Warm Valrhona Chocolate Cake

Kevin Penner

Della Femina, East Hampton, NY

Warm chocolate soufflé cakes are always a big hit at our dinners, and this cake, prepared by Kevin Penner of Della Femina in East Hampton, New York, was no exception. France’s prized Valrhona chocolate is the star of the richly delicious dessert. For a very runny center, undercook the cake a little bit and serve immediately. The cake can be held raw in the soufflé cup uncovered and refrigerated up to eight hours before baking.


  • 6 1/2 ounces Valrhona Caribe chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 5 teaspoons Valrhona cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup sugar


Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Lightly coat the inside of four 4-ounce oven-proof soufflé cups with butter. Heat 2 inches of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat. In the top half, place the chocolate and butter. Melt the chocolate mixture for 5 minutes, then remove it from the heat and stir it until it is smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large stainless-steel bowl and whisk in the cocoa and all the egg yolks. Set the chocolate mixture aside. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Slowly add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is stiff and shiny but not dry, forming a meringue. Lightly fold the meringue into the chocolate until completely combined. Divide the soufflé batter equally among the prepared soufflé cups. Place cups on a sheet pan and bake for 7 minutes, until puffy and slightly browned on top. Serve immediately by inverting each cup (with an oven mitt) onto a plate until the cake is released. Cut carefully around edges of the cakes to loosen them if they do not come out. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.


4 servings