Oh, Valentine’s Day. It has its haters. I, for one, have always loved Valentine’s Day, even when I was a single person. I think it’s a good excuse to bake heart-shaped things and eat chocolate. All the romantic expectations are a little silly and overblown, but it’s nice to designate a day to remember to celebrate love, whether you’re in a relationship or not. And I think it’s especially nice to designate a day to celebrate chocolate. So if you’re looking for a special dessert to make for your sweetie—or just for yourself—look no further than these easy chocolate soufflés.
Soufflés have a reputation as being a bit finicky, but don’t be intimidated. This recipe couldn’t be easier. And we’re not pastry chefs here—perfection isn’t necessary, so don’t fret. They may deflate a little before they get to the table, they may crack on top, they might be a little lopsided…all perfectly acceptable. All minor flaws will be forgotten with one fluffy, silky, chocolatey bite. The most important thing is that the soufflés rise and that they’re light and delicious. The batter comes together in just a few minutes, and after 20 short minutes in the oven, it will have puffed into two cute little single-serve soufflés. Once you’ve made the batter, you can even refrigerate it before baking, so it’s a perfect make-ahead dish. Whip it up the night before and divide into ramekins, then pop them into the oven while you’re enjoying dinner for a stress-free but special Valentine’s dessert.
Chocolate Soufflés for Two
Adapted from Handle the Heat
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Pinch salt
- Pinch cream of tartar
- Powdered sugar, for garnish
- Baking spray*
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray two 8-ounce** ramekins with baking spray.
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until melted and smooth. Stir in vanilla and egg yolks, one at a time.
- In a clean bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar just until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate. Spoon into the prepared ramekins. Soufflés can be covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated at this point for up to 1 day.
- Bake until puffed and set, about 20 minutes (25 minutes if baking directly from the refrigerator). Soufflés will start to deflate soon after taking out of the oven, so quickly dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.
*Alternately, you can grease the ramekins with butter and dust with cocoa powder.
**I used 7-ounce ramekins because that’s what I had, and it worked just fine—if you do this, take care not to over-fill them. The soufflés will be dangerously close to puffing right out of their ramekins, but they should be fine as long as you don’t fill them beyond the inner rim.