Easy Chocolate Soufflé

chocolate soufflé in a white ramekin

An Easy Chocolate Soufflé recipe anyone can master with just five pantry ingredients. This special chocolate dessert rises beautifully and won’t fall ~ it’s guaranteed to impress!

dark chocolate soufflé in individual ramekin

If you’ve always wanted to make chocolate soufflé but were intimidated, you’ll want to try this one. It’s quite straightforward, and we found it’s a sturdy little recipe, with wonderful chocolate flavor and an excellent success rate. So even though when most of us hear the word soufflé we immediately think disaster, I’m here to report that’s really not accurate. Here in the GI test kitchen we tested this recipe 4 different times (all before lunch!) and, despite several tweaks and issues, they all rose well and tasted divine. We think our final recipe is foolproof.

What you’ll need for individual chocolate soufflés

It’s such a short list!

  • dark chocolate ~ bar chocolate melts the best, but we also made this successfully with dark chocolate chips
  • butter ~unsalted
  • eggs ~ large
  • sugar ~ granulated
  • vanilla ~ we also use almond extract on occasion
Dipping a spoon into a chocolate souffle

special equipment for soufflés

  • individual ramekins, mine are 5 ounce. Soufflés are baked in straight sided cups so that they rise straight up, rather than dome like a cupcake.
  • electric beaters to beat the egg whites

How to know what size ramekins you’ve got

If you use larger or smaller ramekins your yield and baking time will vary so it’s important to know your ramekin size.

  • To measure your ramekins,  fill a glass measuring cup with water and then fill a ramekin to the top.
  • Note how many ounces it holds.
whipping egg whites for chocolate souffle

What makes a soufflé rise

A soufflé can be sweet or savory, but the basic principle is the same: a base (in this case melted chocolate mixed with egg yolks,) is gently folded into beaten egg whites. You’ll need to beat your whites until stiff peaks form. Too little beating and your soufflé won’t rise. Too much beating and your whites will be so stiff they won’t fold into the base easily.

When the mixture is baked in a straight sided soufflé bowl or ramekins, the heat of the oven causes all those air bubbles in the egg whites to expand, and the soufflé rises.

The protein in the eggs plus the fat in the yolks bakes into  a structure along the sides of the ramekin which keep it up.

Good news: individual soufflés like mine are sturdier and less likely to be temperamental than large ones. The small size means that the structure around the edges of the cup can easily keep the soufflé aloft, even as it cools.

a chocolate souffle in a white ramekin

What makes a soufflé fall?

First let me say that a properly made soufflé will not ‘fall’ in the classic, comic sense that we all think of. It might sink a bit in the middle, where the batter is still somewhat molten, but the cooked sides should keep the soufflé aloft just fine, even as it cools.

The main reason a soufflé will fall is because it has not cooked enough. Pay attention to the recipe baking time, and make sure your ramekin is the correct size.

Most recipes will tell you to serve your soufflé the minute it comes out of the oven. But this is not for the reason they state, that it might fall. The reason is that you want to indulge in a soufflé while it is warm and fluffy, with a slightly molten center for the full experience.

;a sugar coated chocolate souffle with spoon

Chef’s notes for chocolate soufflé

  • Whip your egg whites with electric beaters rather than in a stand mixer with the balloon whisk. Hand held beaters give you more control and help prevent over beating.
  • Be sure to thoroughly butter and sugar your ramekins, this helps the soufflé rise.
  • If possible, fill your ramekins right to the top, this will create that fun high rise effect. If you can’t fill yours that full, your soufflés will still be delicious, but they may not rise above the tops of the cups.
  • I don’t recommend making major substitutions in this recipe unless you’re up for some trial and error.
  • Safe substitutions would be:

the type of chocolate. Feel free to use milk, semi sweet, dark, or bittersweet chocolate.

bar chocolate is preferred but chips will work.

if you want to go sugar free I would try a granulated sweetener that works in a 1 to 1 ratio.

taking a bite of a chocolate souffle

More romantic chocolate desserts

chocolate soufflé in a white ramekin
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5 from 16 votes

Easy Chocolate Soufflé

An Easy Chocolate Soufflé recipe anyone can master with just five pantry ingredients. This special chocolate dessert rises beautifully and won't fall ~ it's guaranteed to impress!
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
chilling 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Calories 342kcal
Author Sue Moran

Equipment

  • electric beaters
  • 5-ounce oven safe ramekins

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces dark or semi sweet chocolate, cut in small pieces Note: this is about 3/4 of a cup of chips)
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for prepping ramekins
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar plus more for prepping ramekins
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400F. Liberally butter 4 ramekins and coat all inside surfaces with granulated sugar.
    prepped ramekins for chocolate souffle
  • Gently melt the chopped chocolate and butter in a medium large bowl over barely simmering water, being careful not to have the bowl touching the water, or allow any water to splash into the bowl. You can also do this in a saucepan over direct heat if you are brave 😉
    Making chocolate souffle
  • When the chocolate is completely melted, remove from heat and whisk in the egg yolks, extract, and salt, until smooth.
  • Meanwhile beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until foamy, then add the sugar and continue beating until still peaks form.
    mixing egg whites and chocolate for souffle
  • Carefully fold the egg whites into the chocolate until no white streaks remain. Try not to deflate all that air you just whipped into them. Note; you may want to do this in stages, starting with 1/3 of the whites first to loosen the chocolate, then add the rest. Chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.
    chocolate mixture for souffle
  • Divide the batter equally between your prepared ramekins, and gently smooth out the top surface, if necessary. Run an offset spatula (or your finger) around the top rim of each cup, to separate the top of the mousse from the sides of the ramekin. This helps the soufflé to rise straight up.
    Ramekins filled with chocolate souffle batter
  • Bake for 10 -12 minutes until risen. The soufflés will still be a little wobbly. Note: depending on how full you filled your ramekins, the soufflés may or may not rise above the rims but they will be puffed up.
    chocolate souffles, just baked
  • Serve asap with a dusting of powdered sugar.
    Individual chocolate souffles, topped with powdered sugar

Cook’s notes

Notes:

  • If you have cream of tartar in your pantry you can add 1/4 teaspoon to the egg whites when you beat them. This helps stabilize them and helps them stay aloft after baking.

Nutrition

Calories: 342kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 61mg | Potassium: 308mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 391IU | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 5mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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19 Comments

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    Please rate this recipe!




  • Reply
    Laurel Ganzell
    January 29, 2022 at 12:05 pm

    I’ve followed you for many years and love almost every recipe. However, your sight has become very difficult to read… so many ads and pop ups! But most importantly, when printing a simple recipe, I DO NOT WANT 4 pages and 6 photos! It is a waste of my paper & ink…not to mention storage space. Enough!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      January 29, 2022 at 1:14 pm

      Hey Laurel ~ remember you can always choose the ‘no photos’ choice when printing, there’s a toggle at the top when you open the print page. Just un-check the recipe image and instruction images boxes and you won’t get anything but text.

  • Reply
    Ramya
    September 26, 2021 at 2:51 am

    5 stars
    Hi love to try ur recipe.. one question.. I dnt hve ramkiens can I use cupcake moulds

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      September 26, 2021 at 6:20 am

      Souffles need straight sides to help them rise, so I don’t think cupcake molds will work Ramya.

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