Sweet And Crumby

Baking, a Love Story

Confessions of a Chocolate Snob and A Memorable Chocolate Souffle Cake


I have one friend who likes to tease me because I am such a chocolate snob. I won’t eat Hershey’s. Sorry Hershey. Your taste, texture and overall lack luster appearance just doesn’t do it for me.  What my friend doesn’t realize is that I wear the ridicule like a badge of honor; like a brash wine or cigar snob.

I can walk by our office jar of grocery store chocolates like it’s no big deal, like I am just THAT GIRL who prefers healthier fare, craves wheat grass and avoids sugar like the plague.

But I am not THAT GIRL.  Oh, how I wish I were; my jeans would fit a bit better I am sure. But no, that is not my M.O.  I am just choosy with my chocolate and truly have no desire for anything sub par.

Chocolate is a lot like fine wine. When you cook with or drink a cheap wine, well…it tastes cheap. But when you sip an exquisite wine, it reverberates in your mouth and soul and fills your senses with a feeling of complete satisfaction. Chocolate is no different. When you cook with or eat fine chocolate, there’s a difference. It has a such a full, multi-layered flavor and this carries through to create complex flavor in your baked goods.

Take my go-to Chocolate Souffle Cake. It’s my fail-safe cake for bringing to parties and for serving guests at my home. It’s always finessed with fresh raspberries and draws, “oohs” and “ahhs” and many “mmmms” every single time while eyes roll and carb avoiding friends stealthily pinch a bite of their husband’s slice—again and again.

But the reason it draws this kind of response is not solely the list of awe-inspiring ingredients like Kahlua, espresso powder and cocoa and not all because of me, the amazing baker, even though I do like to take the credit. Honestly though, the wow factor that takes it from good to memorable is the quality of the cocoa powder. For this cake I used Chuao’s Cacao Rouge cocoa powder which  I stock pile had on hand.

Now I know we can’t all get our hands on that particular brand and frankly even I run out of Cacao Rouge now and then…gasp! So I do have to slum it at the market like everyone else once in awhile, and most of the time I can at least find some unsweetened Ghirardelli cocoa powder to stand-in for it. No, it does not compare, but yes, it absolutely does taste better than the other stuff.

I know I am a chocolate snob, but I could have worse faults I suppose.

I hope you get a chance to bake this Cooking Light Chocolate Souffle Cake. Yes, it is from Cooking Light…so you really don’t have any excuse to avoid it…unless all you have is Hershey’s I guess.

Dark Chocolate Souffle Cake
Taken directly from www.Cookinglight.com
Cooking spray
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup water
1 T. instant espresso or coffee granules
2/3 cup Dutch process or unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 t salt

2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

2 tablespoons Kahlúa (coffee-flavored liqueur)
3 large egg yolks (not extra large)

1/3 cup sifted cake flour (such as Swan’s Down)
7 large egg whites at room temperature (not extra large)

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/4 c. raspberries, optional

For the Cake: Preheat oven to 300°.  Coat bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan with cooking spray. Set aside. Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, water, and espresso in a large saucepan; stir well and bring to a boil. Remove from heat; add cocoa, salt, and chocolates, stirring with a whisk until chocolate melts. Stir in Kahlúa and egg yolks. Stir in flour; cool to room temperature. Set aside.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed of a mixer until foamy. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold one-fourth of egg white mixture into chocolate mixture; repeat procedure with remaining egg white mixture, one-fourth at a time. Spoon into prepared pan. Bake at 300° for  45 minutes to 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool completely on wire rack. Remove sides from pan; sift powdered sugar over cake. Garnish with raspberries.

Added note and request for interactive commentary!: This recipe was originally posted in 2013 and I have made this cake at least 20+ times from my own blog with great success. Recently (the last two times I have made it, 2018 and 2019), it has risen considerably more and therefore the bottom seems to get weighted down eventually and it protrudes out a little. It still holds up, and it tastes great but it doesn’t look as stellar as it used to. I have two theories on this: One is that my eggs I have used recently are larger than the original eggs I used. I buy Large Organic but they have been particularly large lately, resembling more of an extra large egg. Since there are 7 egg whites and 3 egg yolks in this recipe, larger eggs could have a pretty big impact and change the rise. Another theory is that the recipe verbatim from Cooking Light calls for “Dutch process OR Unsweetened cocoa powder”. The last two times I have definitely used Dutch Process. Unsweetened and Dutch Process are definitely two different beasts. The latter being less acidic since it is alkalized with potassium carbonate. Perhaps, I used to choose unsweetened rather than Dutch Process? If you want to weigh in, please do!


38 thoughts on “Confessions of a Chocolate Snob and A Memorable Chocolate Souffle Cake

  1. What a beautiful looking cake, and yes you are the amazing baker..I Love nice contrast of the raspberries on top. I am not big fan of Hershey’s too, but if I have it around and need chocolate at that moment I would eat it. My favorite is since I was a kid was Milka so every other chocolate is just to kill the cravings, but Milka give me such a wonderful sensation to savor as much as I can:)) Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe, Geni! You never disappoint!

  2. Coming from a chocolate snob, this HAS TO BE the best!
    Fantastic recipe!
    Have a happy day,
    🙂 Mandy

  3. Oh, Katherine has a similar recipe and it does draw attention. (And we don’t use the fancy coco.) I love that you’re a chocolate snob. I think there’s nothing wrong with such things. Anyway, great cake and wonderful photos.

  4. I’m not a chocolate eater, but the picture with the raspberries on top is just beautiful! I love it.

    And I just got some fresh rosemary sprigs from the neighbor…going to try your tip for the figs. 🙂

  5. Lol, I love this post! I am with you on being a chocolate snob (but that’s definitely the only kind of snob I would ever want to be, lol!)…I remember the day I realized that Hershey’s just wasn’t up to snuff. Definitely a sad day. 😉

    The souffle is gorgeous!

  6. It is ok to be a snob. You know what you like and why should you settle. These souffles look heavenly.

  7. I have to admit that I’m a lover of Hershey’s. One of their plain bars has always and still does make me very happy.
    Although now you’ve got me thinking I really need to make this and go get me some of your Chuao’s Cacao Rouge.
    Looks beautiful and raspberries always go so well with chocolate.

  8. I wish I was “that” girl too. But I’m not. So I’m bookmarking this. Yum!

  9. A chocolate cake with espresso flavour…sounds fabulous.

  10. Life is too short to eat cheap chocolate! 🙂

  11. I’m right with you Geni on being THAT GIRL that stays away, make that runs away, from cheap wine, cheap chocolate and cheap men!! I’d love to be share a BIG slice of this cake w/ you! In the meantime, I’m definitely going to have to make this! And really, adaped from Cooking Light? Even better, less guilt!

  12. I totally agree with you and it seems we are a merry band of THAT GIRLs

  13. completely gorgeous! Just flawless. I confess that i don’t eat chocolate at all.. it is all too sweet! Kind of cloying. It is obvious that i have yet to taste the best. c

  14. I’m not even a chocolate fan and this looks fantastic. Trust me, there’s nothing wrong with not being ‘that girl,’ because I’m the same way. Though, I’m just tempted my every other sweet/dessert other than chocolate. 😉

  15. I love being a chocolate snob! You get better quality when you are one.

  16. It’s hard to believe after working some years in an exclusive chocolate store, I would indulge in chocolate continiously.However, an exclusive chocolate, refined cocao I do partake. I understand where you’re coming from! The top shelve genuine grade chocolate is heaven…I’ve never eaten a hershey bar…but I can agree just the taste of a good wine, and a good chocolate…and a wonderful delicate chocolate souffle cake as this one..would be heaven!

  17. YUMMY! i too am a chocolate snob.
    70% cocao at the least

  18. Really stunning. I have to confess, all I have is Hershey’s cocoa in my pantry….and while I’m good with that, I’m also open to a better option! Beautiful cake….I’ve bookmarked!

  19. Great looking cake and beautiful photos! Well done!

  20. I couldn’t agree more. The quality of the ingredients is one of the biggest determinants of how a recipe will turn out. I don’t know that brand of cocoa though; time to shop around!

  21. Absolutely nothing wrong with being a chocolate and wine snob. I’m one as well. 🙂

  22. It’s okay that you are a chocolate snob! Nothing wrong with that! I have to say that I want to buy the more expensive cocoas but then resort to Hershey’s dark cocoa for my budget needs.I’m sure if I buy the more expensive I’ll never want to go back! Great looking cake and nice pics too!

  23. Thank you to everyone for your nice comments and for accepting my personality flaw.

  24. hearty n irresistable…
    love d gorgeous cliks..
    happy following u..:)
    do stop by mine sometime..
    Tasty Appetite

  25. Chocolate is definitely one of those things that I don’t skimp on also. Even if I’m just baking chocolate chip cookies…I’m using the Callebaut chocolate chips from my gourmet supermarket. It’s a weakness, but if you’re gonna eat dessert then why not eat the best? This cake looks amazing!

  26. I’m so glad I’m not the only one! I am all about the dark chocolate and Hershey’s-smershey’s is NOT allowed in my house. 🙂

  27. Oh my gosh, this has potential to be a new favorite. The real question is whether or not I dare make it. I need an excuse and a lot of people to feed it to soon! I’m ALL in favor of being a chocolate snob, Geni. Great chocolate has the power to make life better.

  28. hi sweet and crumby, a chocolate snob surely knows what she said and recommend. that’s heaven sent tips for me..many thanks for sharing the secret behind the secrets recipe. of course i believe the credit also goes to the chef preparing the cake ..so.. with that – bookmarked yay yay!

  29. I dont like cheap chocolate either! thats why we dont buy the popular brand here from where I am as they dont taste good and people say they use palm oil

  30. I can’t believe this recipe comes from Cooking Light! It looks so decadent! I wish I could be more of a chocolate snob. I am such an addict that it is hard to be too discriminating.

  31. This looks sinfully delicious! I take pride in being a chocolate snob 🙂

  32. Oh wow, a delicious looking chocolate cake that is light?!?! How amazing is that! Yummy 🙂

  33. Mouthwatering yummy & what good is eating chocolate if you don’t eat the best quality. I agree Hersey’s isn’t the best stuff to have. I always use Selbourne as that is the best available in India. Yes, we are chocolate snobs & proud of it.

  34. Pingback: Dark Chocolate Souffle Cake « Misadventures in Cooking

  35. Hi, Geni! I made this this weekend and it was a BIG hit! Such a great recipe. I just posted about it, gave you credit, and linked back. 🙂 In case you’re interested: http://cookingmisadventures.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/dark-chocolate-souffle-cake/ Hugs!

  36. As Nicole quite rightly pointed out, life’s too short to eat cheap chocolate. 🙂 I have to admit, there are cheaper brands that I don’t mind but my go-to for when I’m treating myself is lindt. I remember one time when I’d come home after a really bad day at school involving a detention that I didn’t deserve (No, honestly, I didn’t!), wanting nothing more than to put my feet up in front of whatever TV series I was obsessed with at the time and savour every mouthfull of that Lindt bar that I’d treated myself to.

    I got the feet up in front of the TV bit, but the chocolate had been devoured by my mum. I was not a happy bunny and even less of a happy bunny when all she said was “I needed chocolate”.

    And now that I’m no longer as prone to crazy hormonal teenager outbursts, I actually understand what she meant by that. That’s not to say that it was ok that she ate my chocolate, but I do at least understand the feeling.

    But anyway. that cake looks to die for. I might print the recipe out and take it round my mum’s this weekend. (Each weekend, we get together and bake something. Cooking’s a bit of a social occasion for us. :)) Last week, we made shortbread and were actually successful for the first time.

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