If you’ve been hesitant to try your hand at a chocolate soufflé recipe for fear of a collapsed soupy dessert, worry not. This wicked simple version, made with eggs, bittersweet chocolate, and orange liqueur, has a slightly crisp crust and light, airy texture and remains at lofty heights even after sitting for a while, which means a no-stress, high-stakes dessert.

david caricature

Why Our Testers Loved This

There’s a whole bunch of reasons our recipe testers gobbled this up. They found it “rich and creamy” but were delighted that it maintained a light consistency. They also loved the fact that it was easy to make and held up beautifully, with no sudden deflation, as is often the concern with soufflés.

Christi B. joined in with her comment, “This chocolate soufflé is a wonderfully rich and, at the same time, a light and fluffy dessert that makes a great show-stopping presentation.

What You’ll Need to Make This

Ingredients for a chocolate souffle: eggs, chocolate, butter, cream of tartar, sugar, vanilla, orange liqueur.
  • Unsalted butter–If you need to substitute salted butter, don’t add the 1/8 teaspoon salt in step 4.
  •  Chocolate–You can use bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate or a mixture of both depending on your preference. Do use the best quality chocolate you can find.
  •  Cream of tartar–Adding a tiny amount of cream of tartar helps to stabilize your soufflé to keep it light and airy. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but don’t be tempted to skip it.

How to Make This Recipe

  1. Heat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the lower middle position.
Steps for making chocolate souffle: Coating the dish and folding the egg whites into the chocolate batter.
  1. Butter a 2-quart soufflé dish. Coat the inside of the dish with 1 tablespoon of sugar and chill until ready to use.
  2. Prepare a double boiler or bain marie. Melt the chocolate with 4 tablespoons butter, stirring until smooth, then stir in the liqueur, vanilla, and salt. Cool slightly.
  3. Beat the egg yolks and 1/3 cup of sugar in a mixer until thick. Gently fold the egg yolk mixture into the chocolate mixture.
  4. Whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Stir 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
Steps for making chocolate souffle: Batter being poured into a dish and a person opening the souffle with two spoons.
  1. Pour the batter into the soufflé dish. Bake until the outside is set but the interior is still creamy.
  2. Check for doneness. Use two spoons to gently break apart the top of the souffle. Serve immediately.

Common Questions

Why do soufflés fall?

Soufflés will inevitably collapse, but not because they’ve been bumped, jostled, or startled. They fall because the air whipped into the egg whites has expanded during baking; when that air cools, it will contract, and the soufflé will collapse. It’s normal, it’s science, and it’s the reason soufflés should be served immediately.

What is cream of tartar?

Believe it or not, cream of tartar is a powdery byproduct of winemaking. The scientific name is potassium bitartrate (or potassium hydrogen tartrate). It can be found in the spice aisle of virtually every grocery store. It has a bit of a metallic taste, but you won’t notice that in most recipes due to the tiny amount used.

Cream of tartar can be used as a leavening agent, but for this recipe, it accelerates the creation of those fantastic peaks of egg-white foam. It also helps to stabilize air molecules as they heat up – helping you achieve the perfect soufflé. It is also often used to stabilize meringues.

What should I serve with chocolate soufflé?

A dollop of freshly whipped cream or a dusting of confectioners’ sugar is really all you need with this elegant dessert. To make it fancier, serve it with a handful of fresh raspberries or a drizzle of salted caramel or chocolate ganache.

Helpful Tips

  • For a mocha variation, add 1 tablespoon of instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon of hot water along with the liqueur in step 4.
  •  To make these in individual ramekins instead of a larger soufflé dish, divide the batter between small ramekins and reduce the baking time to 20 minutes.
  •  If your oven hasn’t finished preheating when you have the soufflé ready to bake, stash it in the fridge for a few minutes while the oven heats.
  •  Avoid opening the oven door while the soufflé is baking. Sudden temperature changes can cause your soufflé to fall.
  •  This recipe is suitable for gluten-free diets.

More Great Soufflé Recipes

Write a Review

If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David

I made these Chocolate Souffles for NYE this year. They turned out OUTSTANDING and I also liked them and thought they were much better than my original recipe.

The texture of this recipe is soooo good and light. I found a new keeper!!! Thanks so much for sharing.

grammmasue
A partially-eaten chocolate souffle in a round white ceramic dish.

Chocolate Soufflé

5 / 2 votes
This chocolate soufflé, made with eggs, sugar, chocolate, and orange-flavored liqueur, is light and airy and far easier than you may imagine. We show you exactly how to make it.
David Leite
CourseDessert
CuisineFrench
Servings8 servings
Calories315 kcal
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour

Ingredients 

  • 4 tablespoons (2 oz) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces, plus 1 tablespoon, softened, for dish
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for dish
  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • 6 large eggs, separated, plus 2 extra large eggs whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Instructions 

  • Adjust the oven rack to a lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 375°F (191°C). 
  • Butter a 2-quart (1.9 l) souffle dish, then coat the dish evenly with 1 tablespoon sugar and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • In a medium or large heatproof bowl set over a saucepan filled with 1 inch (25 mm) barely simmering water, melt the chocolate with 4 tablespoons butter, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl and stirring the mixture occasionally until smooth.
  • Stir in the liqueur, vanilla, and salt. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed, beat the egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar until thick and pale yellow, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Fold the beaten egg yolk mixture into the chocolate mixture.
  • Using a clean, dry mixer bowl and whisk attachment on medium-low speed, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until stiff peaks form, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Using a silicone spatula, vigorously stir 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Then gently fold in the remaining whites just until incorporated.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared dish and bake until fragrant, fully risen, and the exterior is set but the interior is still a bit loose and creamy but not soupy, 25 to 30 minutes.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: To check doneness, use 2 large spoons to gently pull open the top and quickly peek inside the souffle.

  • Serve the souffle immediately by bringing the dish to the table, accepting oohs and aahs, and then spooning it into individual dishes.

Video

Notes

  1. Mocha soufflé variation–Add 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water along with the liqueur in step 4.
  2. Individual soufflés–To make these in individual ramekins instead of a larger soufflé dish, divide the batter between small ramekins and reduce the baking time to 20 minutes.
  3. Chill your mixture–If your oven hasn’t finished preheating when you have the soufflé ready to bake, stash it in the fridge for a few minutes while the oven heats.
  4. Keep the oven door closed–Avoid opening the oven door while the soufflé is baking. Sudden changes in temperature can cause your soufflé to fall.
  5. Dietary–This recipe is suitable for gluten-free diets.
100 Techniques Cookbook

Adapted From

100 Techniques

Buy On Amazon

Nutrition

Serving: 1 portionCalories: 315 kcalCarbohydrates: 22 gProtein: 7 gFat: 22 gSaturated Fat: 12 gMonounsaturated Fat: 7 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 156 mgSodium: 96 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 16 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2020 America’s Test Kitchen. Photo © 2020 America’s Test Kitchen. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I love chocolate desserts with intense chocolate flavor, like this one. Soufflé is impressive to serve but technically demanding to make. And often, we believe the chances of success may be small. No billowing as expected, instead all of it deflating upon barely leaving the oven.

But neither of these happened with this recipe, and although it was the first time I’ve made a sweet soufflé, it came out perfect.

It had a very light consistency, which held after taking it out of the oven, and a slightly crunchy crust, a rich chocolate flavor, and it wasn’t too sweet. Simply delicious! It made me want to try other soufflé variations.

This chocolate soufflé is wonderfully rich and, at the same time, a light and fluffy dessert that makes a tremendous show-stopping presentation.

The dark chocolate and the airiness from the egg foam are a wonderful contrast. Warm and comforting!

My dish was 2.5 L (slightly larger than in the recipe) but fit all the souffle. I probably could have used half the butter for the dish, but extra butter never hurt anything.

I didn’t have Grand Marnier and substituted Triple Sec.

In my 6-quart Kitchenaid, the small amount of yolks and sugar weren’t enough for the paddle to grab, so it took longer to get to a light yellow color, about 4 1/2 minutes total. It might be different with a hand mixer.

The 25 minutes was perfect timing, and I was super impressed that it didn’t deflate much even after sitting. It’s very rich, so I suggest 8 servings or maybe even 10, if served with creme anglaise or ice cream. We made the mocha version, and it was perfect for our coffee-loving household.

I had never made a chocolate soufflé before, so I decided it was time I attempted a dessert that sounded fancy and complicated but was no more complex than a pudding or custard in cake form.

As I didn’t have an official 2-quart soufflé dish, I chose the next best thing in my house. I used a 3-quart stainless steel saucepan. I used the softened butter to coat the entire inside of the pan, not knowing how high the souffle would rise, and coated the pan with 1 tablespoon of sugar, which was an ample amount.

The results of this recipe were delicious, and although dark chocolate isn’t the preferred chocolate by the younger crowd in our house, they really did love the texture and taste of this souffle. It was a hit and a fun surprise dessert on a Thursday night during quarantine.

I used Cointreau for my orange liqueur. I initially baked the soufflé for 25 minutes. At this point, it was set, but the interior looked like uncooked batter. I opted to bake it another 5 minutes, and it was still a bit soft, so I erred on the side caution and baked it another 5 minutes. It was a perfect texture, almost like an airy mousse cake, rather delightful!

This will serve eight. With the addition of fresh whipped cream, it would be perfect!

This chocolate soufflé is rich and creamy. I served it hot from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The leftovers were delicious—almost like an airy but very fudgy brownie.

The batter didn’t take long to make, and the soufflé was ready to go as soon as we finished dinner. I didn’t have Grand Marnier, so I used Chambord. If I’d had them, a few raspberries would have been nice sprinkled on top.

My soufflé dish was 1 1/2 quarts instead of 2. I used two 6-ounce ramekins for the extra batter. I should have used 4 extra ramekins. The smaller dishes baked in 20 minutes; the larger one in 25 minutes.

If it were up to my family, this recipe would serve 6. But realistically, I’d recommend 8 to 10 servings.




About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


Hungry For More?

Chocolate Muffins

Those of us who prefer a restrained sweetness and a more pronounced cocoa taste will adore these muffins. Nothing overtly sweet here. And we’re okay with that.

1 hr

Flourless Chocolate Cloud Cake

This lofty cake is so crammed full of chocolate and butter and air, there’s no room for flour–although we made sure to leave space for ample swoops of softly whipped cream.

1 hr 15 mins

Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Grab your spoons. Whether you crave sweetness or sustenance of a different sort, this simple childhood pleasure may at least bring you a little pleasure in the moment at hand.

15 mins


5 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  1. Any thoughts on a dairy free / plant based butter substitute? I generally sub the Mykos brand as it seems to have a similar moisture content/flavor profile.
    Plan to give it a try for this weekend and will come back with an update. 🙂

    1. Hey, CinMac62! As far a a substitute, I;m afraid I can’t be much help. We didn’t test it with anything other that the stated ingredients. But I’m dying to hear how it turns our for you. Do let us know.

  2. I’m a good cook but have always been intimidated by souffles. I’m now inspired to try one after watching this video. But what t I loved more than the recipe itself was the playful affection displayed between the two of you – we could tell you were having fun and that’s what cooking should be! Hope it’s a happy Valentine’s Day for you both.

    1. Amy, what a lovely thing to say. Thank you very much. After 30 years, we still like being with each other. Oh, and best of luck with the souffle. I’m sure you’ll do great!

  3. 5 stars
    I made these Chocolate Souffles for NYE this year. I had a recipe (called Double Chocolate Souffle’s from Bon Appetit) that I had used for MANY YEARS, however, it was extremely labor-intensive with a lot of steps. My husband LOVED them, but they were just “okay” to me. You could, however, make them (unbaked) and freeze them for 3 months. So.. anyway, I made this Chocolate Souffle recipe bc it had less steps. They turned out OUTSTANDING and I also liked them and thought they were much better than my original recipe. The texture of this recipe is soooo good and light. I found a new keeper!!! Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Thanks, GrammaSue! I’m so pleased that this turned out so well for you. It always feels like a huge win when you can make it better with less work.