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Julia Child’s Soufflé Au Chocolat (Chocolate Soufflé) Recipe


Meryl Streep as Julia Child in Julie & Julia by Sony Pictures

Almost two weeks ago I placed this blog post into your hands. You were asked to vote on the recipe that you’d like to see me make from Julia Child’s cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking and you chose Soufflé Au Chocolat. In the meantime, I managed to completely screw up a recipe for blackberry cobbler. Seriously? Who messes up a cobbler? Deanna does. After I pulled out my self-help books and recited my affirmations out loud in front of the mirror, I dusted off my copy of Julia’s book of French torture and began the soufflé.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Step 1:

7 ounces of semi-sweet or sweet baking chocolate

I used Hershey’s Special Dark since that is what I had in my pantry. French women everywhere are probably cringing right now.

1/3 cup strong coffee

Have I introduced you to my KitchenAid Coffee Grinder yet? I love it! It has adjustable stainless-steel cutting burrs for 15 different grind sizes but mostly I love the way it looks.

Small saucepan with cover set in a larger pan of almost simmering water

Place chocolate and coffee in the small pan, cover, and set in the larger pan of almost simmering water. Remove from heat and let the chocolate melt while you proceed with the recipe.

One square to spare for my honey!

I could just stop right now and be very happy. Why is it that if you spill one tiny drop of water in chocolate it becomes white and maybe even hardens but you poor coffee in it and it becomes shiny and smooth??

Step 2:

1/2 Tb softened butter

A 2 – 2 1/2 quart soufflé dish or straight-sided baking dish 7 1/2 to 8 inches in diameter

Smear the inside of the dish with butter.

Surround with a collar of buttered aluminum foil (double thickness) to reach above the rim of the dish.


It took my sixteen-year-old daughter to come up with this contraption while I got the rest of the ingredients ready.

Step 3:

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

A 2-quart saucepan

A wire whip – I’m guessing a whisk will do

2-cup milk

3 Tb butter

Measure the flour into the saucepan.

Start whisking in the milk by dribbles – I do love the word dribbles. Well, maybe not when it comes to babies but other than that I do love the word dribbles.

…to make a perfectly smooth cream; rapidly whisk in the rest.

Hey! It worked! Coolio!

Add the butter, and stir over moderate heat until boiling; boil, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and beat 1 minute or so to cool slightly.

Step 4:

4 egg yolks (Be sure to save the egg whites. You will need them soon!)

1 Tb pure vanilla extract

One by one, whisk the egg yolks into the hot sauce

…then the smoothly melted chocolate

Let’s stop and take it in. Mmmmm…. swirly goodness and mercy!

…and finally the vanilla.

Step 5

6 egg whites

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 cup sugar

Beat the egg whites and salt in a separate bowl…

Okay, so I took pictures of each obvious transition stage while the egg whites were forming into a peak.

Stage one – Bubbles.

Stage two – Latte foam.

Stage three – Soft peaks.

… until soft peaks are formed. Then, by sprinkles, beat in the sugar and continue until shining peaks are formed. – I can only imagine how long this took before KitchenAid. Thank you, KitchenAid!

Stage four – Creamy goodness.

Stage five – Shiny, stiff peaks! If your eggs start to get watery, you have reached stage six and you need to completely start over.

Scrape the chocolate mixture into the side of the egg white bowl. – Now that’s what I call “culinary arts!”

…delicately fold them together. – This is when I finally got nervous, well, with all that work to get the eggs just right, I’d hate to loose the fluff! Julia never told me how much to stir so I took the brownies approach and decided not to over stir. In time travel, I would go back and stir just a little more.

Turn the soufflé mixture into the prepared mold and set on a rack in the lower level of the preheated oven. Turn oven down to 375 degrees.

Step 6:

Powdered sugar in a sieve or shaker

In 35-40 minutes, when soufflé is well risen and the top has cracked, rapidly sprinkle the surface with powdered sugar; continue baking another 5 – 10 minutes. Soufflé is still creamy at the center when a skewer plunged down through a surface crack comes out slightly coated.

It is fully done and will stand up well (if that is how you like it) when the skewer comes out clean. Serve at once.

Now, in my defense, the skewer did come out clean and the soufflé certainly did seem to rise but…

…the moment I gently tugged on the foil to pull it out, this happened. I am starting to consider writing a blog about skydiving. I think it might be easier than this.

Here is what my piece of Soufflé Au Chocolat looked like. I found it to be something short of a treat. It was light and goopy… and no, not gooey like perfectly baked brownies are. It is supposed to be this way in the middle but I just don’t like that kind of texture.

It has been a long afternoon. I’m going to take it easy with a cup of hot green tea after I re-read my affirmations. I hope you will meet me back here again soon when we will be blogging Top Ramen.

I will rise when my soufflé falls.

I will rise when my soufflé falls.

I will rise when my soufflé falls.

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6 Responses

  1. Bill

    I have made this souffle and you are better off beating the egg whites in a copper bowl. Also, you did not bake it enough and you should use a real souffle dish. Most importantly, you made a critical mistake with the absolutely awful chocolate you used. This is most likely why you did not like the results. Spend the money and buy high quality chocolate. It makes all the difference. This recipe is a “to die for” dish when made correctly.


  2. Lovely Lovely! I just finished a flourless chocolate souffle myself. They are so delish and not as intimidating as people think.

  3. Regina

    Bill is quite harsh! I would have folded some egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it before folding the balance.

  4. Kiran S

    I think Bill just meant well, he seems to know a thing or two about cooking. When blogged recipes go awry, I drop down to the comments for suggestions. Anywho, I too have been experimenting with a chocolate soufflé recipe, by Sorted. After watching “Julie and Julia”, a darling movie, it just occurred to me that if anyone can do it and right–and brilliantly!–it’s going to be Julia Child. So I stumbled on your blog. 🙂

    I can’t tell you how much I really appreciate your pictures! You are a true egg-white-peaking-connoisseur! I wish I could accomplish such a feat. We don’t seem to have a whisk or hand-beater in the house so I’m stuck with a fork and some serious elbow grease (or should I say wrist grease?). I didn’t know if you whisk em too much, they become liquid-y so I learned something pretty important today. Thank you so much!

    As a suggestion, what really worked for me to get some gentle folding action whilst still achieving a smooth consistency was to just fold from the bottom. It took me two or three attempts to figure it out. Here’s a play-by-play: take your fork (or mixing agent) face-up and scoop from the side and into the bottom (as if you’re going to wistfully scrape the bottom of the bowl) and as you come up on the other side, turn your fork toward the center and fold the mixture over. I use one hand to gently fold and the other to turn the bowl between mixes so it folds inward from all sides nicely and evenly. It really does the trick, rising beautifully! I hope it helps all you readers and bloggers out there! Now the perfectionist in me is off to venture onto Attempt #5. Whew!


  5. Emily

    Now I know why the soufflé is considered the prima donna of the culinary world! Before attempting this for the first time, for my New Years Eve dinner, I studied many recipes on line and found this one to endeavor (with some small changed I incorporated from other studied recipes which may or may not make a difference). The result, divine success! It even surpassed my favorite French restaurant version which I never imagined I could duplicate or come close to matching. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe, pictures, and stage transitions to properly form the egg whites (which I never would have gotten right without the pictures). Here are my changes/notes to share. I placed metal bowl and metal beaters I would be using for egg whites in the freezer ahead of time so they would be cold. This was done at the same time I set the eggs and butter out to get to room temperature. I used a double boiler to melt the chocolate. After chocolate was fully melted I substituted 1/3 Kahlua coffee liqueur instead 1/3 cup strong coffee. (I know this was risky but it paid off!) If you use proper soufflé dishes, just generously butter dishes and dust with powdered sugar. To make a soufflé with a crown (high-hat soufflé) just before putting the soufflé into the oven take a large spoon or a rubber scraper and run a grove about 1 ½ inches deep all around the top , about 1 ½ inches from the edge of the dish. No foil will be necessary. I used non-homogenized whole milk, unsalted butter, and 60% dark cocoa Ghirardelli chocolate. I let the milk/egg/chocolate mixture completely cool before preparing the egg white mixture. Even individual servings need to cook at least 33-35 minutes. With the light on in the oven I could see when the tops had properly risen/cracked and were ready. I did not sprinkle with sugar but instead whipped heavy cream with a little sugar, Kahlua, and vanilla and had it ready when the soufflé was ready to come out and be served. I was so ecstatic with the outcome. My husband and I devoured it! With contented tummies we happily welcomed in the New Year! Cooking can truly be a Joy!

  6. Looks delicious! I love a good chocolate mousse and this recipe looks fantastic!

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