The perfect chocolate soufflé

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Chocolate soufflé is the ultimate chocolate dessert, yet people shy away from it because of all the last-minute work and the fear it won’t rise. Even some experienced home cooks i know are afraid of soufflés and claim this dainty dish is difficult to make, susceptible to colds, drafts, applauds or maybe even poltergeists. As a kid, i was once told it would deflate if i looked at it too much. See what we’re dealing with today?

Soufflé is one of those dishes that either turns out brilliant or a complete and utter flop but the truth is, it’s not hard to make at all. I like this chocolate soufflé recipe because there’s nothing, NOTHING that stands in between you and your chocolate. No monkey business here. French meringue + (high-quality) chocolate ganache = soufflé. I don’t even add the egg yolks to the chocolate mixture. I use them in a Grand Marnier creme anglaise to serve on the side instead. The result is a soufflé that is pure chocolate bliss.

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Bon appetit!

  • The perfect chocolate soufflé

  • Serves 4
  • best-chocolate-souffle-3
    • For the chocolate soufflé:
    • 1/3 cup half-and-half
    • 3 ounces Valhrona Manjari or your favorite bittersweet chocolate, chopped
    • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Valhrona
    • 1/3 cup water
    • 8 large egg whites
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • Powdered sugar for dusting
    • Grand-Marnier Creme anglaise (replace the orange flower water with Grand-Marnier)
    • For the chocolate soufflé:
    • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Use a pastry brush (or your fingers!) to coat the inside of four 1 1/2-cup soufflé mold with softened butter. Fill the mold with granulated sugar, then pour out the excess.
    • Pour the half-and-half into a saucepan and heat over medium high heat until bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan. Remove from the heat and make a ganache by adding the chopped chocolate. Stir well until combined and all of the chocolate has melted.
    • Make a double-boiler by setting a large mixing bowl over a pot of boiling water. Place the ganache in the mixing bowl, add the cocoa powder and water, and whisk until very hot. Remove from the heat and set aside.
    • Place the egg whites in a large mixing bowl and whip on medium speed until foamy. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and make a French meringue by adding the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and whipping the whites to stiff but not dry peaks. Do not overwhip the egg whites! You can tell the egg whites are overwhipped if they start to separate and resemble scrambled eggs. Been there, done that.
    • Use a rubber spatula to gently fold about half the meringue into the warm chocolate mixture. Then fold the chocolate mixture into the remaining meringue, being careful not to deflate the batter. The soufflé mixture should be homogeneous in color, but if you still see streaks of meringue in the batter, that’s okay.
    • Use a large spoon to gently place the soufflé mixture in the buttered and sugared mold. Fill to about 1/4 inch below the rim of the mold. Run your thumb around the rim to remove the excess butter and sugar.
    • Bake until the soufflé has risen to about 1 1/2 half-inch over the rim and starts to brown on top, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and dust the top with powdered sugar. Serve immediately with a side of Grand Marnier Creme anglaise.
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  • http://blog.lemonpi.net Y

    Looks awesome! I usually make fruit based souffles, not chocolate ones – they seem more temperamental? Your photos are great! You’ve inspired me to try to take some pictures of one, one day.

  • http://eleanorhoh.blogspot.com Eleanor Hoh (WokStar)

    I so enjoy your ridiculous humor, you make me laugh out loud, more, more!

  • http://www.justgetfloury.com Ginny

    haha! I used to be one of those that was afraid… but then I realized, it isnt the hard… if it falls, it still tastes good! :)

  • http://www.mytartelette.com Tartelette

    I have those little pots and that had to be a lot of souffles batter…OH YEAH!! More chocolate!

  • http://amyblogschow.com Amy Blogs Chow

    Another batch of beautiful photos and a recipe to salivate over! One day I will sit down and make one of your incredible-looking dishes. Best wishes for a happy holiday!

  • http://ciaochowlinda.blogspot.com Ciaochowlinda

    I love the idea of filling them with the creme anglaise. brilliant- and beautiful souffles.

  • http://queenofthepantry.com Yvette

    Adorable!!! Beautiful souffle and those little pots are too cute. You just inspired me, its been a long time since I’ve made a souffle. Your work is gorgeous!

  • http://riascollection.blogspot.com/ Ria

    Ooooh!It looks sinfully delicious!

  • http://www.learnfoodphotography.com Neel | Learn Food Photography

    Those cups are so awesome, they make these photos beautiful. We have been looking for a souffle recipe for quite a while Stephan, Thank you for sharing.
    -Neel

  • magali

    “the perfect chocolate soufflé” they look delicious, so perfect and I can almost smell them mmmmm, making them soon, thanks for sharing

  • http://pieceofcakeblog.blogspot.com Shauna from Piece of Cake

    Oh sweet baby Jesus. Those look fabulous! And the Grand Marnier creme….Too. Much!

  • http://www.gourmetrabbit.com Denea

    These are amazing – well done!

    I can’t wait to try them

  • http://kitchen-em.blogspot.com Kitchen M

    I wish mine looks like this every time I make it. Chocolate and Grand Marnier sounds too good to pass!

  • http://twitter.com/mandacaru Mandacaru, R.

    Awesome!!! The soufflés are perfects and the photo, fabulous. Soufflés are one of the most difficult subjects to photograph!
    Congratulations !!!

  • http://culinarytypes.blogspot.com T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types

    Ha! “Stop staring at that beautiful souffle, or it will fall!” I can just imagine hearing a parent say that! But, something so good would be eaten rather quickly, wouldn’t it?

  • linda

    found you thru foodgawker… your souffles & photography inspirational & exquisite! i will be visiting your site often…on question please…are the souffle molds le creuset mini cocottes? thank you.

  • http://freshlocalandbest.blogspot.com Christine @ Fresh Local

    I’m still skeptical of the ease of recreating your perfect souffle, but alas your humor is consoling and the photos are inspiring, enough to make me file this recipe away for my own attempt. :)

  • http://fivestarfoodie.blogspot.com Natasha – 5 Star Foodie

    The chocolate souffles may be easy to make but they are not easy to photograph – you pretty much have to have your first picture be perfect! Yours are just gorgeous!

  • http://www.tobiascooks.com tobias cooks!

    Looks amazing. I like the touch of Grand Marnier!

  • http://dodol-mochi.blogspot.com/ Pei-Lin

    I love CHOC SOUFFLE!! Def a killer, man!! Hahaha …! Love how you shared the “trick” to “stuff” fallen souffle … “Too bad!” I’d eat it up right away! LOL!!

  • http://www.newkitchontheblog.com Christina

    omg, heaven in a pot! those look adorable.

  • http://www.dyingforchocolate.com Janet Rudolph

    this is my favorite recipe this week, and I’ll be adding a link to my Chocolate Sampler on DyingforChocolate.com this week. Thanks for such great instructions & photos.

  • http://www.kalofagas.ca Peter

    Stephaaaane, I want to join the master-race that makes only perfect souffles!

    Thanks for your tips and I’ll employ them and take full credit! lol

  • http://baconandrhubarb.blogspot.com Rachel (S[d]OC)

    I’m not afraid of making souffle, I just don’t like having to get dessert together at the last minute. Maybe one day I will get over that. I’m not too bad with the egg whites though.

    Whoa! Did I jsut experience a rare moment of kitchen confidence?

    You have a good point about stuffing the fallen souffle. When you get one in a restaurant the server usually crushes it and pours the sauce in anyway.

  • http://www.noobcook.com noobcook

    Found your site thru’ Rita. Yes, they look perfect indeed. You take great photos and you’re a great chef! =)

  • http://www.sugarbar.org diva@The Sugar Bar

    beautifully risen and you give such great advise and encouragement i feel like i shd get started and attempt my first ever soufflé! :)

  • http://www.shesimmers.com Leela@SheSimmers

    I laughed out loud three times in the course of reading this post. Quite a feat if you know how infrequently I laugh out loud.

    All that is to say you’re a great writer. One hell of a baker too. I mean, look at these beauties …

  • siir

    Hi, May i learn what the “half and half” is?Thx.

  • http://mllenoelle.wordpress,com noëlle {simmer down!}

    Where oh where did you get those lovely little dishes with the handles??? J’en veux!!

  • http://chicopea.blogspot.com/ chicopea

    lol u always crack me up. hmmm *slurp! this makes me remarkably sad about the nestle tollhouse chocolate chip morsels i was just munching on. what a waste of calories!

  • http://www.alittlebitofchristo.blogspot.com doggybloggy

    you cant beat your lover but you sure can beat some eggs –har har har — HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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  • http://www.pigpigscorner.com pigpigscorner

    I like that stuffing idea, I have try making this again!

  • http://www.thechefinmyhead.blogspot.com The Chef In My Head

    I think the trick is, if it starts to fall, eat it really quick before it hits the bottom. No one will ever know ;) -LeslieMichele

  • Baiji

    tried the recipe to a great success. used similar le creuset dishes for a great visual effect. thanks

  • http://www.clumbsycookie.blogspot.com clumbsycookie

    Merry souffled Christmas my little French chef! I think those souffle pans are so cute! I want them, and I want them filled with souffles pleaseeeeeeeee!

  • http://tokyoterrace.com Tokyo Terrace

    As I said on twitter the other day, I am definitely going to try making this in my teeny tiny excuse for an oven. I even bought ramekins just for this! Yep. I can’t wait!

  • http://constableslarder.com Giff

    happy holidays Stephane!

  • http://mrsergulcooksmrsergulbakes.blogspot.com/ Mrs Ergül

    Wow! Awesome souffles!!

  • http://thepastrychefathome.blogspot.com/ Erika from The Pastry Chef At Home

    This post was really funny! People are scared of souffle because tv chefs scare them with all their warnings and whatnot. Yes, fill the fallen souffle with stuff! (Creme anglaise is always great!)

    Wishing you a fantastic 2010!

  • http://www.thescarlethotel.com/ TaXiS

    Looks really good, have to try soon…..

  • Summer

    LOOKs GOOODDD!!!!

  • http://sophisticatedgourmet.com kamran siddiqi

    Great post! I love the photos, btw! Very warm and cozy…

    I love the winter months especially because people post a lot of chocolate recipe. YUmm!!

    Chocolate soufflé is one of my favs!

    Great post!

  • http://sophisticatedgourmet.com kamran siddiqi

    Oh, and Happy New Year! :)

  • http://ouichef.typepad.com Oui, Chef

    I’ve been looking for a sweet souffle to make with my “wee” chefs…I think this will be the one, THANKS! Happy New Year, Zen!

  • Paul

    Just had a go using this recipe and they turned out fantastic..nice and light and very chocolatti. Happy Valentines Day to all.

  • boo

    wow!…..this souffle set well , did
    not fall,and had good chocolate
    flavor! so good! yum!

  • john

    i like chocolate souffle

  • Cris

    The best chocolate soufle I have ever made! I raised beautifully! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Nicole

    Made this for a dinner party and it was fantastic. In fact it was better than the entree. Added about a half a cup more sugar because my chocolate was very bitter. Thanks for the great recipe!