Molten chocolate, or chocolate lava, cakes are a staple on dessert menus but they often come up short on flavor beyond the initial punch of chocolate. For my take on this classic dessert, I decreased the sugar in the batter so that the chocolate can shine, but coated the ramekins in butter and sugar to create a crispy outer layer, or crust, that gives way to the soft, fluffy, and molten interior. I also added an extra egg yolk to make the small cakes super rich. Finally, I serve my cakes with unsweetened whipped cream and fresh raspberries. This is a perfect “wow” dessert that is easy to make even for the most cautious baker
Molten Chocolate Cakes (Makes 6)
– 1/2 cup unsalted butter (plus ~1 tbsp for ramekins)
– 6 oz high quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
– 2 egg whites
– 3 egg yolks
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar (plus more for the ramekins)
– 1 cup raspberries
– 1 cup heavy cream
1. Butter 6 ramekins, or a 6-cupcake cupcake tin, with unsalted butter. Coat each ramekin with a dusting of white sugar.
2. Melt 1/2 cup butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in semi-sweet chocolate until fully melted and smooth. Set aside.
3. Beat egg yokes and 1/3 cup sugar in a medium bowl until fluffy. Add vanilla and gradually stir in chocolate until combined.
4. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1 tbsp sugar until stiff peaks form.
5. Stir 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Gently fold the remaining egg whites, 1/3 at a time, into the chocolate.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared ramekins. At this point you can cover the ramekins in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
7. Bake the cakes at 400 F for 10-12 minutes or until they have puffed up and the edges are set.
8. Remove from the oven and turn onto plates. If you used a cupcake tin turn out the cakes onto a cutting board and gently transfer to individual plates. Serve with unsweetened whipped cream and fresh raspberries.
*Note: The sooner (and hotter) you serve the cakes the more ‘molten’ they will be. If the cakes are allowed to cool fully they will have the texture of a soft chocolate soufflé.