Chocolate Lava Cake is a deliciously decadent dessert that seems complicated but is really easy to make at home. This recipe makes the fancy restaurant-quality dessert with the lava flowing from a rich ganache center instead of undercooked cake. The results are a rich and gooey chocolate center enrobed in a moist and airy cake. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this is the perfect treat to pamper your special someone. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks
Either heavy whipping cream or regular whipping cream will work in this recipe. Don’t substitute with anything other than whipping cream as the high fat content is needed for the ganache.
When using the double-boiler method, make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the hot water. Leave a gap of about 1-inch.
When adding the chocolate sauce to the batter, avoid over-mixing as this will deflate the eggs. Use the Lowest speed on the stand mixer. Optionally, fold the chocolate sauce into the batter by hand.
The batter can be made ahead and frozen for up to a week. Thaw the batter to room temperature and then bake. This is perfect if you don’t need (or want to eat) 6 cakes 🙂 !
Use bittersweet chocolate with 60% cacao for the best chocolate flavor.
To give the cakes a kick, add 1/4 tsp instant coffee. It subtly perks up the chocolate flavor and is so scrumptious.
Baked Chocolate Lava Cakes can be frozen for up to 3 months. To reheat, warm in the microwave for 1 minute.
This recipe yields 6 cakes using 6 oz ramekins. Optionally, make 12 cupcakes. Bake the cupcakes for 10-12 minutes.
These cakes are best served warm. Let cool for 5 minutes after removing from the oven. Plate and then serve.
6 oz 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips (approximately 1 cup)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 large whole eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup cake flour
1/4 tsp vegetable oil (for rolling ganache)
non-stick baking spray
powdered sugar, fresh berries, mint and whipped cream
Fill a small saucepan with 1-inch of water and bring to a boil over High heat and then reduce the heat to Low. Place a heat-safe bowl on top of the saucepan. Add 2 oz bittersweet chocolate chips (approximately 1/3 cup) and the heavy whipping cream. Melt the chocolate and stir together making a smooth chocolate sauce. (This takes about 3 minutes.) Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Scrap around the bowl and push the chocolate to the center. Put the bowl in the refrigerator and chill the ganache for 2 hours.
Scoop out heaping spoonfuls of the ganache into 6 equal portions. (Each portion is about a heaping 1/2 Tbsp or approximately .6 oz.) Oil your palms with the vegetable oil. Roll each ganache portion into a rough ball. Set aside for now.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cut the butter into thin slices. In a heat-proof bowl add the butter and remaining chocolate chips. Use the double-boiler method to melt the butter and chocolate. Stir frequently and cook until the sauce is smooth, approximately 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside for now.
In a stand mixer, add the eggs, vanilla extract and sugar. Using the whisk attachment, beat on High speed for 5 minutes until the mixture is light yellow and fluffy.
Sift cake flour into the mixture. Using the flat beater attachment mix on Low speed until the flour is mostly combined. Slowly add in the chocolate sauce. Mix just until the chocolate is incorporated, approximately 1 minute. Avoid over-mixing as this will deflate the fluffy eggs.
Coat the ramekins with the non-stick baking spray.
Scoop the batter into the ramekins filling about halfway. Reserve 3 Tbsp batter for later. Center the ganache balls and place on top of the batter. Spoon the remaining batter on top of the ganache.
Place into the oven and bake for 13-14 minutes. The cakes should be soft and springy to the touch. Let the cakes cool for 5 minutes.
Remove the cake by inverting the ramekin onto the plate. Dust the cake with powdered sugar. Add fresh berries and garnish with mint. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
Yields: 6 cakes
Recipe adapted from Ghirardelli.
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