Individual Chocolate Soufflés: Recipe and Video
This easy chocolate soufflé will be a showstopper when served for your next dinner party. The batter may be prepared the day before your celebration – which gives you that much more time with your guests! All you need to do is pop them in the oven for 10 minutes and you will have a fresh from the oven dessert.
Another plus is a soufflé is naturally gluten-free so no need to worry about gluten allergies.
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Soufflés are often considered temperamental and difficult to make. Just follow a few simple guidelines and you will be whipping up soufflés often! Pay close attention to whipping the egg whites as this is the step needed for your soufflé to gain its signature height. Still feeling intimidated by soufflés? Watch my video where I visually walk you through each step to create this impressive dessert.
Tips for Making the Perfect Chocolate Soufflé
- Use a high-quality bittersweet chocolate (65% to 70%). Yes, a good quality chocolate can be pricey but you only need 115 grams (4 ounces) to create your masterpiece.
- Bring your butter and eggs to room temperature before starting this recipe. It is wise to separate the egg yolks and whites when they are still cold as this reduces the risk of the yolk breaking and getting fat into your whites.
- This recipe uses vanilla as a flavoring, but if you want to kick up the chocolate flavor a notch consider replacing the vanilla with strongly brewed expresso.
Prepare the Ramekins:
- This easy chocolate soufflé recipe creates four ramekins (4 fluid ounces each). I recommend using a ceramic ramekin but a foil ramekin may also be used. The recipe can easily be doubled if more soufflés are needed – or wanted!
- You will need granulated sugar and melted or softened butter to prepare you ramekins. Properly prepping the soufflé dishes is key to getting that super-high rise.
- Melt the butter and cool it for approximately 5 minutes – you don’t want the butter too runny and pooling in the bottom of the ramekin. Alternatively use super-soft butter that you can easily spread with a pastry brush.
- Brush the butter all over the inside of the ramekins – bottoms and up the sides. Next place 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar in each ramekin and shake the sugar so it coats the bottom and sides of the dish. Shake out any excess sugar.
Make the batter:
- One of the first steps to creating your soufflé is to melt the chocolate and butter together in a large bowl. Please read the following guidelines on melting the chocolate and butter:
- Add your butter and chocolate to a dry, clean heatproof bowl. You don’t want any water getting into the chocolate else your chocolate may seize.
- Use room temperature butter. This will decrease the amount of time you need to heat the chocolate and will reduce the risk of scorching it.
- If melting the chocolate/butter over a pot of water, make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water. The water should be steaming, not boiling and you want to stir the chocolate often.
- If using a microwave to melt the chocolate/butter mixture, heat in 20 second increments at 50% power, stirring between each heating.
- Let the chocolate/butter cool slightly before adding the egg yolks and vanilla (or expresso if using). You don’t want your yolks to start cooking before their time! Whisk the yolks in slowly as you are creating an emulsion in this step.
- Now it is time to whip up those room temperature egg whites. A stand- or hand-mixer may be used. In pastry school we whipped the whites by hand using a whisk and it does take some time.
- Add the salt and egg whites to a clean, grease-free mixing bowl. Begin mixing on medium speed and continue mixing until the egg whites turn foamy. At this point begin adding the sugar slowly while continuing to mix. Keep whipping the whites until stiff, glossy peaks are formed.
- Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in two additions. Using a rubber spatula gently fold after each addition taking care not to deflate the whites, but you also don’t want any white streaks.
- Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap if the batter will be in the refrigerator for more than a few hours.
Serve the soufflés:
- These easy chocolate soufflés will bake for approximately 8 – 10 minutes in a oven preheated to 375°. The center will still be jiggly but the top should look well risen and uniform.
- Immediately move the soufflés to serving plates using caution as the ramekins are scorching hot. I use a kitchen towel to move the ramekins but some people are successful with thongs.
- Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and place a few berries on the serving plate if desired.
- Within a few minutes the soufflés will start to deflate but, don’t worry, you have time to get them to the dinner table. Also, they do need to cool slightly before consuming.
- 115 Grams High-quality Bittersweet Chocolate Chopped into small pieces
- 56 Grams Unsalted Butter (room temperature) (4 Tablespoons / ½ Stick)
- 3 Large Eggs, Separated
- 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract (or 1 tsp strongly brewed expresso)
- ½ tsp Sea Salt
- 38 Grams Granulated Sugar (3 Tablespoons)
Preparing the Ramekins
- 28 Grams Unsalted Butter, Melted (2 Tablespoons)
- 25 Grams Granulated Sugar (⅛ Cup)
Preparing the Ramekins
- Melt 28 grams (2 tablespoons) butter and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Brush the melted butter into the 4 ounce ramekins by using a pastry brush. Be sure to lightly coat the bottoms and sides of each ramekin.
- Place 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar into the bottom of each ramekin. Swirl the ramekin in your hand so the sugar coats the bottoms and sides of each ramekin.
- Set ramekins aside.
- Combine the butter and bittersweet chocolate in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave on 50% power in 20 second increments, stirring between each heating until both ingredients are melted and combined. Alternatively, bring a pot of water to simmer, place the bowl on top of the pot (careful so the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl) and slowly heat until melted.
- Set the chocolate/butter mixture aside and cool for 5 minutes.
- Add the egg yolks and vanilla (or expresso) to the chocolate / butter and whisk gently until combined.
- Place the eggs whites and salt in a clean, grease-free bowl. Begin whisking on medium speed using a stand or hand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
- Continue whisking until the egg whites become foamy and opaque. Slowly begin adding the granulated sugar to the mixing bowl over a one minute period.
- Turn the mixer to medium-high and whisk the egg whites until stiff glossy peaks are formed.
- Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in two additions. Take caution to not over-fold else the egg whites will deflate and you will not have a nicely risen soufflé.
- Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 20 minutes and preheat the oven to 375°.
- Run your thumb around the top inside ridge of the ramekins. This will remove excess butter to assist in the rise of the soufflés.
- Divide the batter equally between the 4 ramekins, place on a cookie sheet pan and bake for 8 – 10 minutes. The soufflés will have risen over the top of the ramekins.
- Remove from oven and immediately place each ramekin on a serving plate. Use caution and a oven mitt, thongs or dish towel when doing this – the ramekins are hot!
- Optionally sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and place a berry or two on the plate. The soufflés should be served within a few minutes of coming out of the oven as they will begin deflating quickly.