Yesterday morning we were shaken awake by a pretty large earthquake here in Salt Lake City. I had never experienced one of that magnitude before and it was honestly pretty frightening. On top of everything going on with COVID-19 and social distancing, it was just a tough, anxiety-filled day for me. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- our kitchen is my happy place. I got some work done in the morning and promised myself I would set everything aside and spend the afternoon in the kitchen baking, in an effort to relieve some stress. I ended up making chocolate soufflés and I’m pretty sure that’s just what Emmett and I needed! As I promised on IG stories yesterday, I’m sharing the recipe with you in today’s blog post. Click through to grab it, pin it, and peek at the process. What else does one do when there are natural disasters, pandemics, and we’re all spending LOTS of time at home? For me, baking is complete comfort and self care.
Before you get started, I highly encourage you to crank up some French music (perhaps some Édith Piaf?), pour yourself a glass of wine, let your worries go, and just focus on baking. Chocolate soufflé gets a bad rep and lots of people are intimidated by this delicate & classic dessert, but I promise you- it’s really not that difficult. Worse case scenario… your soufflé deflates, but it will still taste delicious! I also adapted the recipe so it’s a bit more foolproof. My soufflés pictured throughout this post aren’t perfect… I didn’t quite fill my ramekins full enough, but hey- they still turned out delectable! It’s a fun dessert to master.
- 8 ounces Dark Chocolate
- 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
- 4 tablespoons Granulated Sugar *plus more for coating the ramekins
- 6 Eggs *separated at room temperature
- 1 pinch Sea Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
- Remove top racks from oven, and place a baking sheet on the lowest rack. Heat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
- Butter six ramekins, then coat with granulated sugar, making sure each dish is evenly coated and well covered... tapping out excess once finished.
- In a medium bowl, melt the chocolate and butter (either in the microwave- careful not to burn, or over a double broiler on the stovetop). Let it cool slightly (it should still be warm), then whisk in the egg yolks and pinch of sea salt.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar at medium speed until the mixture is fluffy and holds soft peaks. Add the granulated sugar slowly (1 tablespoon at a time), beating until you get stiff, glossy peaks.
- Whisk a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate to lighten it. Gently fold in the remaining whites in three sections, just until combined (do NOT overfold). Transfer the soufflé batter to your prepared ramekins.
- Run your index finger around the inside edge of each ramekin between the dish and the soufflé mixture, pulling the batter from the sides.
- Transfer the ramekins to the baking sheet in the oven, REDUCING THE OVEN TEMP TO 375 degrees. Bake until the soufflés are puffed and the center moves only slightly when shaken gently... around 9-15 minutes, depending on your oven. Sprinkle with cocoa powder or confectioners sugar. Serve immediately while hot!
I’ll start by saying, I didn’t have super dark chocolate on hand, and since I’m social distancing- I wasn’t going to run to the grocery. I ended up using some semi sweet chocolate chips I had on hand. They still worked well, but my personal preference is really dark chocolate!
The key to a soufflé that rises and doesn’t delate when baking is whipping your egg whites to stiff, glossy peaks and folding them in GENTLY to the chocolate mixture.
Over mixing can cause deflating, so even if you have a few tiny white streaks of egg whites… it’s better to leave them than to keep folding and folding the mixture, over and over again. The cream of tartar is also my secret “cheat” weapon for perfect, puffed soufflés.
I made the mistake of not filling my ramekins full enough of batter, so my soufflés could only puff up so tall. I’d recommend filling them nearly to the top (maybe 1/4 – 1/2″ from the top rim).
Once you pull them from the oven, sprinkle the tops with cocoa powder or powdered confectioners sugar, then serve immediately. These are best hot from the oven!
Have you been spending more time in the kitchen this week since we’re all staying home and doing our part to flatten the curve? I certainly have, and I’m loving it! I’ve been trying to find the silver lining in all of this and I hope you can also find some comfort in the kitchen. Please let me know what you’ve been cooking and baking! Are there any amazing recipes I should try? Send them my way!
ColleenMarch 19, 2020 at 6:07 am
Oh no Sarah! I’m so glad you guys are safe and no damage to your home. I can only imagine how frightening that must have been. Sending big hugs your way 🤗
Your soufflé looks amazing 😋 and super delicious. I love chocolate and everything chocolate ☺️ But I’m not much of a baker. When I entertain I don’t usually make dessert but I have one treat that everyone loves which is chocolate covered berries. I cover raspberries, blackberries and blueberries in Lindt 70 % dark chocolate and for me they are a tasty bite of tart and sweet.
I’m so glad you can relieve your stress in the baking zone, you certainly have the perfect kitchen for some yummy creations. Wishing you a beautiful day and enjoy those gorgeous soufflés! Extra cuddles in order today with your pups! It’s my therapy with my fur baby!
SarahMarch 19, 2020 at 10:01 am
Thank you, Colleen! It was a crazy day! Chocolate covered berries are always a delicious dessert staple- yours sound amazing. Cuddling the dogs is definitely comforting- they’re enjoying having both Emmett and I home. Hope you have a good day :) xo
Beth StansellMarch 19, 2020 at 6:30 am
I thought of you when I heard the news of the earthquake–happy to hear you are ok ! Chocolate must have been on people’s brains yesterday–I made an easy and healthy chocolate avocado pudding with strawberries on top!! Will def try your chocolate souffle–I needed a good recipe for that dessert. Thanks for sharing!
SarahMarch 19, 2020 at 9:59 am
We are safe and everything is ok, Beth! Thanks for thinking of us. Yesterday was quite eventful with over 40 aftershocks. Whew! Your chocolate avocado pudding sounds amazing! I just sliced up the remainder of our strawberries- I might have to dunk them in chocolate. Ha!
PeggiMarch 19, 2020 at 7:09 am
An earthquake on top of a pandemic definitely calls for chocolate! Gads. Your recipes always look so beautiful! I’m considering spending the afternoon on a Christina Tosi-style layer cake…which might end up being breakfast for the next week since we can’t really share. I call that a silver lining.🤣 Here’s hoping that you have a calmer day, friend. (PS. Your dining room set updates look pretty exciting!)
SarahMarch 19, 2020 at 9:56 am
100%! It was a weird day. Your layer cake sounds incredible… Emmett and I LOVE having cake (or any dessert) for breakfast. Anytime we have leftover, that’s how it ends up being eaten. Haha! Hope you’re having a good week :) xo
ArdithMarch 19, 2020 at 7:59 am
In the infamous word of Bill the Cat, Ack! (P.S. I’m pretty sure I look like him this morning) It sure would be swell if Mother Nature decided to let up on us while we navigate that other thing. What better way to bring some healing cheer than a delectable chocolate recipe? Sarah, you such a trooper to make and share these Soufflés. Best wishes to you and Emmett. Cheers, Ardith
SarahMarch 19, 2020 at 9:54 am
Hahah!! Thanks for the laugh, Ardith :) It really would be swell if mother nature could ease off temporarily while we deal with everything else. Baking really helped calm me down yesterday! If you try the soufflés, let me know :) xo
Jonelle RiboniMarch 19, 2020 at 9:37 am
Just curious, do you have any tips or cheats for high altitude baking? I love to bake, but have gotten frustrated throughout the years trying recipes and not getting them right for altitude. I live in Albuquerque and have luck with some but not others.
SarahMarch 19, 2020 at 9:53 am
Hi Jonelle! Our house is at 5,320 elevation and didn’t have any issues with these. I think adding the cream of tartar really helps!
DannaMarch 19, 2020 at 11:59 am
I saw your instagram post about earthquake! Wow, that would be scary! So glad you and Emmett are okay. I’m sure it shook the pups up too! Virtual hug….hang in there!
Your Chocolate Soufflé looks delicious. Printing out recipe now! Chocolate is my go to stress reliever.
Our days look differently at the moment. I cannot go all day without coming to your cite and read or look at all the beautiful inspirational helpful information you post. I say that without pressure but to say thank you for all your hard work.
Hope today is a better day! Happy Thursday!
SarahMarch 19, 2020 at 3:43 pm
It was a crazy day and we experienced a LOT of big aftershocks following the earthquake. Thanks for thinking of us, Danna! Luckily, we’re safe and nothing was damaged…. but I definitely stress baked. Haha! It makes me so happy knowing that you check out the blog everyday to see what is new. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that. THANK YOU! Hope you’re having a great day and are keeping healthy :) xo
Julie SMarch 19, 2020 at 2:41 pm
Looks so good! I don’t bake a ton but I do love chocolate for stress ease :) Unfortunately eggs are hard to find on the shelves in my town at the moment, so I’m keeping my last dozen for breakfast options rather than dessert.
SarahMarch 19, 2020 at 3:38 pm
Chocolate is also my weakness, Julie. Haha! We haven’t had any trouble finding or stocking eggs, but I’m not sure what our grocery currently looks like. It seems crazy out there!
LaurenMarch 20, 2020 at 7:07 am
Good morning Sarah! This looks delicious! I love baking and for me, it’s very stress relieving as well. I’m hoping to get in the kitchen this week with the kiddos and whip up something with them. Likely it’ll be from a box, because I don’t have any baking chocolate on hand. Not even chocolate chips, which is odd considering my affinity for chocolate chip cookies! I may make some of your grandmas cookies though…I still have that recipe saved from Christmas! When I heard about the earthquake I instantly thought of you and my sister. I’m happy everything turned out ok with no damage…what a scary time to have to deal with an earthquake! Our state instituted a state-wide stay at home order last night, and school is now closed until May 1st. Bring on the recipes! I sure am going to need them!
SarahMarch 20, 2020 at 9:47 am
Thank you, Lauren! I’m all about spending more time in the kitchen to alleviate stress and enjoy good food. Emmett said we have never had better food. Haha! That cookie recipe is my all-time favorite! You’ll have to let me know what you think :) Yes- we’re safe and luckily nothing was damaged. I hope your sister is ok! It was a scary one. Try to find ways to enjoy spending time at home- we’re all going to get through this together. xo