This is a rich, decadent, molten chocolate soufflé laced with salted caramel that would be perfect for any special occasion but especially Valentine’s Day.
A soufflé is a bit of a fussier dessert than a basic batch of chocolate chip cookies, but the extra effort will definitely be noticed–that is one reason why this is a great special occasion recipe. Wow your loved one, roommates, or co-workers with this fun, decadent dessert!
What is a Soufflé Cake Made of?
Let’s knock this question out first for the uninitiated. Soufflé cakes are crispy on the outside and light and puffy on the inside. They are made with egg yolks, beaten egg whites, and a variety of other ingredients.
Chocolate Soufflé Ingredients
- Chopped dark chocolate
- Butter (cubed)
- Granulated sugar
- Teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whipping cream
- Heavy cream
- Sea salt
(Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe card with exact measurements and instructions.)
There are two schools of thought for this dessert; make the caramel first and let it cool down while you make the soufflé, or vice-versa. It really depends on how comfortable or experienced you are with each stage of the recipe (caramel stage and soufflé stage).
If one is fussier for you than the other, save that one for last. On the other hand, there is a school of thought that holds you should serve the soufflés immediately if possible. That means making the sauce FIRST.
The caramel sauce is fairly simple; just put sugar in a medium-sized pot over a medium-high heat. Whisk until it starts to melt, keep cooking it until it turns amber, then add the butter. Once the butter is all in you can slowly add the cream, remove from heat, and season with vanilla and salt.
Making the soufflé itself means using a double-boiler if possible for best results. Using the eggs in this recipe means separating them, you add sugar and vanilla to the yolks, then beat them until fluffy.
The yolks go into the chocolate, give sugar to the egg whites and whip them until they form peaks. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate, butter the ramekins, and add some caramel to the bottom of them. Pour batter in, bake, and top with caramel once out of the oven and cool. Follow the full instructions below to get started!
Chocolate Soufflé With Salted Caramel Hacks
Proceed with caution if you are taking soufflé advice from “typical” soufflés to prep this chocolate souffle recipe.
The going wisdom from traditional soufflés is that a coating of butter and sugar helps the soufflé to rise evenly; you may need to experiment with this if you want to give that a try as many variables could affect your results including altitude, your baking equipment, etc. It’s important not to skip buttering the ramekins, and don’t skimp on that butter!
Some desserts need a bit more care–you don’t worry about a brownie rising evenly, after all. For this one, the chocolate soufflé may not turn out so visually perfect if the egg white is not evenly spread through the mixture; any pockets of egg white that aren’t more completely blended into the mix may contribute to cracking.
Making caramel can be as easy as adding two parts sugar to one part water, but the important thing to keep in mind with caramel is that you’ll need something to make it more of a creamy sauce and less like the thicker, goopier caramel you get otherwise. For this recipe the secret weapon is the cream and the butter.
This is the best dessert I have ever made. Period. And the best part, aside from the molten chocolatey deliciousness, is the salted caramel filling. It’s rich, salty, creamy and really takes this over the top.
- 16 oz of chopped dark chocolate
- 1/2 cup of butter (cubed)
- 8 eggs
- 1/3 cup of granulated sugar ( plus 2 tablespoons)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup of whipping cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 tbs. butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
Souffles may be best eaten as soon as possible once out of the oven. That’s why we have the caramel sauce instructions listed first--its best to have this step out of the way well before you bake!
1. Preheat the oven at 350F.
2. To make the caramel, add the sugar to a medium-sized pot over a medium-high heat.
3. Using a whisk, stir the sugar until it begins to clump and melt.
4. Continue cooking until the sugar is a dark amber color, then add the cubed butter and continue stirring until it is completely incorporated (about 2 min).
5. Then slowly add the heavy cream. It will seize up for a second, but keep whisking and it will return to a creamy sauce.
6. Remove from the heat and set aside.
7. Add the vanilla and sea salt.
8. Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler (I used a heat-proof bowl and placed it over a medium–sized pot filled with about ½ cup water) to make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
9. Separate the eggs; put the egg whites in a large bowl, and the yolks in a smaller one.
10. Add the ⅓ cup of sugar and vanilla to the yolks and beat until pale and fluffy.
11. Add the egg yolks to the butter and chocolate mixture and gently fold them into the mixture.
12. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar to the egg whites and whip until they form soft peaks. Carefully fold whipped egg whites into the chocolate mix.
13. Butter the ramekins. (I used a pat of butter on a paper towel)
14. Drizzle about a tbs. of caramel into the bottom of each ramekin then pour the batter in and bake for 25 minutes.
15. Once cooled, top with caramel (I also whipped some heavy cream as a topping but this is totally optional!)
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