Chocolate lava cakes became popular in the US in the 90s. They are a decadent and rich all chocolate cake with a gooey or runny center. I prefer to cook my lava cakes with a less runny center but that’s just a personal preference. Though they might look very intimidating, these cakes are super simple to make and absolutely delicious. When making these cakes, you want to use the best chocolate you can find. Avoid chocolate chips for this recipe as the melting point is not great. Go for a rich, delicious decadent chocolate bar. I used Ghirardelli’s premium baking, 60% cacao, bittersweet chocolate bar. It was perfect for this recipe. This cake calls for only two tablespoons of flour and is mostly chocolate. Do not compromise on the chocolate. There are definitely better chocolates out there. If you can find them and afford them, by all means use them for this recipe.
How to cook
You can make lava cakes ahead of time and leave them refrigerated for a day. You may need to add a minute to the cook time if you bake them right from the fridge but be sure not to overbake them. Since I prefer just a soft center that is less runny, I bake my cakes a minute longer than the recipe suggests. Feel free to stick to recommended bake time in the recipe for the traditional super runny center. Serve these tiny delicious cakes with strawberries, raspberries, powdered sugar, whipped cream or ice-cream. Try this recipe and tell me how much you loved it!
For Chocolate Lava Cakes, you will need:
- Double boiler, glass or a metal bowl and a medium saucepan (The bowl should be able to sit in the saucepan to mimic a double boiler)
- Medium bowl
- 3- 6 ounce ramekins
- Baking tray
- 1 stick of butter
- 6 ounces of Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp flour
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Butter and lightly flour 3 ramekins. Be sure to tap out excess flour from the ramekins. Set ramekins aside on a baking sheet.
- In a double boiler over hot not boiling water, melt butter and chocolate. Keep the boiler on medium to low heat to make sure the ingredients gently melt. Stir occasionally to combine the chocolate and butter well.
- In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and salt until thickened and pale. This may take some elbow grease. To make whipping the egg mixture easier, use a hand mixer or a stand mixer and mix on speed 4 for a few minutes until eggs are pale and thick.
- Continue to whisk chocolate and butter until completely smooth. Remove the chocolate mixture from the heat.
- Fold chocolate into egg mixture using a spatula or a whisk. Fold in chocolate in thirds to gently temper the mix. You will need to mix in the chocolate fairly quickly as it is still pretty hot and will scramble the eggs.
- Once the chocolate and egg mixture is fully combined, add flour and gently fold in to form a batter.
- Spoon the batter into ramekins and fill them close to the top.
- Bake the cakes for 10 minutes depending on the kind of center you are looking for. Bake for less time if you want a more runny center.
- Remove cakes from the oven and cool for about 1 minute before turning each on out on a desert plate.
- Serve immediately with your choice of toppings.
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