Julia Child’s Chocolate Souffle

An image of Julia Child overlaid a food beauty of a chocolate souffle in the oven
Getty Images / Unsplash
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
40 min
6 to 8 servings

Chocolate needs special treatment for souffles because it is heavy. Although the formula in Julia Child’s first edition produced a dramatic puff, it was far too fragile. In this new version. you fold the chocolate mixture into a meringue- that is, rather than adding the sugar to the sauce base, you whip it into the egg whites, thereby firming chem up. Just this simple change in method gives the souffle staying power so that instead of collapsing rather rapidly into a pudding, it stays up and retains its primal souffle character.

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Excerpted from MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING: Volume One Fiftieth Anniversary Edition by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck. Copyright © 1961, 1983, 2001, 2011 by Alfred A. Knopf. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash. The image was not created by the recipe author but is representative of the dish.



oz (squares) of semi sweet or sweet baking chocolate
cup strong coffee
Tbsp butter, softened
cup all-purpose flour
cups milk
Tbsp butter
egg yolks
Tbsp pure vanilla extract
egg whites (¾ cup)
tsp salt
cup sugar
Powdered sugar
cups of sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice, for serving


Step 1

Preheat oven to 425°.

Step 2

Place the chocolate and coffee in the small pan, cover, and set in the larger pan of almost simmering water.

Step 3

Remove from heat and let the chocolate melt while you proceed with the recipe. 

Step 4

Smear the inside of the dish with the butter. Surround with a collar of buttered aluminum foil (double thickness) to reach three inches above the rim of the dish. Set out all the rest of the ingredients.

Step 5

Measure the flour, into the saucepan. Start whisking in the milk by dribbles at first to make a perfectly smooth cream; rapidly whisk in the rest. Add the butter, and stir over moderate heat until boiling: boil, stirring, for two minutes. Remove from heat and beat one minute or so to cool slightly. 

Step 6

One by one. whisk the egg yolks into the hot sauce, then the smoothly melted chocolate, and finally the vanilla. 

 If you are not continuing within five to 10 minutes, lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of the sauce to prevent a skin from forming. 

Step 7

Beat the egg whites and salt in a separate bowl until soft peaks are formed. Then, a sprinkle at a time, beat in the sugar and continue until stiff shining peaks are formed. 

Step 8

Scrape the chocolate mixture into the side of the egg white bowl; delicately fold them together. Turn the souffle mixture into the prepared mold and set on a rack in the lower level of the preheated oven. Turn thermostat down to 375°. 

When turned into its baking dish, the souffle may be covered loosely with a sheet of foil and set in a draft-free part of the kitchen for an hour or more before being baked. 

Step 9

In 35 to 40 minutes, when the souffle is well risen and the top has cracked, rapidly sprinkle the surface with powdered sugar; continue baking another five to 10 minutes. Souffle is still creamy at the center when a skewer plunged down through a surface crack comes out slightly coated. It is fully done and will stand up well (if that is how you like it) when the skewer comes out clean. Serve at once with one of the suggestions listed. 

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