Wednesday, March 18, 2009

molten chocolate lava cake

i have to admit, i'm not a big chocolate fan. what can i say? i prefer vanilla. BUT this molten chocolate lava cake is SO good, even i'm a huge fan. this recipe is great for entertaining because you can make everything ahead of time and bake just before you serve so your guest can have a warm cake oozing with chocolatey goodness.

mise en place

chocolate lava cake
makes 6 individual cakes
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter + extra for ramekins
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee
4 eggs
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup flour + extra for ramekins
1/4 teaspoon salt

you'll need 6 ramekins (mine are 10cm in diameter and hold 1 cup of water). using a pastry brush, coat the inside of the ramekins with softened butter. on the sides, paint in vertical stripes. this will help get the cakes out easier. dust with flour and tap out any excess.

*the ramekins on the right: buttered, floured & excess tapped out

preheat oven to 425 degrees.

in a heat proof bowl, add the chocolate, butter, coffee powder and salt. set the bowl over a pot of boiling water and mix until everything is melted and the mixture is smooth. remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together the eggs, yolks, sugar and vanilla until fluffy and pale. with the mixer speed on low, slowly drizzle in the cooled chocolate mixture and mix until everything is well combined.

sift in the flour and gently fold in until everything is just well combined. do not overmix.

divide the batter into the 6 ramekins and place on a baking sheet.

bake until the cakes puff up slightly and are set on top.
about 13-15 mins.

using oven mitts, carefully invert the ramekin onto a plate. let sit for about 10 secs and carefully the lift the ramekin. the cake should easily slip right out.

have your garnishes and accompaniments ready! powdered sugar, berries, mint, ice cream, anything you want!

fortunately, i have this handy dandy condensed milk in a tube from france! oh, the great things about europe!
the top bottom and sides will be set and the inside will be runny.

or you can just serve them in the ramekins. i find that this cake is just as good, if not even better, the next day at room temperature. the inside won't be runny but the center will be rich and fudgey. just remember to wrap the top with plastic or keep them in an airtight container.

bon appétit~!


  1. i always wanted to bake these. Once i even gave them a shot but the chocolate lava inside wasn't so tempting as in this one.

    I don't have remekins but i have 1 cup capacity muffin tins, can i use them because i can't wait to try these babies out :)

    do lemme know

  2. i'm loving your blog! everything is so pretty and delicious looking. i look forward to reading.

  3. thanks, bo!

    leemz - they should bake up just fine in the muffin tins. just be careful when you invert them since they'll all come out at once!

  4. cathi! this looks amazing... where did you get your ramekins?

  5. i found the ramekins at marshalls last week. they are by a company called Natural Elements. a pack of 4 was only $4!

  6. Your chocolate lava cake recipes is simple and nice.

  7. okay now girl, I'm about to give these babies a shot, wish me luck!

  8. Ive never made these before but have always wanted to try. Your presentation is gorgeous, as are your photos. Thanks for sharing!

  9. it looooks sooo good. and i love the ramekins!!! :)

  10. Made a 1/4 recipe this evening.

    Some notes:

    1. Texturally it came out perfect.
    2. Think it could use a pinch of salt or two.
    3. The cakes separated great, but there was definitely a bit of light color on the outside of the cake. Perhaps I dusted too heavily?

    Thanks for posting this great recipe and the beautiful photographs.

  11. aegrumet - i'm so glad you made and enjoyed the cake. thanks for your comments, i really appreciate it!!

    you're totally right, the recipe does need salt, which i did use (and always use when baking!), just forgot to write it in. i've updated the recipe. thanks again.

    tapping out the excess flour is important so it doesn't leave a white coating on the cake. next time, try and tap the ramekin upside down on a hard surface to make sure any excess comes out.

  12. 2nd try tonight, much better with salt!

  13. I'd recommend using cocoa powder instead of flour to dust the insides of the ramekins.

  14. personally, i prefer dusting w/ flour rather than cocoa. from experience, for me, it works better.

  15. I made lava cake today and when i tried to take them out of the ramakens the lava cake fell apart, like wasnt set properly....HELP!
    What's your solution?
    Two confused Irish girls :)

  16. Wow..that cake looks amazing. i'm loving your blog! everything is so pretty and delicious looking. I look forward to reading. I've made this now two times. It is fabulous! My favorite restaurantmakes and amazing chocolate molten cake and I've been trying for a year now to find a recipe thateven comes clome to it. This is tha best I've found so far. It is so draemy. thank you for posting and sharing it.

  17. i am a friend of jon wang, he sent me this site... keep posting with new recipes and your reviews on restaurants. i like this site! I am going to try your molten lava cake this week. Thanks!

  18. hi grand..thanks for visiting =) let us know how the cake turns out!!!

  19. hey you girls are the bomb! i made this last night and it was perfect timing was dead on and the recipe was really easy! Thank you! I look forward to try your other recipes. Any new restaurants are you planning on trying?

    thanks again!

  20. hi glad you enjoyed it. i bet you were a hit at your dinner party =) in regards to restaurants, we've tried a few recently but wasn't able to take any pictures. Tavern in Brentwood is another hit by our favorite chef Suzanne Goin. Church & State in downtown is another good one. Hatfields is an oldie but a goodie. Gjelina in Venice is great. There are SO many good restaurants to try...such little time. ;) let us know if you tried any good restaurants lately.

  21. I made these the other night and they were delicious! I couldn't get them to come out of the ramekins properly - any suggestions? I do not own big electric mixer so had to use a hand mixer...could that have affected the cake...or do you have any suggestions for altering the recipe when using a hand mixer?
    Thanks!! Look forward to checking out the rest of your blogs now!! :)

  22. thanks, lpops15! so glad you enjoyed the cakes. using a hand held mixer makes no difference. to ensure that the cakes slip out easily, the only thing i can suggest is to make sure you butter and flour your molds/ramekins very well and to invert them while they are still hot. hope you have better luck w/ it next time!

  23. would you mind if i talked about this recipe on my blog? i am making it tonight for a family get-together and if it comes out ok i really want to write a blog post about it... obviously i will link back to your site and acknowledge you for the recipe

    shannon from Created By Shannon

  24. hi shannon! we wouldn't mind at all! in fact, we encourage it! can't wait to see your results! let us know when you have it posted!

  25. Hi there, I made this dessert and it was easy to follow and delicious. One small issue - how can I avoid air bubbles on the surface? Want to improve the presentation and get it looking like yours!!

    Thanks CK

  26. This cake looks fantastic. I just purchased a bunt cake pan with 6 small sections and I think it would look really great in the bunt shape. I will get started baking this cake as soon as I finish making my "Hot" Pepper Jelly.

  27. yummy yummy yummy is all I'll say :)
    Making n baking the cake was soo easy, I just cant tell u.
    i even didnt bake it straight away coz we hadn't had our dinner yet, so i just prepared the batter in the ramekins and put it in the refrigerator but before baking, I put it out while I preheated the oven n baked it when it wasnt too cold. N it was just as yummy :) Thank u soo much>
    BTW, 8oz = 218 gm If ur like me ;)

  28. Do i HAVE to use ramekins? i dont have ramekins. Can i use like a muffin tray or a small pie bowl? i gonna try this tonight!! :D

  29. The recipe is very nice. Free Web Directory

  30. Great recipe. I dust my ramekins with cocoa instead of flour so they don't leave any white. Works great-looks great.

  31. this looks amazing!!!

  32. I just bought some heart shaped ramekins and I'm going to make this for dessert for my sweetie tonight for Valentine's Day! I can't wait to try it! The pics look so good that my mouth is watering! I'm going to peruse your blog to see what I'd like to make for dinner. Thanks for sharing your passion with us!

  33. I made these, but used 1/2 cup capacity ramekins, and didn't change the cooking time, so it came out as just very moist cakes. (Which was also good.) So I tried again for about 10 minutes, and it came out perfect!

  34. Made these tonight and they came out amazing!
    I made some creme fraiche and added raspberries as garnish!
    I've been looking for an easy yet perfect recipe for lava cakes...and now I have to look no more!

  35. hello i would like to read more about this interesting topic.

  36. I just made these...they are wonderful and the directions are perfect and are accompanied by the most beautiful pictures. For some reason all the recipe choices you have on this blog really appeal to me. Thank you for taking the time to share and display so beautifully.

  37. Hello :)
    This was my first attempt to making a cake! I was invited by my boyfriends mother for lunch for easter and decided to do this cake! We were 7 and i did 8 small ones the night before...
    In the morning i cooked the extra one as a test! (i bought an instore cheese cake in case i messed up lol)
    Its such an easy recipe and so well explained! So yes lol.. ill stop blabing! It was a sucess and they asked for more hehe! I served it wish a simple raspbery couli and a little spoon of vanilla ice cream on trop! and a couple of cut strawberry :)
    I was delicious
    Thank U :)

  38. Hi I loved your cake by seeing this now itself.On this Valentines friends I have a big party of couple friends I want to know whether I can make 100 of them early(3-4 hrs before) and preserve it ?And just bake for 1 min at the time of serving.can this batter be made very early and refrigerated.Please give me ideas of serving this beautiful recipe without making a mess :).And what do u mean by painting stripes inside.before baking in raemkins