Soufflés are one of those desserts that sound and look fancy, but are in reality made of simple things with simple techniques.
In other words, these are akin to all of my favorite kinds of desserts. At their most simple, they can be made with just two ingredients (maple syrup and eggs – yes, I’ve tried it, and yes, it works!) and at their most elaborate can be require over a dozen ingredients.
In either case, however, the actual work takes half an hour or less. And in return for that labor you get a hot, inflated, fairly fluffy creation that, in my opinion, is especially nice when it’s made with chocolate.
One night during the first few months of our marriage, I was up late on my computer in the bedroom, trying to meet a work deadline. Luckily for me, Tim was in the kitchen whipping up something fun.
That something fun turned out to be chocolate soufflé and I’ve had a special place for them in my heart ever since.
My take on Chef Emeril Lagasse’s version, which I present for you here, is a testament to the trustworthiness of his recipes. Even though I forgot to set a timer and only checked on them when my nose said, “Whoa!” they were rich, decadent delights that by brother Adam and I ate together in my parents’ dining room.
I hope you will enjoy them as well, whether prepped on your own or made with someone you love.
After not one but two cancelled flights, I actually made this with my brother, at my parents’ house in Chicagoland. He pulled out his camera, and I pulled out eggs, chocolate, sugar and a tiny bottle of Grand Marnier orange liqueur that we picked up at the store.
We whipped up this fancy little dessert that is rich, indulgent, and precisely the sort of thing I’d want to order at a restaurant on a special occasion.
Is there anything more delightful than homemade chocolate soufflé? Here’s our take on Emeril’s version, which is 100% doable and 100% decadent.
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated cane or coconut sugar, divided
8 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 large egg whites
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup Grand Marnier, or your choice of orange liqueur
Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease 4 individual ramekins with unsalted butter. Sprinkle each ramekin with about 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, shaking and turning to disperse the sugar all around to coat the surface. If you have any excess, save it to add to the soufflé batter.
Set a large metal bowl over a pot of simmering water to make a double boiler, and add the chopped chocolate. Let it melt down completely, whisking occasionally, then remove the bowl immediately from the heat. Struggling with seized chocolate? Check out our tips to fix it!
In a large, clean mixing bowl either by hand or using an electric stand mixer, whisk the egg whites until they are frothy. Continue mixing while you add 1/4 cup of sugar, and beat on high speed until the mixture becomes what Emeril calls “stiff and glossy,” and what I would call a big shiny glob.
The whipped egg whites should hold stiff peaks, meaning they will stand up on their own without flopping over when you stop beating them and pull the whisk away. Be careful to avoid overmixing; you’ll know you’ve done this if the eggs lose their lustrous sheen. Set aside.
Whisk the egg yolks into the chocolate one at a time. Add the Grand Marnier, and whisk in the remaining sugar. Fold the egg whites very gently into the chocolate mixture, to avoid deflating them.
Divide the mixture among your prepared ramekins. Place on a baking sheet and bake until they are puffed up and somewhat firm, about 20-25 minutes. Do not open the oven to check while they are baking, since this will release heat from the oven and they may never rise, or they could deflate before they’ve finished cooking. Serve hot!
Recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse.
Photos by Shanna Mallon, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Last updated: January 31, 2019 at 12:32 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.