The soufflé has always been that fabled pastry that you would only find in a fancy French restaurant. You’d have to order it ahead of time so that it would come to your table just in time for dessert and it’s always one of the more pricey menu items too. But why? Why is this dessert so damn high maintenance?
Yes, it may be the perfect light and airy chocolate pastry, but maybe, just maybe, you can make it at home instead and save a little quiche. So being the terrible baker that I am, I did as much research as I could to understand all the techniques behind making a soufflé. I was legit watching every YouTube video I could find and looked up every variation of this recipe to get a feel for how to do the impossible.
With this recipe, you’ll be able to impress literally anyone. From a date to a seasoned chef, baking a soufflé is a feat to behold. Some people call it impossible, but who doesn’t love a challenge? The wow factor of successfully baking one of these bad boys is so worth it.
#SpoonTip: It’s only got five ingredients and it’s gluten free. Amazing what a couple eggs and chocolate can do.
- Prep Time:25 minutes
- Cook Time:10 minutes
- Total Time:35 minutes
- Servings:3 ramekins
- 8 oz bittersweet chocolate
- 4 eggs
- 3 tablespoon butter
- 1 pinch cream of tartar
- 3 tablespoon sugar
- Cognac or Grand Marnier (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Place a large mixing bowl into your fridge. Give it a couple minutes to get really cold.
#SpoonTip: Use a large metal bowl if possible. It retains that cool temperature the best.
Use 2 tablespoons of butter and coat the inside of each ramekin. Make sure that you coat the entire inside of each one, all the up to the rim. Sprinkle sugar into each one and make sure it is evenly coated throughout. Do not skimp on the butter, You want to apply enough so that the sugar will adhere properly. Pop ramekins into the fridge.
#SpoonTip: The sugar will serve as a surface for your soufflé batter to grab onto as it grows in height while baking.
Set-up a double boiler by boiling about an inch or two of water in a pot. Once at a simmer, reduce so that the water is basically steaming. Maintain this temperature when putting your mixing bowl over the pot.
Add your chocolate into the double boiler and allow to melt. It should be a nice velvety chocolate sauce.
Once the chocolate has completely melted, add 1 tablespoon of butter. The chocolate should get really shiny after mixing in the butter. Keep warm and at a saucy consistency.
Separate four eggs making sure to not let any of the egg yolks break into the whites. Whites need to be as pure as possible. Set yolks aside and add whites into the cold large mixing bowl you had left in the fridge.
Add a generous pinch of cream of tartar into the egg whites and begin to whip until they become stiff peaks. You are adding air into your egg whites. This is what makes your soufflé so light and allows it to rise.
#SpoonTip: The use of the cold mixing bowl and the addition of the cream of tartar helps in stabilizing the egg whites in order to create those stiff peaks.
Return the egg whites back into the fridge just to maintain that cold temperature.
Whisk in three egg yolks into the chocolate mixture one at a time. Your mixture should get very thick so you’ll need to use some elbow grease in this step. Once the three egg yolks have been incorporated, you can then add in the booze.
#SpoonTip: You can use that leftover yolk to make an aioli if you want. No yolk gets left behind.
Add about a fourth of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Begin to fold into the chocolate using a spatula until it becomes a homogenous mixture.
#SpoonTip: Make sure to FOLD IN THE EGG WHITES. You don’t want to mix them with a whisk because it will break down those airy egg whites you worked so hard to make.
Add in the remaining egg whites into your chocolate mixture and fold them in. Stop once the mixture has just become homogenous. Little streaks of white are fine. Just make sure to not overwork the mixture.
#SpoonTip: Again, FOLD IN EGG WHITES. Do not mix.
Remove the sugar-coated ramekins from the fridge and add the batter up to the rim of each one.
Lightly tap the bottom of the ramekins on a table to ensure that the batter is touching each and every part of the inside of each ramekin completely.
Place into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Do not open oven once the ramekins are inside. You want a controlled environment holding a constant temperature. Watch as they begin to rise.
#SpoonTip: Each oven is different so you will need to play around with the timing. You’ll probably need a minute more or minute less. That should be safe.
Remove from oven and dust the top of each soufflé with powdered sugar. It should look like each soufflé has gotten a little sprinkling of snow over the top.
#SpoonTip: If you have some vanilla ice cream in the fridge, scoop out a cup of it into a bowl and allow it to melt. Once melted, it is basically a créme anglaise.