How to Make Chocolate Soufflé, Sauce, and Truffles


On October 30, I attended Mehdi Chellaoui’s Intro to Chocolate workshop. It was the perfect laid-back class to do on a brisk Sunday afternoon. Mehdi held his class on the second floor of Zabar’s, a grocery and kitchenware store on 80th Street and Broadway.

He worked on a large table in front of an audience of about 26 people. Most were middle-aged and elderly women. Some were shopping at Zabar’s and happened to hear the announcement of the free chocolate class over the loudspeaker. I was one of only four guys in attendance. We learned how to make chocolate soufflé with Grand Marnier, chocolate sauce, and Ganache truffles. (See recipes below).

Mehdi and the Zabar staff ran the class in a very organized way. They started and stopped exactly on time. They handed out the recipes and even served everyone a sample of each at the end. The audience paid rapt attention and asked a lot of questions. The older they were the more questions they asked.

“How do you ‘temper’ chocolate?”

“Do you need to use a marble slab to cool and agitate the hot chocolate?”

Chocolate Soufflé with Grand Marnier

Serves 4

  • Butter and granulated sugar, for the soufflé mold
  • 4 ounces (115g) Guittard semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick; 60g) unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

  • Preheat oven to 475°F with the oven rack in the lowest position. Butter and sugar a 4-cup soufflé mold.

  • In a small saucepan, combine the chocolate and butter and melt over low heat. Remove from the heat, whisk in the egg yolks, and pour into a large bowl. Stir in the grated orange zest and Grand Marnier.
  • In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff peaks form.
  • With a whisk, fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the remaining egg whites with a rubber spatula. Pour into the prepared soufflé mold and level the surface with a spatula. Run your thumb around the top of the mold to clean off any excess batter. (The soufflé can be prepared ahead to this point; see “Preparing Soufflés for the Oven Ahead of Time,” page 264.)
  • Bake the soufflé for 5 minutes. Lower the temperature to 425°F and bake until the soufflé has risen 3 to 4 inches above the top of the mold and is springy to the touch, another 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Dust the soufflé with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately.

Chocolate Sauce

Makes ¾ cup

  • 4 ounces (115g) Guittard semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • ½ cup water (see note)

  • in a small saucepan, melt the chocolate with the water over medium heat, about 2 minutes. When the water and chocolate come to a boil, stir gently with a whisk until smooth. If the sauce is too thin, cook it longer. If it is too thick, add more liquid and stir to blend well.

  • Remove the sauce from the heat and serve hot or cold. Refrigerate any leftovers. Note: Use only ¼ cup water for a thick sauce.

Ganache Truffles**

Makes 80 to 90 pieces (2 pounds)

Truffle Mixture

  • 12 ounces (340g) Guittard semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other liqueur

Chocolate Covering

  • 1 pound (450g) Guittard semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 ounces (60g) Guittard unsweetened cocoa powder

  • Make the truffle mixture: in a saucepan, heat the chocolate and heavy cream over low heat, stirring occasinoally until the chocolate is melted.

  • Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl. Stir in the Grand Marnier. Place the mixture in the refrigerator until it is firm, a minimum of 2 hours.
  • Cover a baking sheet with a piece of waxed paper. Using two spoons, scoop out and drop mounds of ½ to 1 teaspoonful, depending on the size you wish to make, onto the paper. Refrigerate overnight.
  • When cold, loosen the mounds from the paper and use your fingers to make them as round as you can, if not already so. Refrigerate until ready to coat.
  • Make the chocolate covering: In an overproof saucepan, melt the chocolate in a very low oven (see “Melting Chocolate,” page 294).
  • When the chocolate has melted, stir it well from time to time as it cools to body temperature. (This is determined when you notice no difference in temperature when you touch the chocolate with the knuckle of your smallest finger.)
  • Lift the cocoa powder evenly onto a chilld jelly-roll pan or plate.
  • Remove the truffles form the refrigerator and drop two at a time into the coating chocolate. Using two forks, turn the truffles, coating them well with chocolate. Lift a truffle with one fork, tapping that fork with the other to knock off excess chocolate, then drop the coated truffle onto the pan containing the cocoa powder. Using a spoon, quickly roll and coat with the powder, then push it to the side.
  • When the coating has cooled and teh truffles are firm enough tot handle, transfer them to a bowl and refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve. (They will keep well in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks and can be stored in the freezer for several months.)
  • To serve: Mound the truffles in a serving dish. They are delicious when served at room temperature or cold from the refrigerator.

From French Classics Made Easy