Love chocolate molten lava cake but don’t think you can make it at home?
Well, put that doubt right back in the trash because you certainly can make this fantastic dessert at home…it’s easier than you think!
I also have a few simple tricks that will help you make these babies at your next dinner party without stress and with incredible results every time (heck, you can even double the recipe and freeze a few to make on a Wednesday afternoon).
Not that I’ve ever eaten a chocolate molten lava cake on a Wednesday afternoon…or that I did it alone…or that I really enjoyed it.
No, I would never do that.
8 oz dark chocolate
1/2 c butter (plus either a tbsp extra for the ramekins or some cooking spray)
2/3 c sugar
1 tsp good quality vanilla
1/4 c all purpose flour (or coconut flour if you are making them gluten free)
1/4 c cocoa powder
pinch of salt
Optional: fillers for the cakes (see below)
2 tbsp sugar or cocoa for coating the ramekins
Note: you will need 6 ramekins (the are the ones that are about 5 ounces)
1. Preheat your oven to 375 and get your ramekins out (my ramekins pictured here are from the dollar store!!).
2. Get your ingredients ready (really important in baking…you can see in the picture below that I didn’t have enough dark chocolate so I added a few chocolate chips!). This President’s Choice bar is the dark chocolate I always have on hand…I buy a few bars at a time and they are even good for snacking (they are made from really good quality chocolate!)
3. If you have a scale, weigh your chocolate to get a more accurate reading (in Europe, all ingredients for baking are measured…even the flour!!)
4. Melt your chocolate either over a double boiler or in the microwave; stir well and set aside.
This is the vanilla that I use…I found a large container (I use tons of vanilla) at a bakery supply store at a great price. This one is thick and even has vanilla seeds in it.
5. In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar, scraping the sides; add eggs one at a time and beat again.
6. Stir in melted chocolate and vanilla and mix again…it should be smooth and shiny like the picture above.
7. In a small bowl, combine flour (coconut flour if you are doing this gluten free), cocoa powder and salt; mix with a fork.
8. Fold the flour mixture into the chocolate batter, being careful not to over mix.
9. Spray your ramekins with cooking spray (I like this grapeseed oil spray for this) or rub some of the extra butter on the entire inner surface of the ramekin and then place cocoa at the bottom of one of the ramekins (you can use sugar too, but I prefer cocoa because it doesn’t crystallize and it will stay brown).
10. Once it’s in the first ramekin, roll it around so the cocoa hits all the sides; dump remaining cocoa in the next ramekin and repeat until you are finished.
If you need extra, just add a few more teaspoons and continue rolling.
11. Fill the ramekins evenly and smooth the tops; bake for about 20 minutes (the top will lose it’s sheen when it ‘s done and when you touch the middle with your finger, it should feel a bit jiggly).
Filling Options: This is where you can cheat! If you aren’t sure that you can catch the cakes at the right moment where it is runny in the middle, then you can tuck a small truffle or good quality chocolate for extra “flow” insurance! Honestly, it’s the best trick!
If you love peanut butter, take some creamy peanut butter (the “non-natural” type is actually the best here), fill the ramekins half way, place 2 tsp peanut butter in the middle of each ramekin and then top with remaining batter. And, if you feel adventurous, make some peanut butter powder to sprinkle on the top of it!!
Lastly, you can take some good quality preserves and place a few tsp of each in the middle (the same way you did the peanut butter) and you will get a molten fruit surprise when you cut into your cake!)
Make ahead options: You want to bake these at the last moment but don’t worry…they are perfect for a dinner party. You can make these in the morning or the day before and then pop them in the oven as you are sitting down for your main meal (your house will smell heavenly!!). You can also make them a week or so in advance and then either put them in the fridge the night before your party and cook as directed or cook from frozen (if you do this, you need add cooking time – I would suggest not doing it from frozen until you’ve mastered it raw couple of times before so you know what a finished cake feels like coming out of the oven)
13. When the cakes come out of the oven, serve immediately and, to get the most out of this warm, oozing dessert, serve it with a small scoop of cold, good quality vanilla ice cream to add a “cold” dimension to a warm dessert …it’s all about the party in your mouth!
So, there you go…chocolate molten lava cake 101.
Try it and eliminate the stress of making this dessert that so many people think is impossible. Sure, you might not catch the cake at the perfect moment when you get that lava flow (it might take a few tries). But, worst case scenario, you eat a lovely chocolate cake with ice cream. I’m sure I could find more unfavorable things to complain about!!