I have to be honest. I’m not sure which one gets me more excited … this luscious, Chef Thomas Keller chocolate souffle or the super sexy, stainless steel All-clad ramekin that it’s in (yes, in my world, pots can be sexy).
I have never used All-Clad cookware, so I was excited when All-clad recently contacted me and invited me to try this beautiful Thomas Keller chocolate souffle recipe in their souffle/soup ramekins. I was surprised at how heavy they were when I took them out of the box. And so shiny and cute. I immediately thought of a million uses for them (beyond the souffle). These pots will work on top of the stove or in the oven. A set of 2 is really quite reasonably priced for quality All-Clad cookware. They’ll last a lifetime!
After taking some time to admire the pots, it was time to break them in with the souffle recipe. Despite their reputation, souffles are actually fairly easy to make and require only a bit of care in preparation to ensure success. And what’s more, you can whip this up with things you probably already have in your pantry! (Makes this perfect for a great, last-minute Valentine’s dessert).
Another misconception about souffles is that they need to be made at the last minute. Fact is, you can make this souffle up a couple of hours ahead, refrigerate and just pop in the oven after dinner. And don’t worry yourself too much about having everyone seated with spoon in hand to receive your souffle right out of the oven. Relax, it’s going to be delicious. (I may be a wierdo, but I actually like my souffle lukewarm and a wee bit deflated).
Here are a few tips for souffle success:
- Have your eggs at room temperature, so separate and let sit out for 30 minutes or so before starting.
- Start to preheat your oven as soon as you start the recipe, so it has long enough to get up to consistent temperature.
- Have all your ingredients measured and at the ready before you start. The process moves quickly, so having everything ready ahead prevents issues. Also be sure to have your baking pans greased, sugared and ready.
- Make sure your chocolate base is pretty cool before adding your whipped egg whites. While my egg whites were whipping, I stirred the base a few times, to help it cool more quickly.
- Don’t over-whip your egg whites. With a stand mixer, I start on speed 6 until, then raise to 7 and finally 8. Check often by stopping the mixer and dipping the whisk into the whites to check the consistency. Whites should be glossy and stand straight up, with only the tip falling over. That’s what you’re after.
- Fold your egg whites gently into your chocolate just until mixed. Try not to over-mix.
- Test your souffle before considering it done. It may look done but be ooey-gooey inside.
- Don’t open the oven door during the cooking. Of course, it’s ok to do so near the end to test doneness.
- You can bake souffles in a variety of vessels, from individual ramekins to small baking dishes. A tall, straight-sided, ovenproof dish, with straight sides, will help the soufflé rise. You can make a collar with parchment or foil to increase the height of low dishes. You can even use an oven-safe saucepan for a unique presentation!
Thomas Keller’s Chocolate Souffle
Summary: A lovely dessert, perfect for special occasions. Use room temperature eggs and have all your ingredients measured and ready before you begin. An electric or stand mixer is recommended for this recipe.
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar (divided)
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons (3/4 ounce) unsalted butter
- 1 Tablespoon plus 2 1/2 teaspoons all purpose flour
- Kosher salt
- 1 ounce, 70% chocolate, finely chopped
- Softened butter and granulated sugar for coating the pan
- Preheat the oven to 400° F. with the rack in the center of the oven.
- In a small bowl, mix together 1 Tablespoon of the sugar with the cornstarch. Whisk in the egg yolks and set aside.
- For the soufflé base, place the milk in a small sauce pan over medium heat to warm. In a separate small saucepan,
- melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and a pinch of kosher salt into the butter mixture. Whisk for about 30 seconds.
- Remove from heat. Whisk in 1/3 of milk to form a smooth mixture without lumps. Whisk in another 1/3 of the milk and then the final third. Return to medium heat and whisk, bringing to a simmer. Simmer for 30 seconds then remove the pan from the heat. Immediately whisk in the chocolate to melt. Whisk in the egg yolk mixture. Place the base in a large mixing bowl.
- Brush your baking dish (or dishes) generously with softened butter. At the end, brush the butter
- vertically around the sides of the pan, so that the soufflé will rise along the lines. Coat the pan with
- granulated sugar.
- In a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk the egg whites until they foam. Whisk in 1/3 of the remaining sugar until the whites begin to hold a form. Add another 1/3 of the sugar and continue to whisk until the whites hold a bit more of a shape. Add the final 1/3 of the sugar and continue whisking and add the remaining sugar until the whites are shiny and hold a firmer shape. Do not over whisk the whites. They should be glossy and hold a shape but over-whisking can cause them to break down.
- Gently stir about 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to combine and lighten the batter. Fold the remaining whites in the batter.
- Spoon the soufflé into the prepared dish to reach the almost top of the pan. (Any extra can be placed in a ramekin and baked alongside the pan). Bake the soufflé anywhere from 15 minutes (for individual ramekins) to 30 minutes (for one larger pan), depending on the size of the baking dish, or until it has risen and the top is set (check with a skewer or about 160° with instant read thermometer). *Mine took close to 30 minutes for this one large-ish souffle.
- Serve immediately, with whipped cream, creme anglaise or vanilla ice cream and a few raspberries, if desired. Serves 2 – 4.
Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 20 min | Total time: 50 min
Number of servings (yield): 3
All-Clad provided me with a complimentary set of ramekins in order to make and present this dessert. Thomas Keller’s Chocolate Souffle recipe courtesy of All-Clad, as well.