February 28th is National Chocolate Soufflé Day!
I actually had no idea this holiday existed, but every day I can celebrate something (particularly chocolate) is a day I love!
In honor of the holiday, let’s talk a little bit about the history of the soufflé and I’ll share my experiences making a chocolate soufflé and a few recipes!
A soufflé is simply a dish that puffs up during baking. The word soufflé comes from the French word “souffler,” which means “to puff up.” Chocolate soufflés were actually not the first use for soufflés. Before chocolate soufflés were created, most chefs made egg or cheese soufflés. The first known recipe for a soufflé was published in 1742. I couldn’t see a source for when chocolate soufflé day became nationally-recognized; if you find one, let me know!
The key to making a soufflé rise properly is whipped egg whites. The stiffer your egg whites (and the less you mix them after whipping) the puffier your soufflé will be.
I learned a few things when making my soufflé:
- If the oven is too hot, the soufflé will crack. This happened to me.
- Whipping the eggs to hard peaks is important, but if you over-beat, the eggs will separate.
- Larger soufflés rise more (probably because there is more air).
- A soufflé falls a lot faster than you would expect. Mine started to fall about 30 seconds after coming out of the oven. I read that a cool room will cause the soufflés to deflate faster, and my kitchen was pretty cold when I made them.
- The soufflés will rise better when baked in a porcelain ramekin.
- Contrary to popular belief, it only takes about an hour to make a soufflé from start to finish.
Want to have your own fresh eggs for souffle? There is lots of information about keeping chickens in
Some Soufflé Recipes for You
This recipe from Martha Stewart is the one I modified for my use. I used cream instead of water, milk chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet, and skipped the sugar. If you make this recipe, I would use un-sweet baking chocolate and about ½ to ¾ of a cup of sugar. I thought my soufflés did not have a deep enough chocolate flavor. They tasted like bland chocolate cake.
I love these recipes where a soufflé is combined with a lava cake. So much delicious chocolate goodness! The Girl Who Ate Everything has an amazing-looking recipe.
This soufflé recipe from Zen Can Cook is supposedly “the perfect chocolate soufflé;” if it tastes amazing, you should let me know.
This recipe from Tasting Spoons is supposedly the recipe that Julia Child used for her soufflés. It is a lot more complicated than the one I made; so probably, lot’s better. I should have tried making this one instead!
What is your favorite kind of souffle?