Molten Lava Cake
If there is anyone who doesn’t go gaga over these little molten lava cake gems with the runny gooey centers, I have never met them! Nor do I care to meet them, they might just not be interesting.
Everyone watches with undiminished thrill as the hot cake center spills out in a slick pool on the plate. Like lava erupting from a crater, hence its name. The dessert is nowhere near as ominous as it sounds. In fact it is all gooey chocolate deliciousness. Its great appeal is the firm-gooey tension between the center and the wider walls, which firm up just enough to hold their shape.
Hot and Cold Fun
It goes beautifully with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or coconut sorbet, to underscore the hot/cold contrast. It also makes for a beautiful professional presentation.
Molten Lava Cake Logistics
There’s no baking the molten chocolate cake in advance. And no reheating, or they won’t be, well, molten chocolate cake: runny and gooey! But the great news is: (a) they are nothing to prepare even though they look and taste as if they came out of the best restaurant, and (b) the batter can be made and poured in advance in individual ramekins or muffin molds and refrigerated until ready to use. You could stick the molten chocolate cake molds in the oven as you are resetting for dessert—they will be ready in minutes.
It’s All in the Chocolate!
The chocolate you use makes all the difference: you want the best quality chocolate. Not the most expensive, mind you. You want a chocolate high in cocoa content, the darker the better, more cocoa less sugar, across the board; the shorter the ingredient list the better. It’s all about showcasing the chocolate. And not just in Chocolate Lave Cake, but in every chocolate dessert: chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate truffles, hot chocolate, to name just a few. Only good chocolate makes good chocolate desserts!
PERFECT for Passover!
It is practically flourless, except for that dusting of flour or potato starch to hold up the batter. So on Passover cooking days, knock yourself out!
- 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips, best quality
- ½ cup natural margarine spread (health food stores)
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder, decaf OK, mixed with a few drops hot water
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour (Passover: potato starch)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Melt the chocolate, margarine, coffee, and cocoa over very low heat, or microwave in a bowl for 1 to 2 minutes. In a food processor, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the chocolate mixture and mix. Add the flour and vanilla and pulse until just combined. Pour the mixture into 8 to 10 greased ramekins or muffin molds. Bake about 12 minutes, or until the top is barely set and the center is still slightly wet.
Watch the baking closely after the first 12 minutes. Do not overbake, or the center will solidify. Err on the side of caution and bake rather less than more. Invert just one on a plate—if it’s too runny, don’t worry, just stuff it right back in its mold and return all the molds to the oven for another couple minutes. Invert the cakes onto dessert plates and serve immediately while hot, alone, or with vanilla or coffee ice cream or coconut sorbet.