Intensely Bittersweet Chocolate Souffles

Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 16 mins

While some versions of souffles do indeed require a light touch, the following recipe for individual chocolate souffles is forgiving and pretty much foolproof. Recipe by Alice Medrich

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. If you're baking the soufflés right away, position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.
  2. Butter the 6oz ramekins and dust the insides with sugar.
  3. Place the chocolate, butter and milk in a large heatproof bowl (preferably stainless steel) in a large skillet of barely simmering water.
  4. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  5. Remove the bowl from the water bath and whisk in the egg yolks.
  6. (Don't worry if the mixture stiffens slightly or is less than perfectly smooth at this point.) Set aside.
  7. In a medium, dry bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted.
  8. Gradually sprinkle in the 1/3 cup sugar and beat at high speed until the whites are stiff but not dry.
  9. Fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remaining egg whites.
  10. Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared ramekins, filling each 3/4 full.
  11. (The soufflés can be prepared to this point, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bake directly from the refrigerator.) Place the soufflés on a cookie sheet.
  12. Bake until they rise and crack on top and a wooden skewer plunged into the center emerges very moist and gooey (but the centers should not be completely liquid), 14 to 16 minutes, perhaps a minute or so longer if the soufflés have been refrigerated.
  13. Meanwhile, make the topping: Beat the cream with the vanilla and sugar until it holds a soft shape (or stiffer, if you like it that way).
  14. Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate until ready serve.
  15. When they are done, remove the soufflés from the oven and serve immediately, with a little powdered sugar sifted over the top, if you like.
  16. Pass the whipped topping separately.
  17. NOTES: You can substitute a lower-percentage bittersweet or semisweet chocolate if you prefer a sweeter, less intense chocolate flavor; or reduce the sugar to 1/4 cup to partially compensate for the sweeter chocolate, if desired.
  18. There is no need to make other changes in the recipe.
  19. After you have buttered the ramekins, the easiest way to dust sugar on the inside is to put the 2 tablespoons of sugar in one of the buttered ramekins.
  20. Tilt and hold that ramekin over another as if you were going to transfer the sugar.
  21. Rotate the ramekin containing the sugar, allowing the sugar to coat the sides as you slowly pour the sugar into the other ramekin.
  22. Repeat.
  23. Room temperature eggs are best because a cold egg might cause the chocolate to seize, which means it gets too stiff to work with.
  24. If you do not have eggs at room temperature, you can hold the egg yolks in a mixing bowl over medium heat (hold the bowl over but not on the burner) to warm them up.
  25. Underbeating egg whites is always better than overbeating them.
  26. You want to beat the whites until they're no longer yellow and translucent.
  27. To get a bigger rise, fill the ramekins higher than suggested.
  28. This will mean that you will have one or two fewer soufflés.
  29. Don't worry about underbaking or overbaking this recipe- The souffles will still taste good.


Most Helpful

These souffles are MARVELOUS!!! So easy to make, and my guests thought they were to die for. Since I'm not too crazy about bittersweet chocolate, I used half semi-sweet and half bittersweet chocolate, and also used regular salted butter. To top them, I whipped 1 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup powder sugar, then folded in 2 tablespoons Chamborg liquer (raspberry). OH MY!!! This recipe is definely a keeper!

conhackney November 02, 2009

These were my first souffles and they were fabulous! I used Trader Joe's bittersweet chocolate and salted butter but followed everything else as written. Once these were in their dishes I drove them to my Bible Study group and cooked them there, they transported easily and didn't seem to mind the ride. They are wonderfully chocolaty but have nice lightness to them and I really liked the little bit of crunch on the outlide edges from the sugar. Everyone loved them; I had several recipe requests and one dish came back so clean it looked like it had been licked spotless! I served 6 and have 2 waiting in the fridge which I will bake tonight. The whip cream is a must and perfect with the souffles. Thank you Chef Kate, I'll be making this again and again. Made for Please Review My Recipe Tag.

momaphet March 27, 2009

Well I have never souffle'd, until now. I have been curious about making such the creme of the crop, the heart of resistance, and this recipe will not only make you feel like you can souffle, but you can do it well. The directions are very, very concise and there were no changes made, there simply is no need to make changes. The eggs separated at room temperature is a must, as well as dissolving the chocolate slowly, but a good stir every now and then is the way to go. I made these but didn't bake them, so to me it appeared as the chocolate, butter, and sugars just maturated together. Lets just say it was very difficult not to eat it from that point, but in the oven they went, time flashed by and the little cracks showed up, signaling they were nearing doneness. The topping made the whole presentation perfect, and yes, I could of just eaten the creamy topping all by itself as well. I tried to get a good photo of this, but my little souffles were a bit lopsided, so will get it again when I make them next weekend. Oh Chef Kate, these are yummy, easy, and wonderful for the stomach desserts. Don't be afraid to try, you will be more then surprised.

Andi of Longmeadow Farm January 10, 2008

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a