Okay, okay, I know I'm a little late to the game on this one. Chocolate Lava Cakes -- also known as Molten Chocolate Cakes -- are not exactly new to the scene, especially for anyone living in the U.S, where these little cakes were all the rage in the early 2000s. Chocolate Lava Cakes -- like cupcakes and cronuts after them -- enjoyed a period of fame and popularity in the dessert world in my middle school years, and could be found on nearly every dessert menu one came across, something that made my 12 year old self very happy. I remember reading recipes for them in Bon Appetit Magazine and seeing them prepared on the Food Network when I was first learning how to bake.
Chocolate Lava Cakes may not longer be the hot new (no pun intended) dessert they once were, but it's not hard to understand why people are still making them. After all, what's not to like about a rich little chocolate cake, warm out of the oven, with a luscious, melt-y, pure chocolate center? Add a little ice cream or whipped cream to that and you have pure dessert magic.
These are so easy to whip them up that I make them for my sister and I often, but with Valentine's Day just a week or so away I'm inclined to point out that these would be the perfect sweet to make for someone you love (way better than flowers, if you ask me). A couple of things: the key to achieving the molten center here is of course to not over bake them. They would still be delicious if you did, of course, but you would end up with a plain chocolate cake instead of one with a melted chocolate center. You can make these 1 day ahead and refrigerate the ramekins overnight, but be sure to increase the baking time by 2-3 minutes as the batter will be cold. Enjoy!
CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKES
5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup flour
Optional: Freshly whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, powdered sugar, or raspberries for serving
6 (3/4 cup) ramekins (I used heart shaped ones)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter the 6 ramekins and set aside.
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and the chocolate together. Set aside and let cool slightly. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs. Whisk in the vanilla and then the chocolate and butter mixture. Whisk in the powdered sugar, and then the flour, and mix everything until well combined. Divide the batter up between the 6 ramekins. Bake cakes until the sides are set but the center remains soft, about 11 minutes. Run a small knife around the cakes to loosen after taking them out of the oven. Turn the cakes out onto plates and serve with powdered sugar, freshly whipped cream, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or raspberries, if desired. Makes 6.