This light and decadent European dessert claims to be intimidating, but with a few tricks, you’ll be able to turn this into a no-fail recipe that you can prepare in advance and impress all your guests.
What's a soufflé?
What’s a souffle and why do people say it’s tricky to make?
A souffle is a fancy European dessert comprised of a velvety chocolate base folded in with a light meringue to create the perfect rich flavor with an airy texture. You’ll read about the tricks of souffles, or all the ways they can fail, which can seem intimidating. And while there are a few factors that can cause a souffle to become “imperfect”, as long as you know what those factors are, it’s actually not a big deal to make! Plus, even the souffles that don’t go as planned still end up tasting AMAZING. Trust me, I’ve messed up quite a few souffles to get to this recipe, and I definitely enjoyed the bites I had from every single batch.
How to achieve the perfect soufflé:
On my Instagram’s IGTV there is a highlight version of me making the souffle live. If you’re planning on making this souffle, it’s worth the 10 minute watch! Here are a few take aways:
1. Use a high quality chocolate for best melting and flavor.
2. FOLD your meringue and chocolate base together. Mixing will deflate the meringue and you will lose the fluffy nature of the souffle.
3. Don’t open the oven door until time is up.
Tips for serving:
Individual small souffles or a single large one?
I love the ratio of a crispier edge right next to the mousse-like interior. A large souffle to spoon out individual servings is also delicious and it eliminates the stress of what the souffle will look like out of the oven.
Prepare in advance and serve immediately
Souffles can be prepared up to 3 hours in advance and should be served immediately. I like to prep the souffle before dinner, store in the fridge, then place in the oven 20 minutes before we’re ready for dessert. Serve right out of the oven. The souffle will begin to fall shortly after removing from the oven, which is normal. Another good reason to add a topping!
Serve with a saucer or small plate
If you are serving in individual ramekins, they’ll of course be hot coming from the oven. Place the ramekin on a small plate to prevent your guests from burning themselves.
Everyone loves toppings
Souffles pair well with sifted powdered sugar, homemade whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream. Just have your topping ready beforehand so it’s ready to go when the souffle is out of the oven.
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 4 oz dark chocolate*
- 1 TB cocoa powder
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 egg whites
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar, + 4 TB for ramekins
- 1 TB butter, for ramekins
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Grease ramekins by taking 1 TB melted butter and brushing the whole interior and tops (you can also use a paper towel if you don't have a pastry brush). Then dust over the butter with sugar, about 1 TB of sugar per ramekin.
- Chocolate Base: Melt the chocolate, and set aside.
- Heat heavy cream on medium-low over the stove, then add cocoa and whisk together well. Set aside.
- Separate egg yolks and whites. You will have one extra yolk - you can save in the fridge to use later or toss. Add about half of the sugar to the yolks and whisk together to thicken. Then add vanilla and salt, and mix again.
- Add a drizzle of the hot cream to the egg yolks to temper, or "shock" the eggs. Then add the yolks to the remaining cream and cocoa in the saucepan. Whisk well the entire time to prevent eggs from scrambling.
- Stir in the melted chocolate to the yolk mixture over low heat until thickened. Set aside to cool.
- Meringue: While the chocolate cools, make the meringue. Start by using a mixer to beat 3 egg yolks on low until frothy. Then add cream of tartar. Turn speed up to medium and gently add in remaining sugar. Turn up speed to high and beat for about 5 minutes, until stiff peaks form.
- Take about 1/4 of the meringue and add it to the cooled chocolate base. This will help lighten up the base to make it easier to fold into the rest of the meringue without deflating it.
- Assembly: Once that portion is mixed together well, add remaining meringue and FOLD (not mix) together.
- Put the mixture in the 4 small ramekins. Fill till it's almost to the top.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes. Don't open the oven door until time is up. Doing so will cause your souffle to fall.
- Serve immediately with powdered sugar, ice cream, or freshly whipped cream.