The best first French recipes to learn must be a simple chocolate soufflé. The soufflé is a magical, airy, delicious, and complex confection that perfectly rounds out any meal. Served fresh out of the oven, it delights young children through to impressing your dinner guests.
There is a lot of mystery surrounding making a soufflé, mainly that it is difficult; it isn't. They are in fact very easy to make by following a few simple techniques and a good recipe, like this one. Have a read at the bottom of the recipe for those hints and tips if you have never made a soufflé.
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped finely
- 3 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 6 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1/16 teaspoon salt
- Powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter 6 individual soufflé ramekins and sprinkle with sugar; set aside.
Melt chocolate pieces in a metal bowl over barely simmering water, continuously stirring. (Even a small amount of overheated chocolate will ruin an entire recipe.) Once the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from heat and stir in the egg yolks.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with salt on medium-high speed until they hold soft glossy peaks. Continue beating egg whites on high speed, gradually adding the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, until the egg whites hold stiff glossy peaks.
Gently stir 1/3 of the eggs whites into the chocolate mixture, then carefully fold in the remaining egg whites. The chocolate mixture should be light and bubbly and even colored, without egg white streaks.
Spoon your soufflé mixture into the prepared ramekins and allow to rest for up to 30 minutes or bake right away for 12 – 15 minutes (slightly longer at high altitudes) until risen with a crusty exterior. Serve with a dusting of cocoa or powdered sugar if desired.
Hints and Tips for Making the Perfect Soufflé
Here are a few tips to help you create a great soufflé you can find more on this page.
- A soufflé should be assembled as quickly as possible. So, before you start preparing your souffle, weigh up and measure out all your ingredients, doing this will speed up the preparation time.
- Egg whites will not rise if the bowl or utensils you use are greasy. So, make sure all the equipment you are using is clean and grease free.
- All ingredients, particularly the eggs, need to be room temperature. Do not use cold eggs.
- Prepare your soufflé dishes, either large or individual ones by greasing them before you start making the soufflé mixture; this once again speeds up the whole process.