11 Jan2006

Chocolate Soufflé

by Marketman

Chocolate soufflés are actually very easy to make. souffle1Chocolate soufflés are actually very easy to make. I kid you not. And they are absolutely delicious regardless of whether you achieve the perfect rising of the soufflé — as warned by numerous stereotypical views on this simple dessert. If you follow some basic cardinal rules, you will be a soufflé expert in no time. I always rely on a soufflé (chocolate, apricot, raspberry or Grand Marnier) to finish off a more festive dinner because everyone loves them and thinks they are so incredibly difficult to pull off…

To make a delicious chocolate soufflé, follow this fool-proof recipe of Francois Payard in his book Simply Sensational Desserts that I have used at least a dozen times. First, prepare souffle2six eight ounce ramekins or eight six ounce ramekins by brushing them generously with soft butter and coating with caster sugar or white granulated sugar. Stick in the freezer for ten minutes to set and repeat the procedure. The purpose of this step is to provide grease to help the soufflé rise out of the ramekin when it is in a hot oven. Keep the ramekins in the fridge until used. Next, melt 7 ounces of GOOD bittersweet chocolate (chopped) and 3 tablespoons of GOOD butter over a bain marie or double boiler and whisk until smooth; set aside to cool.

Preheat an oven to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit (though I sometime try 360-370 as souffle3I think it helps it rise but that is not a scientific conclusion). Whisk four egg yolks into the cooled chocolate mixture and set aside. In a clean bowl, whisk 7 egg whites until they form soft peaks then add ½ teaspoon of cream of tartar to help stabilize the whites. Whisk some more and add 1/3 cup of caster sugar to the egg whites and keep whisking until they form stiff peaks. Fold a scoop of egg whites into the chocolate mixture then fold in the rest of the egg whites until well mixed. Place mixture in ramekins and run your thumb around the inside rim of the ramekin, wiping away excess butter and sugar. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake soufflés in hot oven for 12-14 minutes until just cooked and hopefully they have risen above the rim. Serve hot plain or with raspberry coulis or hot chocolate. Cardinal rules for success: use superb chocolate, use a really clean bowl with no traces of grease, make sure your egg whites have nothing mixed in with them like stray egg yolk, make sure the mixer is a good one so you get maximum air into the whites, fold the mixture and do not wildly mix, never open the oven during cooking (check through the window) and keep your fingers crossed! But seriously, it is really easy and absolutely delicious.

10. NOW (CITY)? Look for one more clue.



  1. puFF says:

    hi marketman!
    i am just wondering if i can bake those using small tin pans instead of ramekins? just a thought…

    Jan 11, 2006 | 8:01 am


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  3. Franics says:

    Hi MM,

    That Payard book sounds like a must buy. To gain better efficiency from my amazon shipping charges, can you recommend 2 other books,say one for entrees and another for appetizers?

    Jan 11, 2006 | 9:42 am

  4. oscar says:

    MM, how good is “good” bittersweet chocolate? I’ve read Cook’s Illustrated and Hershey’s was listed. How about Ghirardelli?

    Jan 11, 2006 | 9:59 am

  5. ShoppaHolique says:

    MarketMan, Where can I find “good” bittersweet chocolate (locally)?

    This is off topic, but im desperate. Where can I find cocoa butter?

    Jan 11, 2006 | 10:20 am

  6. chris says:

    Hi MM.

    I haven’t made a souffle in years! Just tried M. Payard’s recipe supplied above. It came out differently- the top was crusty not smooth and cakey like the ones in the photo. Could it be the chocolate? or the way the mixture is folded? I served the souffles with a scoop of pistachio ice cream. I think pistachio and chocolate go very well togother. Chocolate and raspberries on the other hand, although a classic combination, seems to me a little off or ‘pilit’.

    Jan 11, 2006 | 6:09 pm

  7. schatzli says:

    yes the EGG WHITE… very true never have traces of grease ever…been a while I have not a souffle.
    Happy Wednesday MM…its so damn freezing today that I stuffed my self with some organic chocs ;-)

    Jan 11, 2006 | 7:01 pm

  8. mojitodrinker says:

    i agree, the book sounds interesting. francis–quick question: what method of shipping do you select on amazon? will the post office tax the books on arrival? or do you pick expedited shipping?

    Jan 11, 2006 | 7:20 pm

  9. francs says:

    mojitodrinker, I pick the fastest shipping option. Amazon delivers the package directly to my office (can’t figure out why they won’t ship anything but books). Surprisingly, I’ve never been taxed, and can’t figure out why since many of my friends have been taxed. Might be related to the value or size of the packages-I usually buy only 1-2 books at a time.

    Jan 11, 2006 | 9:14 pm

  10. Marketman says:

    francs and mohitodrinker…don’t bother with amazon…Fully Booked at rockwell has a great selection of cookbooks. And if you put in an order, you get it in a few weeks. Prices aren’t bad either. I am travelling so will answer your other queries at length by the weekend. souffles can’t be done in tins…you need the ceramic ramekins. Good chocolate can be purchased at Terry’s or Bacchus for Valrhona or similar quality…also bakeshops. Hershey’s doesn’t qualify in my book, nor does ghirardelli. Chris, perhaps egg white were overwhipped so you got a drier souffle or it was slightly overcooked? Or oven was too hot? Also, chocolate and butter quality matters. Yes, I like them with pistachio ice cream and the color contrast is good.

    Jan 11, 2006 | 9:45 pm

  11. mae says:

    mmmm looks delish. will try this someday. i will bookmark this recipe for future use. thanks MM!

    Jan 11, 2006 | 10:14 pm

  12. fried-neurons says:

    That sounds delicious, and relatively easy. I’m just always scared that I won’t be able to fold properly, which is why I don’t cook anything that requires “folding”. :)

    Good chocolate for recipes: I have used and can recommend from personal experience: Valrhona, Scharffen Berger, and Callebaut.

    Ghirardelli is ok for eating as candy, but it is too sweet and not chocolate-y enough.

    Jan 11, 2006 | 11:21 pm

  13. gene's_student says:

    i think any ingredient would do in a souffle, we did a salmon soup souffle in out repertoire.

    Jan 12, 2006 | 1:00 am

  14. Lei says:

    Hello MM,

    Would just like to ask if I can use the Callebaut brand of brick chocolates instead? Have you tried this? Or can you recommend other brands just as alternatives? Thanks a lot!

    Jan 12, 2006 | 3:06 pm

  15. wysgal says:

    I was having dinner out last night … and I get a wayward text from my brother say “Make chocolate souffle!”

    I believe he was salivating over your blog at the time. =)

    Jan 12, 2006 | 3:14 pm

  16. Marketman says:

    Lei, Callebaut is good too but their bars come in different quality levels I think. But its worth trying the souffle with Callebaut. Wysgal, its really easy…givve it a go!

    Jan 12, 2006 | 6:16 pm

  17. Frayed says:

    Yes, I found it’s really not worth ordering through Amazon – the taxes cost more than the books I ordered. And MM’s right – we have so many good cookbooks nowadays.

    Jan 14, 2006 | 2:15 pm

  18. chad says:

    Hey MM, I’d like to know what kind of oven do you use at home and what other ovens are you conmofrtable in using or would recommend?

    Jul 13, 2007 | 5:36 pm

  19. Marketman says:

    chad, at the kitchen equipped for ME at the beach, I use a Viking 6 burner stove with twin ovens. It is my baby. In Manila, we use a large La Germania Stainless steel stove with five burners and one oven.

    Jul 13, 2007 | 6:28 pm

  20. sissy says:

    hi. =] im doing a project on souffles at school for my food science class. and i was wonderin if you could help me out and give me a few tips onhow to make them. [we have to make a souffle and write a report.] thanks. =]

    Feb 7, 2008 | 9:41 pm

  21. Marketman says:

    sissy, read the post above, it has tips and a recipe…

    Feb 7, 2008 | 10:01 pm

  22. walden says:

    what is the main ingredients of cream of tartar? what is the effect when use in bread using hard flour?

    Mar 16, 2009 | 9:45 am


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