A Treat That May Make You Smarter: Dark Chocolate Soufflé Cake

July 21, 2017

Dark Chocolate Souffle Recipe by Providence Healthy Living

By Kay MacInnis, Registered Dietitian

Have you heard? Dark chocolate may play a role in brain health!

Some sources are calling dark chocolate a “superfood” for the brain and body. Studies show consuming the right kind of chocolate regularly can benefit cognitive function, mood and heart/blood vessel health. The studies indicate that dark chocolate can keep your heart pumping and your brain sharp.

The flavanols absorbed when you consume dark chocolate penetrate and accumulate in the hippocampus, according to research. Long-term consumption of cocoa flavanols was noted to boost attention, working memory, processing speed and verbal fluency, particularly in elderly people with preexisting memory decline.

This does not mean you should consume candy bars daily – they tend to be high in sugar, fat and other processed ingredients. And the more chocolate is processed, the more flavanols are lost. Aim for an ounce of really dark chocolate every day. This food trend can fit into a plant-based, whole-food diet easily. Just monitor the quality and frequency of your dark chocolate intake.

Dark Chocolate Soufflé Cake


  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso or 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 2/3 cup Dutch process or unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlúa (coffee-flavored liqueur)
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sifted cake flour (such as Swan's Down)*
  • 6 large egg whites (at room temperature)


  • Coat bottom of a 9-inch springform 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 with 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 1 hour, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean.
  • Cool completely on wire rack.
  • Remove sides from pan; sift powdered sugar over cake.
  • Garnish with raspberries and chocolate curls, if desired.

* Note: A substitution of 1/4 cup all-purpose flour may be used in place of 1/3 cup cake flour.

Nutrition Information: 205 Calories, 6.1 grams fat, 55 mg. cholesterol, 5 grams protein, 34.2 grams carbohydrate, 91 mg. sodium.



This is another in a weekly series of healthy recipes from Kay MacInnis, registered dietitian at Providence Health in Columbia, S.C.

Kay promotes health and wellness, helping cardiac and diabetes patients eat their way to healthier lives. She works in consultation with the trained chefs at Providence, combining her nutrition knowledge with their food prep know-how to create delicious, healthy dishes for patients and the public. She also conducts a number of health and wellness events for the public, including the monthly Providence Cooks! classes.

"She doesn't just give you the fish, she teaches you how to cook it."

 – a Kay MacInnis fan and Providence Cooks! regular.