Elizabeth David's recipe for chocolate souffle calls for melting 4 ounces of chocolate with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water, rum, or brandy. Every time I tried to add the liquid, the chocolate seized, so I make the recipe without it. It is delicious - seriously delicious. I serve it in individual souffle dishes and pour a little bit of homemade chocolate sauce inside and top it with a dollop of lightly whipped cream. I can't remember if I added the liquid after the chocolate melted, which caused the seizing or if I tried to melt it all together. I just know that after wrecking a lot of good chocolate I gave up and started making it without the liquid. Any suggestions?

Victoria Carr


TheWimpyVegetarian September 11, 2010
Hi Victoria - seizing can be a real problem when blending chocolate with other ingredients. I'm guessing that you added the liquid to the chocolate after you melted the chocolate. There's at least a couple things that can cause seizing: if the liquid you're adding is colder than the chocolate, which is likely in this case, the cocoa butter component of the chocolate instantly hardens, and voila you have seizing. Another thing that causes seizing is that when you add a small amount of liquid to melted chocolate, there likely isn't enough liquid to wet all the chocolate particles component of the chocolate at once, causing them to clump together. This is akin to dropping a few drops of water into a sugar bowl and the particles clumping all together where the droplets fell vs. adding a bunch of water and not having any clumping. So, the best, most fool-proof way to combine melted chocolate with a small amount of liquid is to warm the liquid up on the stove and stir the chocolate into the liquid. I do this even if the liquid is 1 tablespoon. I've also melted liquid and chocolate together, but I still heat the liquid before adding it to chocolate I'm going to melt. Hope this helps! I know how frustrating that can be. And your tweak of adding the brandy to the cream also works!
Victoria C. September 11, 2010
Yes, Savorykitchen. I have taken to adding a little bit of brandy or rum or the most delicious Mathilde Orange X.O. Liqueur au Cognac to the cream as I whip it.
Savorykitchen September 11, 2010
yeah - I'd fold in any flavoring after you've added in the egg yolks. I have to say though that that's a pretty large amount of liquid (2-3T = 1-1.5 oz), so maybe it is necessary to add the liquid in. That said, if you're happy with your tweak - no reason to change what you're doing.
Victoria C. September 11, 2010
Hi, Savory Kitchen.

Thanks. The chocolate used is bitter so the next step is to add 2 tablespoons of sugar and the very well beaten yolks of four eggs, then fold in the beaten whites of six eggs. She recommends cooking it in a buttered, 2-pint souffle dish in a preheated 400-degree-oven for 18 minutes. I use individual dishes and cut the cooking time at least in half. If it's overcooked, it gets dry.
Savorykitchen September 11, 2010
wow - that's a guarantee for seizing. I would melt the chocolate, fold it into the whipped eggs (assuming that's next) with the liquid. That should keep things from seizing up and you'll still get the benefit of the brandy flavor.
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