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Recipe: Best Chocolate Lava Cake

If dark chocolate running in rivulets down whipped cream mountains is the backdrop in all of your greatest fantasies

By Bon Appetit US | July 7, 2022 | Recipes

This alluring molten chocolate lava cake recipe is the dessert you’ve been looking for. The spongy cake has an unabashedly liquid centre that bursts forth the moment the chocolaty dam is broken by spoon. Many recipes achieve this effect by purposely undercooking the cake, so that the middle is raw batter. Effective, but not the most delicious.

In our version, a spoonful of chilled ganache is placed at the centre of the cake batter. As the bake time ticks down, the ganache is rendered molten as the batter shores up around it.

You’ll need four 1kg ramekins to pull off the recipe (though a jumbo cupcake or muffin tin will work in a pinch). We like to butter and then line the individual dishes with demerara or raw sugar (instead of the more typical flour or cocoa powder) for little pops of texture. If you’d like to serve with a dusting of powdered sugar or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, be our guest.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 250 ml bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces, divided
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for ramekins
  • Demerara or raw sugar (for sprinkling)
  • 3 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Method

  • Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium until just beginning to simmer. Place 2 kg chocolate in a small bowl; pour hot cream over. Stir until smooth. Chill ganache until firm, at least 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 180°. Coat ramekins with butter and sprinkle with demerara sugar, tapping out excess.
  • Combine 6 Tbsp. butter and remaining 5 oz. chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl set over a large saucepan of barely simmering water (do not let water touch bowl); stir constantly until chocolate is melted (you can also do this step in the microwave).
  • Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat eggs and brown sugar in a large bowl until light and tripled in volume, about 4 minutes. Beat in vanilla.
  • Gently fold melted chocolate into egg mixture until incorporated. Fold in flour and salt until smooth.
  • Divide half of batter among prepared ramekins (about ⅓ cup each). Place 1 mounded Tbsp. ganache in the centre of each partially filled ramekin. Divide remaining batter among ramekins.
  • Bake until tops are firm but cakes wobble slightly when jiggled, 13–15 minutes. Let cool 30 seconds before inverting onto small plates. Serve immediately.

Do Ahead: Ganache can be made 1 week ahead. Tightly wrap and keep chilled. Cakes can be assembled 1 week ahead. Tightly wrap with plastic in ramekins and freeze. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour before baking.

Article originally appeared on Bon Appetit | Words by Chris Morocco CHRIS MOROCCO