Souffles Aren’t Scary

Even though souffles have made my cooking resolution list for a number of years, I have been successfully putting them off. That is until one appeared in Real Simple. I mean if the name of the magazine is Real Simple, how hard could it be?

Luckily it delivered as promised. Mine didn’t rise as high as the ones in the photos, but it was really delicious. It is a bit much to just throw together if you are feeling like a dessert, but there is nothing particularly challenging about it. You can also mix everything ahead of time, throw it in the fridge and then bake it later… if you are that prepared!

We used it as an excuse to finally open this great bottle of dessert wine we brought back from Vancouver Island, Canada. It is the Brandenburg No. 3 from Venturi Schulze, which unfortunately is not imported to the US. We tried a glass while we were at the restaurant West in Vancouver along time ago. Each time either of us has gone back we have brought back a bottle, which has only been twice.


Prep Time
15 M
Cooking Time
30 M
Total Time
45 M
Yields: Serves 2


  • 3  tablespoons  butter
  • 2  tablespoons  unsweetened cocoa
  • 3  ounces  semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 2  egg yolks
  • 2  egg whites
  • 2  tablespoons  sugar
  • pinch salt
  • pinch cream of tartar


  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Use 1 tablespoon of the butter to grease one 16-ounce or two 8-ounce ramekins. Coat the ramekins with the cocoa, tapping out the excess.
  2. In a large bowl, over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and remaining butter. Stir occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Whisk in the yolks one at a time until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites with the sugar, salt, and cream of tartar until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Gently fold the egg-white mixture into the chocolate. Spoon into the ramekins. (The recipe can be made to this point up to 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)
  4. Bake until puffed and set, 40 minutes for a 16-ounce soufflé, 20 minutes for two smaller ones. (If baked directly from the refrigerator, add 5 to 10 minutes.)

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