Chocolate Caramel Pecan Souffle
Making this chocolate caramel pecan souffle takes some time and energy, but the deep bitter chocolate flavor, along with the sweetness of homemade caramel and the nuttiness of pecans makes all the effort worth it.

If you have been reading my column for very long, you might remember a fancy lemon tart I made last year about this time.

It was a French recipe and included making everything from scratch. I decided to try it as a donation to one of our local non-profits, Peace Connections, for their annual soup supper and dessert auction.

When the group contacted me this year to see if I wanted to come up with another dessert for the auction, I turned to my “complicated” list to see what I should make.

With most of the recipes I choose, I try to pick things that are fairly easy for anyone to make and don’t take hours in the kitchen to create, but my feeling on dessert auctions is that I want to make a recipe that most people have no desire to try to do themselves but would gladly pay for the opportunity to try.

So I decided this was my week to try something I have never made before: a souffle.

I was intimidated by the project, but I figured that the auction isn’t until next week, and this was just my test run, so if I failed miserably, I had time to come up with a new idea.

But it turned out really, really well, and in case you can’t make it to the auction, I’m sharing the recipe so you can try it, too.

This comes from the blog “Bake or Break” by Jennifer McHenry. You can find the original post at I actually followed this recipe to the letter, because making a souffle for the first time scared me.

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Souffle

Making this chocolate caramel pecan souffle takes some time and energy, but the deep bitter chocolate flavor, along with the sweetness of homemade caramel and the nuttiness of pecans makes all the effort worth it.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: bittersweet chocolate, bourbon, caramel, fancy dessert, pecans, semisweet chocolate chips, souffle, vanilla


Cake Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 cup butter room temperature
  • 1 cup superfine sugar divided, plus extra for coating pan
  • 16 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped (I used bittersweet)
  • 8 eggs separated, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Caramel Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • pinch cream of tartar
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Brush the melted butter generously over the entire inside of a 10-inch springform pan.
  • Pour about a tablespoon of superfine sugar into the coated pan and rotate it until the entire inside is coated with a thin layer of sugar (add a little more to the pan, as needed). Tap out any excess sugar and set the pan aside.
  • Add the cup of butter and chocolate to a large, microwave-safe mixing bowl, and microwave for 90 seconds at half power. Stir the mixture, and if it’s not yet melted, microwave at half power again, 30 seconds at a time and stirring after each time, until the mixture is smooth and everything is melted together. Set the chocolate aside.
  • In another mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and salt on medium speed until the mixture is smooth. While continuing to beat the mixture, slowly add 1/2 cup of the superfine sugar, and continue to beat until the mixture turns a pale yellow color. This will take several minutes.
  • Beat in the bourbon and vanilla, and then hand stir the egg mixture into the melted chocolate.
  • In another mixing bowl, add the egg whites and the cream of tartar (it’s recommended to use a stainless steel bowl for this). Start with your mixer on low and beat until the egg whites are a bit foamy, then turn the speed up to high and beat until peaks begin to form. Add in the other 1/2 cup of superfine sugar, a little at a time, continuing to beat the mixture on high, and once it forms stiff peaks, you’re ready for the next step.
  • Stir about one-third of the whipped eggs into the chocolate mixture until all of the white disappears, and then gently fold the rest of the eggs into it, just mixing until all of the white is incorporated but being careful to keep the mixture as airy as you can.
  • Pour the batter to the springform pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cake puffs up, the top is firm, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs.
  • Let the souffle cool for at least 15 minutes before removing the sides of the pan. (Don’t worry if it falls a bit while it cools; that’s supposed to happen, and we’ll cover it all up with caramel soon.)
  • While the cake cools, make the caramel. In a heavy saucepan, add the sugar, water and cream of tartar and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  • Turn the heat up to high and let the mixture boil for several minutes, continuing to stir intermittently, until it turns a deep amber. Remove it from the heat as soon as it reaches that color so that it doesn’t burn.
  • Off the heat, stir in the pecans, cream and salt. (Mine fizzed up a bit when I did this. Just keep stirring.)
  • Put the pan back on low heat and stir continuously for about five minutes or until the caramel thickens. Stir in the bourbon, and continue to stir for a couple more minutes until the sauce thickens again. You’re looking for a gooey consistency like an ice cream topping.
  • Pour the caramel mixture evenly over the cake, and let the cake cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container.

This was definitely a several-hour project, but not only did my souffle turn out beautifully, it was absolutely delicious, too. It was extremely decadent with the bitter chocolate and the sweet caramel. It was amazing with a cup of coffee, and I bet it would be great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, too. This is one of those desserts where a small piece is the perfect amount because of how rich it is.

And if you don’t want to try to make this one yourself, I’ll be making another that could be yours.

The Peace Connections soup supper begins at 5:30 p.m. and is by donation. The dessert auction will go from 6:15 to 7 p.m. Everything will take place Thursday, Feb. 29, at Newton Nazarene Church, 1000 N Main St., Newton, and the proceeds will benefit Harvey County Circle of Hope, which helps community members reach financial stability. You can learn more at

Plus, I can cross a souffle off my list, along with a French cream tart. Now I just have to figure out what I’ll make next year.

This piece first appeared in print on Feb. 22, 2024.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.