this chocolate souffle or a classic grand marnier souffle, has gotten a bad rap.
As much as many of us chocoholics would love to dig into a warm chocolate souffle, it’s been made out to be some trepidatious dessert that every home cook should fear making.
Much of this stems from the rise and fall of the souffle. We all adore the spectacle of a beautifully risen souffle, yet find ourselves disappointed when it collapses after being taken out of the oven.
The reality is, however, that souffles are made to deflate. The only thing that structurally keeps a souffle nice and high are the air bubbles from the whipped egg whites.
Those air bubbles expand after being exposed to heat in the oven, giving height to the souffle. Once that heat is gone, there’s nothing powering that expansion.
As soon as cool air hits the souffle, those air bubbles deflate and, poof, your souffle collapses. I’m here to tell you that it’s okay though!
A souffle is not a cake, therefore, it’s not meant to rise and stay risen.
Instead, a chocolate souffle like this is all about appreciating its gorgeous texture and richness.
Moist and fluffy, an easy chocolate souffle recipe like this should melt in your mouth.
How to Bake a Chocolate Souffle
If you’ve made a flourless chocolate cake before, then making a chocolate souffle is very similar.
A souffle is essentially a mixture of a sweet (or savory) batter combined with whipped egg whites.
The tricks, if you want to call them that, to making a successful souffle are the following:
- Your ramekins should always be buttered well and coated with a layer of sugar all over the interior (from the bottom of the ramekin to the very rim).
- You’ll want to practice a bit of mis-en-place with a souffle, meaning, it’s important to have your items prepped and ready to go (if you follow my recipe card below, you’ll be good!).
- Use room temperature eggs. Yes, this will require some foresight to leave the eggs out on the counter in advance, but it’s important to making a good souffle.
- Do not open your oven door while the souffle is baking. After 16 minutes, the souffle should be ready with a wet and creamy texture on the inside that makes it look under-baked.
In a way, a chocolate souffle is basically chocolate mousse that’s been baked. It’s not as runny as the center of a molten chocolate cake, but it should definitely look like it hasn’t been baked long enough.
The souffles can be baked on a preheated baking sheet inside a 350°F oven on the lowest rack. While baking it on a middle rack won’t make a big difference, it’s usually advised that when you’re trying to get lift in your baked goods, you bake them on a lower rack.
When you take the chocolate souffle out of the oven, there will be a very slight wobble to the center of the souffle, but just the center.
The result of this easy chocolate souffle recipe is an incredibly light and fluffy interior with crisp edges, a wonderful contrast of textures that your palate will delight in.
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.
What You Need
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
While it is possible to prepare the souffle batter in advance, I find it best to make the meringue component right before you bake the souffles.
You’ll also want to have whatever toppings you want to serve the souffle with, be it powdered sugar, whipped cream, or crème anglaise, either ready to go or set up at your dinner table.
You should also have some kind of saucer or plate (preheated) ready for each ramekin to help maintain the souffles height for as long as you can. As soon as the souffles are ready and come out of the oven, they can go straight onto to these heated plates and served immediately to your guests.
I usually pop the plates into the microwave for a quick bit to get them warm.
When I make chocolate souffle now, I honestly don’t fret too much about the souffle collapsing. Yes, I work quickly, but do you think I’ve ever received a complaint from a guest when their souffle deflated?
No, because they were too busy delighting in each bite of chocolate-y heaven. Let me assure you, not one guest will be any less impressed once they try this recipe!
Warm, moist, and utterly rich, it’s every chocolate lover’s dream!
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Place a baking sheet inside the oven on the bottom rack to preheat with the oven. Brush softened butter along the entire interior of 4 ramekins, or spray the entire interior with baking spray. Sprinkle granulated sugar all along the inside of each ramekin.
- Place a medium, heatproof bowl over a small saucepan containing a little bit of simmering water (you're essentially creating a double boiler by doing this). The water should not come in contact with the bottom of the bowl. Place the chocolate in the medium bowl and allow it to completely melt - about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the bowl and set it on the counter to cool.
- Meanwhile, add the egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk on high speed until the whites have lost their yellow tint and are foamy. At this point, begin sprinkling in the remaining 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar into the egg whites as they continue to whisk on high speed. The whites should be whisked until they're firm, can hold their shape and not slip off the whisk when the whisk is held upside down, but still soft enough where the tip of the egg whites slightly curl (like the tip of soft serve ice cream). Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and 1/4 cup of granulated sugar together until thick and pale. You want the batter to drop from the whisk in a ribbon-like fashion. Temporarily set aside.
- To the bowl with the now cooled chocolate, add the cream and vanilla, then stir until combined. Add a third of the egg yolks to the chocolate batter, and stir to combine. Add another third of egg yolks to the chocolate, and stir again. Finally, add the remainder of the egg yolks and stir until completely blended.
- Add one-third of the whisked egg whites to the chocolate batter, and use a rubber spatula to mix the whites in. You don't have to be gentle at this point, just stir everything together to lighten up the batter. Now, add another third of the egg whites, but this time be very gentle folding the whites in. You want maintain the air that's been incorporated into the whisked egg whites. Add the remainder of egg whites and gently fold to incorporate. It's okay if there are still a few streaks of egg whites apparent in the batter. It's better to under-mix than over-mix this kind of batter.
- Use a large spoon to distribute the chocolate batter among your prepared ramekins. Fill the ramekins a little bit shy of actually reaching the rim of the ramekins. A good marker is the line or lip along the inside of the ramekins. If you fill the ramekins all the way to the rim, they'll rise higher but with greater chance of falling lopsided in the oven.
- Place the ramekins on the preheated baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake the souffles for 16 minutes. Do NOT open the oven door at all before then. To test for readiness, after 16 minutes, open the door and give the baking sheet a slightly shake to see if the souffle wobbles. If the center merely wobbles, then it's ready. If all of the souffle wobbles, then bake for another couple of minutes.
- Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately. Souffle will collapse within a minute as the only thing keeping the souffle's height is the hot air of the oven. Once it's out, it will quickly deflate. Souffle should be wet and creamy like on the inside with a crisp rim, but should not be runny like lava lake.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 267 Total Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 8g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 151mg Sodium: 80mg Carbohydrates: 33g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 31g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 6g