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Chocolate Souffle Simplified

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Souffles are notoriously scary — so  I’m here to take that fear away and simplify the Chocolate Souffle recipe so you have the confidence to make them anytime.


Hi Bold Bakers!

I asked on social media what was people’s experience with making Souffles…  and the words that were used the most were “intimidating,” “scared,” “fearful,” and “EXPLODED!!” Amanda Darboone-Gillick, I’m not sure how you exploded your souffle, but hopefully it won’t happen going forward! I have come up with a few easy steps to make sure your souffle will come out of the oven perfectly every time!

Why Didn’t My Chocolate Souffle Rise?

This can be attributed to a lot of different reasons! Your ramekins weren’t buttered enough, the door was opened during baking (don’t lie to me, I know all!!), or you didn’t bake it enough.

I recommend watching the video and reading through the whole post for more details on how you can avoid this.

Why Did My Chocolate Souffle Collapse?

So, it’s the nature of Souffles to deflate a little once they come from the oven. However, collapsing souffle points to signs of possibly not being cooked for long enough. Also, make sure you have that cream of tartar in there to stabilize the egg whites and make them stronger.

How Do You Know When a Souffle is Done?

TIMING!

Here’s the hard part: Take the souffle out of the oven too soon and it will collapse within moments and be too moist inside. Take it out too late and it will collapse in the oven.

First, let it bake undisturbed for at least 80 percent of it’s cooking time. Then, for the remainder of the cooking time, watch for the crown of the souffle to become nicely risen and browned. It should NOT wobble too much once ready. Say a prayer and remove it carefully.

Can Souffle Batter be Made Ahead of Time?

Yes, but at max, I would say an hour. The longer it sits in the fridge the more the egg whites will deflate. I like to make them no more than 60 minutes in advance and then bake and serve.

You can, however, make the ‘chocolate base’ 3 days in advance and then all you have to do is whip your eggs and fold in your base. Making the whole process easier and much faster.

How Long Does Chocolate Souffle Last?

It doesn’t! It will start to deflate a little within minutes of coming out of the oven. I know you are thinking, “then what is the point?” — but made and baked correctly and it will hold it’s shape longer. Souffle is meant to taken from the oven straight to the table to serve its very best.

TIPS AND TRICKS TO MAKING SOUFFLES……..

  1. When preparing your ramekins, be generous when coating them with butter and sugar. This will help the batter glide up easily while rising in the oven.
  2. Make the ‘souffle base’ up to 3 days in advance
  3. It’s very important to use room temperature eggs when making souffle. They whip better and will incorporate easily
  4. Use a thin metal spoon to fold in the egg whites. A spatula is too thick and will knock out the air in your whites 
  5. No peeking in the open oven while souffle is baking! If you let the heat escape, it might deflate the souffle before it’s ready
  6. If you use a 6oz ramekin it will take roughly 16-18 minutes to bake your souffle
  7. Don’t forget the Cream of Tartar, it’s important as it will help your souffle hold its shape for longer

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Chocolate Souffle Recipe Simplified
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
18 mins
 

Souffles are notoriously scary — so  I'm here to take that fear away and simplify the Chocolate Souffle recipe so you have the confidence to make them anytime.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Servings: 4 Souffles
Author: Gemma Stafford
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (2oz/57g) sugar , divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (4floz/115ml) whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter , plus more for coating ramekins
  • 1 cup (6oz/170g) bittersweet chocolate , roughly chopped
  • 4 egg yolks , room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 egg whites , room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar*
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Make sure the racks are not to close together so the souffle can rise up while baking.

  2. Generously butter the inside of 4 ramekins and coat bottom and sides with sugar. Tap out excess sugar. This step is super important as this means the souffle will glide up with ease during baking.

  3. Place the flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the milk until smooth and there are no lumps.

  4. Over medium heat, add the butter and bring to a gentle simmer, whisking until the mixture has thickened about 2 to 3 minutes.

  5. Remove from the heat and stir (with a spatula) in the chocolate until smooth. Allow cooling slightly.

  6. Stir in yolks and vanilla. Set aside to cool down. (Note: At this point, the base can be refrigerated for 3 days. Bring to room temperature before folding in the whites)

  7. Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or a handheld electric mixer, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar on low speed for 2 minutes, or until bubbles start to form.

  8. Turn up the speed to high, and with the mixer running slowly add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time until it is all incorporated. The egg whites will double in volume and become shiny.

  9. Fold one-third of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until fully incorporated. Gradually fold in remaining egg whites one-third at a time until no streaks of egg whites remain. Mixture should be light and smooth.

  10. Pour the batter into the prepared ramekins to the top and smooth the top evenly with a spatula if needed.

  11. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes until puffed and set. Here's the hard part, this is all about TIMING! First let it bake, undisturbed for at least 80 percent of its cooking time. Then, for the remainder of the cooking time, watch for the crown of the souffle to become nicely browned. It should not wobble too much once ready. Say a prayer and remove it.

  12. Dust with powdered sugar and serve IMMEDIATELY.

Watch the Recipe Video!

Recipe Notes

Cream of Tartar: This is an important ingredient as it helps stabilizes the whites. Yes, you can make the recipe without it but the souffle might deflate faster. Buy it here and you will always have some to hand for your baking. There is no substitute.  

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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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19 Comments

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  1. Aakash Bhansali on October 14, 2019 at 9:37 am

    Hey Gemma,

    I was wondering if there is any substitution to eggs yolks and egg whites in this recipe. I am a vegetarian and I dont even consume eggs. Milk and other milk products are fine by me.

    Thank You

    • Gemma Stafford on October 14, 2019 at 12:01 pm

      Unfortunately you cannot substitute eggs with another ingredient in this recipe. When you substitute an ingredient, you take into consideration the function of that particular ingredient to the recipe. Eggs are often used as binders in recipes, but in souffles, it’s the ingredient responsible for the volume and shape of it. Hence, it cannot be substituted with any of the usual egg substitute.

  2. Teja on October 13, 2019 at 4:23 am

    Hello! I looooveeee your youtube channel, but this is the first recipe i tried. However, i used milk chocolate, because i like the taste better. This is probably why the batter came out runny and the souffle lava cake like. It was still yummy, though. I would really like to keep the chocolate i used, i’m just wondering, would it be better, if i used half less chocolate, more flower or less milk. Any thoughts? Thank you and keep up with the best recipes 😉

    • Gemma Stafford on October 14, 2019 at 1:39 pm

      Hi Teja. I often tell bold bakers to try the recipe as it is on the first time, and then to tweak or adjust according to your preference on the next try. Some recipes are not so forgiving and the souffle is one of them. If there is an exact science to baking, souffle best represents that. It’s best to try it first as it is, master it enough that you will know how a change in anything will affect the result – in a good way.

  3. Loveofbaking on October 12, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    Thank you Gemma! This recipe is so easy. We joke at our house that, “We have chocolate souffle for breakfast”. Two days in a row! It tastes fantastic. It’s such a treat too, because it’s very airy and rich. It’s become one of my favorite desserts, along with your Irish shortbread. There is nothing like hot tea and shortbread on a cold morning. We make the shortbread, then freeze half of to ration it out. I think why I like it so much is because it reminds my of cookies we make at christmas. They’re called Russian teacakes/Butter Balls/snowman cookies. It’s basically shortbread with chopped pecans rolled in balls and tossed in powdered sugar. Anyways, thank you for making this recipe so easy. Are planning on making any hot chocolate or hot coffee recipes this season? Cold coffee has kinda lost it’s appeal to me. Wonder why?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 12, 2019 at 3:51 pm

      I’m delighted to know that your family loves the chocolate souffle. Thank you for your suggestion on hot coffees and hot chocolates. I will see what I can do.

      • Loveofbaking on October 13, 2019 at 10:46 am

        Most importantly, congratulations Kevin and Gemma! Hope your pregnancy goes well. Can’t wait to see your beautiful baby!

        Love,
        Sarah from Minnesota

        • Gemma Stafford on October 13, 2019 at 11:03 am

          Thank you for your well wishes.

  4. Nellyra on October 11, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    Hello Gemma, I just want to know the brand of your saucepan. Thank you.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 11, 2019 at 2:40 pm

      Hi Nellyra. I use Calphalon cookware. You can check them out here https://amzn.to/2Uxr4b8

      • Nellyra on October 11, 2019 at 11:32 pm

        Thank you so much!

  5. JANIS L TORRES on October 11, 2019 at 9:07 am

    Do you have a recipe for vanilla souffle?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 11, 2019 at 11:32 am

      I’m sorry but I don’t have one in the site at the moment. I will put it on the list. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  6. Evelyn Radillo on October 10, 2019 at 10:33 am

    Hi Gemma! I am not a big fan of chocolate but would like to try my hand at making a soufflé. Do you happen to have a recipe for a vanilla or lemon soufflé? Thanks.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 11, 2019 at 2:06 pm

      Hi Evelyn. I’m sorry but I do not have one posted on the site right now. But it’s a wonderful idea. I will include it on my list and we’ll see what we can do about it.

  7. Katie on October 10, 2019 at 9:58 am

    I’m confused. On the video recipe you said the recipe will fill 6 ramekins. But the written recipe says 4. Did you use a different sizes? It isn’t stated in the written recipe what size of ramekins you used.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 11, 2019 at 2:09 pm

      Hi Katie. Let me check on this. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  8. Mye on October 10, 2019 at 9:44 am

    Hi Gemma! Instead of roughly chopped bittersweet chocolate, can I use Dark Cocoa powder? How many spoons of cocoa powder should I use in your standard recipe?

    Thank you for your help.

    • Gemma Stafford on October 11, 2019 at 2:12 pm

      Hi Mylene. You can substitute chocolate pieces for unsweetened cocoa powder but with some adjustments. 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder plus 2 teaspoons sugar and 2 teaspoons shortening is equivalent to 1 ounce semisweet chocolate. I hope this helps.

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