Chocolate and Chestnut Ricotta Soufflés

by Henrietta Inman, from "The Natural Baker"

This is the last of our series of three recipes to be featured from our friend Henrietta Inman’s new cookbook, and looks to me like one of the most delicious (chestnut being one of my all time favourite flavours, so I had to pick this one to post!). A big thanks to Hen for being so generous and sharing her beautiful recipes with us on the Shipton Mill blog too, we hope you’ve been enjoying them so far!

“Chocolate and chestnut, like chocolate and orange, chocolate and mint and so many more bitter cocoa combinations, are meant to be together. Unlike a traditional sweet soufflé mix, which involves a pastry cream foundation, these have a velvety smooth ricotta base. This creates a gorgeously light souffléd mix that balances out the luscious bursting centre of rich, melting chocolate and marrons glacés. Serve with chestnut or vanilla ice cream and your guests will be silenced by satisfaction!

You can always leave out the marrons glacés, if you would prefer a plain chocolate soufflé; the recipe will still work just as well, though perhaps won’t be quite as festive.

Makes 3 small soufflés”

Recipe extract from “The Natural Baker” by Henrietta Inman. Published by Jacqui Small, an imprint of The Quarto Group (£20). Available from 22nd March on Amazon. 


  • soft unsalted butter, for the ramekins 15g (½oz / 1 tbsp)
  • cocoa powder, plus 2 tsp for the ramekins
  • 45g (1¾oz / ¼ cup) light brown muscovado or coconut sugar, plus 2 tsp for the ramekins
  • 3 x 5g (⅛oz) lumps of 70–85% cocoa solids dark chocolate
  • 3 marrons glacés, halved
  • 135g (4¾oz / ⅔ cup) ricotta
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • golden icing (confectioners’) sugar, to dust (optional)


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 and place a baking tray (sheet) inside to heat up.

Butter 3 ceramic ramekins using a pastry brush, brushing vertically up the sides of the ramekins, as if to help the soufflé rise up. Combine the extra teaspoons of cocoa powder and sugar and coat the bottom and sides of the ramekins with this, tapping out any excess. Set aside.

Sandwich each piece or pieces of chocolate (if they’ve broken more) between 2 halves of a marron glacé.

Fill an ovenproof and flameproof roasting tin (pan), large enough to fit all the ramekins in, with water 2–3cm (¾–1¼in) deep, and put over a medium-high heat until it comes to the boil.

Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, cocoa powder and egg yolks. Separately whisk the egg whites until light and fluffy, then add the muscovado sugar and whisk a little more until just combined. Fold the whisked whites carefully into the ricotta base. Divide the mix between the 3 ramekins. Push the chocolate-filled chestnuts into the centre of each and down to the bottom. Using a palette knife, or a regular knife, run over the top of each soufflé so it has a smooth top, then sweep around the edge of each ramekin with your thumb so that you can just see the rim.

Turn the boiling water off under the roasting tin (pan), place the soufflés in it so that the water comes 2–3cm (¾–1¼in) up the sides of each ramekin, and place on the hot tray in the middle of the oven. Bake for 12–15 minutes, or until risen with a slight wobble, and serve immediately, dusted with icing (confectioners’) sugar, if you like.

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