Named after the French word souffler, meaning to puff or blow, soufflés came about in the late 1700s in France, when chefs began experimenting with meringue. The first published recipes started emerging in the early 1800s, with both savoury and sweet versions.
- 50 g unsalted butter, plus extra, melted, to grease
- 110 g (½ cup) caster sugar, plus extra, to sprinkle
- 100 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
- 2 tbsp plain flour, sifted
- 250 ml (1 cup) milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs, separated, plus extra 2 egg whites
- 110 g (⅓ cup) store-bought chocolate hazelnut spread
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) pouring cream
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Make sure you use the eggs at room temperature as this makes it easier to fold the batter. You will need a 1.5 L round soufflé or ovenproof dish for this recipe, or, if you have one, a copper saucepan as we have done.
Brush insides of soufflé dish with a little melted butter using even upward strokes to help soufflé rise. Sprinkle with extra sugar, shaking out excess.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Place chocolate in a small heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir occasionally for 5 minutes or until chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium–low heat. Stir in the flour, then stir constantly for 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and stir in milk, sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Return the pan to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes or until thick and smooth. Remove pan from heat and set aside to cool. Once cool, stir in egg yolks, then fold in melted chocolate until just combined.
Using an electric mixer, whisk 6 egg whites to stiff peaks. Using a large metal spoon, fold one-third of the egg whites into chocolate mixture to loosen, then fold in the remainder until just combined. Spoon into the prepared dish. Bake for 35 minutes or until well risen.
Meanwhile, to make hazelnut ganache, place chocolate spread and cream in a small saucepan over medium–low heat. Simmer, whisking constantly, for 5 minutes or until smooth. Pour into a small jug.
Using the back of a spoon, make a small indent on top of soufflé, then very slowly pour hazelnut ganache into indent. Serve chocolate soufflé immediately.
Photography by Chris Chen