Chocolate souffle

It seems if you mention the word ‘chocolate’, combined with ‘recipe’, most ears in the room prick up, and pens and paper are quickly gathered and put to work. To make triply sure of an audience, toss in the word ’soufflé’, and you’ll find you’re as popular as Bob Dylan.

No matter what the health revolution is telling us, people are not turning away from chocolate, no matter how rich it is, no matter how filled with fat it is. They take it, lick the bowl and announce they are returning to their health kick the next morning.

Soufflés are a natural with chocolate. There’s an illusion of lightening the load, but it’s only an illusion. You end up eating stacks of chocolate, and a couple of egg yolks, and some cream to help it down, and sugar, and, oh hell, if you’re going to love it, love it. Don’t feel guilty.

100g dark chocolate — Cadbury’s Energy and Small’s Club are fine.

60g caster sugar

a little milk to help mix sugar and chocolate

4 egg whites

20g sugar to assist whisking

2–3 egg yolks

10 hazelnuts, peeled and chopped roughly — The nuts aren’t necessary, but I like a little surprise in my souffles. Any nuts you like with chocolate will be fine.


Melt the chocolate with the 60g of sugar in the milk in the microwave. Cook on high for about a minute, then mix together with a wooden spoon. Return for a minute until the chocolate has melted. Beat for 20 seconds, until it has all come together. It should be liquid, as lava is liquid. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes or so.


With a perfectly clean whisk in a perfectly clean bowl, whisk the egg whites through the rest of the sugar until they form firm, snowy peaks. Leave for a minute.


Test the chocolate mix with your finger. It should be hardly warm. Beat in the egg yolks until well blended.


Using a spatula, fold half the egg whites into the chocolate mix.

Take care to maintain the air in the whites as much as possible. Toss in the chopped nuts. Heat the oven to 200°C.


Fold in the rest of the egg snow, lifting and folding to maintain ultimate lightness.


Butter your soufflé dishes and pour the mix in until it reaches the top.


Bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes, until the top has fluffed up, but is still clearly undercooked. Serve with cream or ice cream.


You will note that the spoon meets little or no resistance. I like souffles to be what they are named to be: breaths of air, rather than heavy winds. If you cook the soufflé longer, it will firm up, and take on the texture of a very light pudding — that’s the egg yolks doing their job, I guess. It tastes richer, but it’s not my soufflé.

WINE — Have you ever tried a big, full-flavoured methode champenoise like Seppelt Sallinger, Yellowglen Vintage or Croser with a chocolate soufflé? If you want something sweeter, try a good Rutherglen tokay.