Individual Chocolate Soufflés with Vanilla Custard Sauce
The Classic French Chocolate Soufflé is light as air and rich as sin. Surprisingly simple to make, Individual Chocolate Soufflés look impressive, but come together in a flash.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m not much of a joiner. As in, I don’t like to join stuff. I feel that there are two kinds of people in this world: those who prefer to accomplish tasks with other people (exercise, shop, cook, complete projects, etc.), and those who prefer to work alone. I fall squarely in the later group. It’s not that I dislike people. I just prefer to get things done by myself. On my own time. As I see fit.
So, joining groups is not really my thing. And yet, I’ve joined one. It’s called Baking on the 15th, and it’s really the best kind of group for non-joiners like myself. Every month a new host baker announces a new baking challenge. Then, we all go about baking it. On our own. In our own kitchens. Do you see why this is a good group for me?
Of course, there’s no reason in the world why members couldn’t decide to bake together. There’s just no requirement to do so. This is my first month participating in Baking on the 15th. And, I’m really kind of digging it. Especially since it gave me the excuse to indulge my inner chocoholic.
This month’s challenge was Chocolate Soufflés
Fellow chocolate lovers of the world, unite. The classic French Chocolate Soufflé was created just for you and me. Because, holy wow. These are scrumptious.
And, before you get all, “Soufflés are difficult and challenging and way too complicated….” Just stop it. Because chocolate soufflés are one of the most simple desserts you can make.
Did you hear me? Simple. Easy. Decadent. Chocolate. They might be the perfect dessert.
I think the reason soufflés have a rap for being difficult is the fact that they do, in fact, fall soon after baking. Their light-as-air texture means they simply don’t have the internal structure to maintain their own weight once the heat of the oven is no longer supporting their poof. Your soufflés will fall. So what?
If you want to impress dinner guests and serve them gloriously puffed straight from the oven, simply get all your ingredients ready ahead of time, including separating the eggs and melting the chocolate and butter. After dinner, it will take you less than 10 minutes to whip up the batter and get your soufflés in the oven. They only take about 20 minutes to bake, plenty of time to pour coffee or serve after dinner drinks and let everyone’s dinner settle a bit.
If you don’t care about your guests seeing them in their puffed up state, then serving these will be particularly breezy. Make them earlier in the day and serve them at room temperature. They won’t look as impressive, but they will still taste amazing, I promise.
And then there’s the crème anglaise
Drizzling your chocolate souffles with crème anglaise is, of course, optional. But, why would you ever not want to drizzle rich chocolate with vanilla custard? Like chocolate soufflés, crème anglaise is super simple to make and will store in your refrigerator for up to 1 week. If you have some left over, I strongly suggest baking an Irish Apple Cake or Gooey Apple Slab Pie, both of which are made to be drizzled with custard sauce.
Chocolate Soufflé Recipe Notes
I’ve modified it slightly, decreasing the amount of butter and egg yolks and replacing the recommended rum or coffee with vanilla. The changes were to ensure that my chocolate soufflés achieved the maximum “puff”, even though I’m in Denver at 5280 feet above sea level. The Joy of Cooking recipe also doesn’t call for whipping the egg yolks, but I think the added air from beating them with some of the sugar makes a difference.
While I hope I’ve convinced you that making chocolate soufflés are easy, there are a few things you really need to pay attention to…
Prep your ingredients and soufflé dishes, preheat your oven, then whip up the batter quickly. Souffles should be assembled as quickly as possible, so preheat your oven, prep your ramekins, and measure out the ingredients before you start mixing.
Egg whites will not rise if your bowl is not perfectly clean. You’ll notice that this recipe calls for whipping the egg yolks and egg whites separately. You can certainly use the same bowl to whip the yolks and whites – that’s what I did – but please make sure to thoroughly wash and dry the bowl before trying to whip the egg whites. Even a drop of yolks or water can prevent the whites from rising into the glorious fluffy cloud that is essential to the soufflés rising.
All ingredients should be at room temperature. Especially the eggs. Do not use cold eggs to make chocolate soufflés.
Fold, don’t stir, in the egg whites. Be as gentle as you can when incorporating the beaten egg whites into the chocolate. Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to gently cut through the middle of of the batter, then scoop along the bottom of the bowl and flip the batter over onto itself. Repeat this motion until the whites are incorporated.
Don’t open the oven door. Turn on the oven light and peak through the glass to watch your soufflés rise if you like, but resist the temptation to open the oven door while they are baking. Doing so will most likely cause them to fall before they are fully baked.
If you’re serving these with crème anglaise, you’ll need a total of 9 eggs. This chocolate souflee recipe calls for more egg whites than yolks. But, crème anglaise is made from all yolks and no whites. So, make the crème anglaise first and save the whites for the soufflés.
This recipe makes 8 individual Chocolate Soufflés if you use 4oz ramekins. There are 4 of us living in this house and all 8 were gone by the end of the night. I might add that my husband and myself only ate one. That means our two teenage daughters ate the other six. AND, they begged me to make more.
So, on behalf of myself and my glutinous chocolate loving teenagers, a hearty “thank you!” to Dianne of Dianne’s Dishes for this month’s Baking on the 15th pick.
Used in this recipe:
You might also like:
- Dark Chocolate Brownies for Chocolate Lovers
- The BEST Chocolate Cupcakes
- Marble Chocolate Cheesecake
- The Ultimate Chocolate Cake with Rum Custard and Almond Pralines
Individual Chocolate Souffles
- 1¾ cup whole milk
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 8 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- 4 tbsp butter (plus 1 tbsp more for coating the inside of the ramekins)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 large egg yolks
- ½ cup granulated sugar, divided in half (plus 2 tbsp more for coating the inside of the ramekins)
- 6 large egg whites
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- Pour the milk into a heavy bottomed medium size saucepan and cook over medium heat until bubbles appear along the edges of the pan.
- While the milk is heating, add the sugar and egg yolks to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is thickened slightly and pale yellow. Beat in the cornstarch.
- With the mixer running, gradually pour the heated milk into the egg yolks in a thin steady stream. Stop the mixer halfway through pouring in the milk to quickly scrape down the sides of the bowl. Resume beating at medium speed to slowly add the remaining milk.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula, until the sauce thickens enough to coat the spoon with a light, creamy layer. Do not let the mixture come close to boiling. The maximum temperature it reaches should be 170 degrees.
- Strain the sauce into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer and stir in the vanilla. Cover and refrigerate. Custard sauce can be served either warm or cold and will keep for 1 week, covered in the refrigerator.
- Prepare 8 4oz. ramekins as follows: Coat the inside with softened or melted butter. Sprinkle some granulated sugar into each ramekin and shake it around to coat the inside completely. Place the buttered and sugared ramekins on a baking sheet and put in the refrigerator until ready to fill and bake.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a low simmer. Put the chocolate and butter into a saucepan or bowl that is just smaller in size than the one you filled with water. Place the bowl of chocolate and butter over the boiling water and allow the chocolate and butter to melt, stirring constantly. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a large bowl, stir in the vanilla and salt, and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and ¼ cup sugar on high speed until the yolks are thickened and pale yellow, about 3-4 minutes. Gently stir the yolks into the room temperature chocolate.
- If using the same mixing bowl to beat the egg yolks and egg whites, wash and dry it throughly. Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until frothy. Sprinkle in the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form. Sprinkle in the remaining ¼ cup of granulated sugar. Beat until the whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks when the whisk is lifted away.
- Gently fold about ¼ of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten. Then fold the remaining egg whites into the chocolate in 2 additions, being as careful as you can to not deflate the beaten egg whites.
- Remove the tray of ramekins from the refrigerator and divide the batter amongst them. Each ramekin will be full to the top with batter.
- Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, until the souflees are puffed and the tops look dry.
- Remove from the oven and serve immediately.