The chocolate souffle…the dessert of decadence, light and fluffy, with a rich creamy center. I always thought the souffle was something I would never learn to cook, as I am no pastry chef. But hell, I love to cook and eventually decided I needed to learn.
Souffle making is much easier than it sounds. This simple recipe will show you how to make a beautiful light, airy, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate souffle. A perfect recipe to serve at a dinner party to impress your guests. The batter can be made up to 24 hours in advance, placed in ramekins and refrigerated, to be cooked the next day.
The key to a good souffle is to keep it airy and moist. An overcooked souffle will be dry, and an over-mixed souffle will fall flat. We don’t want either of these! It should be fluffy and always moist, if not slightly liquefied, in the middle.
NOTE: The key to this light, airy souffle is ensuring your egg whites are beaten to medium peaks. If your egg whites are not peaking, your souffle will not have the right consistency. Souffles are meant to be served immediately; they will start to fall after 5-10 minutes.
Start by pre-heating the oven to 400 degrees. Generously butter 4 ramekins and sprinkle with granulated sugar. This prevents the batter from sticking to the ramekins.
It is important your egg whites reach the right consistency for your soufflé to come out fluffy.
Once your egg whites have been properly mixed, it is time to prepare the chocolate batter. I find using a cream base for the batter results in a creamier souffle. The melted chocolate paired with the heavy whipping cream provides the creamy consistency we are looking for. The vanilla extract is used as a flavor enhancer in this recipe; it helps the chocolate taste more like chocolate. Some day, I will make my own vanilla extract, but for now the store bought will have to work.
The batter should be light and fluffy and still full of the air bubbles from the egg whites.
Fill each ramekin halfway full with the batter. Add a piece of the milk chocolate in the center of each. Top them off with the remaining batter.
If you would like some variation, try adding marshmallows, vanilla cream, caramel or raspberry sauce in place of the milk chocolate pieces. Just note that I have not tried these out, so I can’t guarantee how it will turn out. But I say go for it – be adventurous! I’d love to hear how it turned out.
Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, or until the souffle rises. Again, be careful not to over bake, or your souffle will become dry. My philosophy? Always better to under cook than overcook (this works for most things). Rotate the baking sheet halfway through to account for any uneven oven temperatures.
Dust with a little powdered sugar and serve immediately.
How did your chocolate souffle turn out? Was it easier to make than you expected? Did you add anything different to the middle and how did it turn out?