Fancy a restaurant-like dessert at home? Want to surprise your friends or family at dinner? Craving some airy light chocolate souffle with a hint of mint freshness? Looking for an after-dinner dessert just for two people? Then you came to the right place :)
I’ve tried to make this chocolate souffle at home before, but I couldn’t understand the time-management of this chocolate goodness.. This dessert has to be served right out of the oven because after 3-5 minutes it will start to “fall down”. So how to serve it after dinner without any messy preparations? The answer is easy – make-ahead easy chocolate souffle recipe! The batter for this souffle was prepared in advance and stored in the fridge for 4 hours, then poured into ramekins after dinner, baked for 13 minutes and served perfectly hot and high with vanilla ice-cream. Next time we have some friends over for dinner I’ll know how to surprise them without too much effort :)
This chocolate souffle is different from chocolate fondant or lava cake, it’s extremely airy and bubbly, it is light and melts in your mouth instantly and doesn’t leave you feeling like you’ve just eaten an enormous piece of chocolate cake. It’s almost a guilt-free pleasure ;)
Ingredients (makes 2 standard ramekin-size souffle):
- 2 eggs, whites and yolks separated
- 2 tbsp cocoa
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp + 2 tsp milk
- 2 tbsp + 2 tsp mint tea (made from boiling water and fresh mint)
- 2 tbsp dark chocolate chips
- 3+1 tbsp white sugar
- powder sugar and fresh mint to serve
You can use mint extract (1/4 tsp) if you have any at home. Since I didn’t, I crushed a bunch of mint leaves by hand in a mortar and pestle for a couple of minutes, then combined it in a cup with hot boiling water, covered and let stand for at least half an hour. You can skip the mint all-together and use 5 tbsp milk in the recipe instead. But I find that mint pairs really well with dark chocolate and brings this dessert one level up.
Separate egg whites from yolks.
In a saucepan over medium heat combine 1 tbsp sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt, add milk and mint tea slowly, while constantly whisking. Let cook for a couple of minutes until the mixture thickens well.
If you have a saucepan with a very thin bottom make it over a water-bath and then put on a medium heat just for the last minute.
Take off heat and add chocolate chips. Whisk slowly until chocolate is melted and well combined. Let the chocolate mix cool slightly.
Make sure the egg whites are at room temperature for the next step otherwise the will not rise as well. Also make sure the bowl and whisk are dry and clean, it’s important. By using a stand mixer, hand mixer or a whisk (will take more time but totally possible), whisk egg whites until they form soft peaks.
Add remaining 3 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp at a time and mix-mix-mix-mix-mix until egg whites form stiff peaks. Make sure there’s no liquid egg whites leftovers at the bottom of the bowl. Set aside.
Add yolks to a slightly cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until well-blended.
Now the most important part. You need to make sure and save as much air from the beaten egg whites as you can, since this is what makes souffles rise during baking and melt in your mouth.
Add 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mix and mix gently until incorporated. This will loosen the chocolate mix, will make it lighter for the next step.
By using a wide spoon or spatula (preferably wooden) fold carefully, and I mean really gently, the remaining egg whites into the chocolate mix, trying to make as little moves as possible, trying not to smash that air out of egg whites. Once the egg whites are incorporated and you can’t see any traces of it, the batter is ready. At this point you’ll see some air bubbles on the surface of batter.
Bake immediately or cover with plastic film and store in a fridge for up to 4 hours.
Ramekins for souflle have to be thoroughly buttered (ideally by using fingers to ensure ramekins are all covered well with butter) and sprinkled evenly with sugar on all sides – this will help the chocolate souffle to “climb up” easier and rise evenly.
Bake at 190C/375F for 12-16 mins depending on your oven. Mines were perfect at 13.5 minutes. Make sure the oven is HOT before you put the ramekins in. This souffles will not rise if you put them in an almost-heated-to-the-right-temp-oven. Not this kind of treat they are :)
I would suggest to keep an eye on them after 7 minutes and so on. They will start to actively rise after 5-6 minutes so don’t be freaked out if you don’t see any movement until then (but honestly, I freak out every time!). Bake until the top layer is set but bouncy to the touch. Don’t be afraid to open the oven for a quick check.
Dust the souffle with powdered sugar and decorate with fresh mint leaves, serve immediately with ice-cream on a side to preserve the beauty and the elusory highness of this dessert.