Chocolate Souffle

This light and airy chocolate souffle, made with eggs, sugar, chocolate, and orange-flavored liqueur, is far easier to make than you may imagine.

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

If you’ve been hesitant to make chocolate souffle for fear of a collapsed soupy dessert, worry not. This easy 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 no-stress for a high-stakes dessert.–Angie Zoobkoff

Chocolate Soufflé

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 8

Ingredients

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Directions

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.

Tester tip: Don’t have a 2-quart souffle dish? You can swap in a well-buttered ovenproof saucepan or use smaller individual ramekins. Simply reduce the baking time to 20 minutes.

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 a 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.

    Mocha Souffle

    • Tux variation

      Add 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water along with the liqueur in step 3.

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    Recipe Testers Reviews

    This is a wonderfully rich and, at the same time, light and fluffy dessert that makes a great 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 (so slightly larger than in the recipe) but it fit all
    the souffle. Probably could have used half the butter for the dish but extra butter never hurt anything.

    I did not have Grand Marnier and substituted Triple Sec

    In my 6-qt Kitchenaid, the small amount of yolks and sugar were not really enough for the paddle to grab, so it took longer to get to a light yellow color, about 4 1/2 minutes total. Might be different with a hand mixer.

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

    I had never made a souffle before so I decided it was time I attempt a dessert that sounds fancy and complicated but is no more complicated than a pudding or custard in cake form.

    As I didn’t have an official souffle 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 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 the time of quarantine.

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

    This will serve 8. With the addition of fresh whipped cream, it would be perfect!

    This chocolate souffle 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 souffle 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 souffle 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 would serve 6. But realistically, I'd recommend 8 to 10 servings.

    By the end of the cooking time, the top of my souffle was a bit brown in spots. The recipe tasted of chocolate and not so much of orange.

    I couldn’t find any Grand Marnier in the supermarket and so I had to substitute Cointreau. I didn't really think the finished dish had much flavor from the liqueur, and so perhaps I would suggest trying Grand Marnier next time in case it has more flavor.

    I would tend to temper the egg mixture with the chocolate mix, so adding a little at a time to prevent cooking the eggs. After 25 minutes of baking, I tested the souffle as suggested and thought that perhaps it was too soupy in the middle. Therefore I decided to cook it for an additional 5 minutes.

    If I were to make the recipe again, I would like to make it in individual souffle dishes as I think the rise would have been more impressive that way. Obviously the cooking times would be shorter with individual souffles.

    I love chocolate desserts where the taste of chocolate is intense, like this one. A soufflé is a dessert that can be very impressive when you serve it, but technically demanding to make it, and about which we feel that the chances of success may be small. Not billowing as expected and to deflating upon barely leaving the oven are our biggest fears. 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 has a very light consistency, which remains after taking it out of the oven, and a slightly crunchy crust, a rich chocolate flavor, and it isn’t too sweet. Simply delicious! It made me want to try other soufflé variations.

    #leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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