Chocolate Soufflés

Jacques Torres is a wonderful pastry chef and owner of The Chocolate Factory in Robin’s hometown – Brooklyn. We have been to the store and had his wonderful chocolates and croissants. We were inspired to make this version of a chocolate souffle after seeing him demonstrate one a few years ago on Cooking Live. We especially like this compared to other chocolate souffle recipes we have tried since it is merely melted chocolate mixed in with whipped egg whites instead of having to make a pastry cream, mix that with melted chocolate and then mix in the egg whites – it saves some work! We substitute powdered egg whites for 4 large egg whites since we had them in the house and they are pasteurized so we did not need to be concerned about soft, creamy, souffle interiors. The result is a wonderfully elegant, romantic, individual dessert.

Servings and Times

Serves: 2
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Tools and Appliances

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We start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. We make sure the rack is in the center of the oven and that the rack on top is far from the center rack. The souffles will rise after all! Next we get our ramekins ready. We will use two 8-ounce ramekins for this dessert. We place our butter in a piece of paper towel and rub the butter on the bottom and all the way up the insides of the two ramekins. Next we place half a tablespoon of sugar in each ramekin, reserving the remaining two tablespoons for the egg whites, and tilt each ramekin around to coat the butter completely with sugar. We dump out the extra sugar into the sink.

Next we open the package of Lindt chocolate. We want about 2.25 ounces of chocolate for the recipe (the rest we reserve for eating!), so we break off a 20-square piece and chop it on a piece of parchment over our cutting board with a serrated knife. We put the chopped chocolate into a medium sized heat-safe bowl that we will put over simmering water to make a “double boiler”. We place some water into a medium pot and check with the bowl of chocolate – we do not want the water to touch the bottom of the bowl. We adjust and then place the pot on the stove. We bring it to a boil and then take the pot off the heat and place the chopped chocolate bowl on top. We stir occasionally with a rubber spatula until the chocolate is melted.

Meanwhile, we place all the powdered egg whites into a bowl. We place the water in a measuring cup and microwave for 40 seconds to warm. We pour the warm water over the egg whites and stir with a fork. We want the powder to be completely dissolved and this takes a few minutes.

When the egg whites are ready, we pour them into the bowl of our KitchenAid stand-up mixer. We turn to speed 8 and begin beating them with the wire whip. We add the lemon juice with the machine on and when the egg whites start to get frothy, after about 5 minutes, we add the reserved sugar in a stream while still beating the egg whites. We turn the machine to speed 10 and whip to just before stiff peaks – we do not want dry egg whites but we want them to be more than soft peaks. This takes about 10 more minutes.

Meanwhile, we place the melted chocolate back on medium-low heat in our “double boiler” and check every couple of minutes by stirring and touching. We want the melted chocolate to get hot.

When the egg whites are ready, we stop the mixer and remove the bowl. We fold in the hot chocolate with our rubber spatula. When it is pretty well combined, we pour the mixture into a large measuring cup.

We divide the mixture between the two prepared ramekins. The ramekins are filled all the way to the top. We carefully place them into the preheated oven and bake them for about 10 minutes. We want the souffles to rise over an inch above the rim and the top to start to brown.

While the souffles are baking, we quickly clean up and then whip the chilled cream to stiff peaks for some whipped cream. We do this with our cleaned KitchenAid bowl and wire whip, but it is a little slow since we are just whipping a small amount of cream. We probably should have done it by hand! Next we cut off the top of each strawberry with a small paring knife and then make slits from just under the top to the bottom of each strawberry so we can fan them out decoratively. We also remove the strawberry sauce from the fridge and microwave it for 30 seconds to warm.

As soon as the souffles are done, we remove them carefully from the oven and serve topped with the whipped cream, strawberry sauce, strawberries, and a sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar.

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