Posted by: A Part of the Solution | March 31, 2012

Freezer-to-Oven Chocolate Soufflé

Soufflés are one of those foods with a (partially) deserved reputation for being as exacting in technique as they are unforgiving of even the teensiest mistakes.  Fair enough. Not every goal worth achieving comes easily the first time. But the technique required for soufflé is not so hairy. And a chocolate soufflé in your repertoire is no small ace up your sleeve. Furthermore (and this is the real kicker), you can make this recipe AHEAD of time. You can portion the soufflé into individual ramekins and freeze them, unbaked. Whoa! To recap: fabulous, pro-grade dessert with absolutely no hassle or heartbreak associated with the baking and serving. You know you want to read more about this chocolate soufflé recipe.

Make Ahead Chocolate Soufflé

For the 8 ramekins:

2 TBSP softened butter

2 TBSP granulated sugar (vanilla sugar or orange sugar are stellar options)

For the Chocolate Soufflés:

8 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (yes, it can be chocolate chips, but it’ll be even tastier if you use nicer chocolate)

4 TBSP unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 TBSP liqueur (or liquor), like Grand Marnier or Cassis or Bourbon or Frangelico or Kahlua

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

6 egg yolks*

8 egg whites*

1/3 cup vanilla (or orange or regular) sugar, 2.5 oz

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

2 TBSP confectioners sugar

Grease your eight 8 oz ramekins, or ten 6 oz ramekins, thoroughly with the butter. Use the granulated sugar to coat each ramekin. Set the ramekins aside.

In a ceramic bowl over barely simmering water, melt the chocolate and the butter. Keep the heat low on this, and stir frequently as the chocolate melts. When the mixture is smooth, remove from the heat and stir in the liqueur/liquor, vanilla extract and salt. Allow this to cool for 10 minutes.

With an electric mixer, or a strong arm and a really good balloon whisk, beat the egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar until thick and pale and tripled in volume. Fold this into the slightly cooled chocolate mixture.

With a large, utterly grease free bowl and a shriekingly clean,  bone dry, whisk or beaters, whip the egg whites until frothy–about 2 minutes. Add the cream of tartar and beat on high-speed–or with increased vigor, until soft peaks form (they droop when you lift the beaters/whisk). Add the confectioners sugar and beat until you have stiff peaks. Don’t over-beat the egg whites, they’ll turn dry and cranky.

Stir a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture vigorously. Gently fold the rest of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until barely incorporated. Spoon the mixture into your prepared ramekins, and wipe the rims clean with a damp paper towel if any of the batter strayed.

You may bake these right away at 400° for 12-15 minutes on an oven rack set to the lower third of the oven.

Or store them by wrapping tightly in plastic wrap and then foil and popping them in the freezer. They won’t need to be thawed before cooking.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Make sure you have an oven rack on the second to lowest set of guides. Place the unwrapped ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes. The center will still be creamy, but the edges will be fully set.

Oh Boy!

*Have a tiny bowl, a small bowl and a cereal bowl in front of you. Gently tap the egg shell on the counter, rotate 180° and tap again. Crack the egg in two and let the white drip into tiny bowl as you pass the yolk from one half to the other of the eggshell. Set the yolk in your small bowl. If the white came out cleanly (ie not. one. speck. of. yolk), it may go into the cereal bowl. Repeat until all your eggs are safely separated.



  1. What’s a ramekin? (If I know that, I’m sure to try this)

    • ramekin (n. from the OE little well–I’m making that up but the next bit is true) Small, round, sided dish of varying diameter for baking/serving individually portioned foods
      Usually found affordably at garage sales and thrift shops. Often white glazed porcelain but not unusual in coordinatable kitchen colors.

  2. wow….never knew I could freeze them!!! THanks

  3. This is fantastic! I had no idea you didn’t have to do souffles right before you wanted to eat them. So excellent!!!

    • Really, who knew until I read the science behind storing them in an America’s Test Kitchen cook book. What a gift.

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