None other than a crème de la crème of French classic desserts, a Chocolate Souffle with the addition of a hint of lavender! If you’ve tried making a souffle numerous times and it simply didn’t turn out right, I am feeling your pain. After numerous attempts to get the perfect French Chocolate Souffle, I am now pleased to say that I’ve found the ingredients and the method that works for me every time! Oh, and did we mention that this is a gluten-free chocolate souffle???
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A Steep Learning Curve of A Souffle
I have learned how to make a souffle from Alex, A French Guy Cooking. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve attempted a souffle and failed. It’s silly really, they all use the same ingredients and only slightly different cooking methods, but for me, it was quite a journey to arrive at a recipe that never fails. I long called a Souffle my nemesis! Until Alex came along and showed me how to do it!
I am not going to tell you anything different about souffle in this recipe, really. It is much like any other recipe out there, but for some reason, this is the only way I am able to make a light and airy cloud-like chocolate souffle that doesn’t use any flour, and doesn’t taste eggy, and that rises high above the rim of the ramekin.
I now wish I had some photos of my failed souffles: some didn’t rise, some exploded like an active volcano with lava spewing all the way down onto the bottom of the oven (but only on the left-hand side) and yet others were made with flour so I simply cannot bring myself to call them souffle to start with.
French Chocolate souffle is an absolute classic and I always felt a bit of inferiority not being able to make one. Come on, I can make a good macaron, how come I cannot master a souffle? I was disappointed. And in all fairness, I did feel very bad every time I failed so in the name of my good mood I only tried making a souffle a couple of times a year. That is until I found Alex, A French Guy Cooking.
- milk: use whole milk if you can, but ideally milk with a fat content higher than 1.5%.
- cornflour: also known as cornstarch. Make sure it’s gluten-free if cooking for celiacs.
- dark chocolate: at least 65% cocoa solids.
- egg yolks: medium, approx. 35g.
- lavender essence: choose high-quality essence, otherwise it will get lost in the souffle.
- egg whites: medium, approx. 75g.
- caster sugar: also known as superfine sugar. It will be used in the souffle itself and to line the ramekin.
- butter: unsakted, for brushing the ramekins.
Step-By-Step Gluten-Free Chocolate Souffle Method
Melt the butter in a small saucepan or in a microwave, until just liquified, but not bubbling. Deliberately brush 190ml ramekins with butter with a pastry brush and place them in the fridge for the butter to solidify on the walls of the ramekins.
In the meantime, heat the milk with cornflour on low-medium heat stirring continuously until it starts to simmer. Make sure no lumps of cornflour form. Take the mixture off the heat and immediately pour the simmering milk over the finely chopped dark chocolate and stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth and glossy. Beat in the egg yolks and lavender essence and set the mixture aside.
Using an electric hand-held whisk or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk egg whites until foamy. Start adding caster sugar 1 teaspoon at a time and keep on whisking until you have a very firm glossy meringue.
Gradually add the chocolate mixture into the egg whites, and carefully fold the two together until combined.
Take the ramekins out of the fridge and brush them again with some melted butter. Tip a teaspoon of sugar into the ramekin and swish it around so that it sticks to the butter at the bottom and on the sides. Tip out any excess.
Pour the souffle batter into the ramekins to the top. Using a dough scraper or a wide-bladed knife, skim the top to create a flat surface. Then clean the ramekin sides. Place the French chocolate souffles on a baking tray and into the oven for 14-15 minutes.
Serve gluten-free chocolate souffle immediately (they will deflate within a few minutes)!
What To Serve French Chocolate Souffle With?
These souffles are delicious, but also extremely rich, so we recommend serving them with a little sauce, that is less sweet than the souffle themselves. We personally love them with some pouring cream or creme Anglaise! Alternatively, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.
Other French Dessert Recipes
For other French-cuisine-inspired desserts, have a look at our recipes below:
- Salted Caramel Banana Tarte Tatin with Pecans
- White Chocolate and Cranberry Macarons
- Sourdough Kouign Amann
Lavender-Scented French Chocolate Souffle
- Electric Handheld Mixer or Stand Mixer with Whisk Attachment
- Ramekins (190ml) x4
- 300 ml milk
- 20 g cornflour
- 300 g dark chocolate (at least 65% cocoa solids) finely chopped
- 2 egg yolks
- 8 drops of lavender essence
- 3 egg whites
- 85 g caster sugar
- 10 g butter melted, for brushing the ramekins
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar for ramekins for ramekins
- Deliberately brush ramekins with melted butter and place them in the fridge for the butter to solidify on the walls of the ramekins.
- Heat the milk with cornflour on low-medium heat stirring continuously until it starts to simmer. Make sure no lumps of cornflour form.
- Pour the simmering milk over the finely chopped dark chocolate and stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth and glossy. Beat in the egg yolks and lavender and set the mixture aside.
- Using an electric whisk or a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk egg whites until foamy. Start adding caster sugar 1 teaspoon at a time and keep on whisking until you have a firm glossy meringue.
- Gradually adding the chocolate mixture into the egg whites, carefully fold the two until combined.
- Take the ramekins out of the fridge and brush again with some melted butter. Tip a teaspoon of sugar into the ramekin and swish it around so it sticks to the butter at the bottom and on the sides. Tip out any excess.
- Pour the souffle batter into the ramekins to the top. Using a dough scraper or a wide-bladed knife, skim the top to create a flat surface. Then clean the rim of the ramekin. Place the souffles on a baking tray and into the oven for 14-15 minutes.
- Serve immediately with some pouring cream or creme Anglaise!