Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Easy-Peasy Molten Chocolate Cakes

I can't tell you how many times I've had molten chocolate cake at an upscale restaurant and wondered how they created a cake with such a lovely, melty center. So when I stumbled on this recipe for a molten chocolate cake, I figured I'd take a look. I was surprised at how easy it sounded (and how little flour there is in the recipe!).

I have a bad habit of only trying new recipes when either company is coming or I've agreed to bring something to an event - I guess because there's really no reason to whip up a big batch of food for just two of us. So I of course decided to try this recipe for the first time when we had friends over this weekend. Fortunately, it (mostly) worked and was pretty darn delicious.

The hardest part is figuring out how long to bake them. The original recipe says 6-7 minutes; I baked mine for 10. However, the first one leaked when I tried to unmold it (thus the "mostly" above), so another minute or two in the oven probably would have been good (the other three came out of their molds perfectly; I think because they cooked a little more in their ramekins while we were fussing with the first one). When they just barely start to pull away from the edges of the ramekins, you'll know they're ready to be unmolded.

I tweaked the recipe a tiny bit based on my experience and some of the comments to the original recipe, so I'm re-creating it here.

A seemingly-fancy dessert that is really remarkably easy to make. I'm definitely keeping this one in my repertoire.

Easy-Peasy Molten Chocolate Cakes

• 1/2 cup butter
• 4 (1 ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips. If you use chocolate chips, 2/3 cup is equivalent to the four ounces you need for this recipe).
• 2 eggs
• 2 egg yolks
• 1/4 cup white sugar
• 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Butter four 4-ounce ramekins or custard cups and dust them with cocoa powder. (I have 6 oz ramekins, and they worked just fine.)

2. In the top half of a double boiler set over simmering water, heat the butter and the chocolate until chocolate is almost completely melted. You can also melt the chocolate & butter in the microwave, if you'd like - microwave in 30-second increments until it's melted.

3. Beat the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together until light colored and thick.

4. Beat together the melted chocolate and butter. While beating, slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, then quickly beat in the flour and mix until just combined.

5. Divide the batter between the four ramekins and bake at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) for 10 minutes, until the cakes just barely start to pull away from the edges of the ramekins. The centers of the cakes will still be quite soft. Invert cakes on serving plates and let sit for about 15 seconds, then unmold. Serve immediately with fresh whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

Just prior to ummolding. The cakes will rise to form a little dome.

Mmmmm...moist, warm, chocolatey goodness.


  1. I don't even like dessert, molten chocolate cakes, or recipes and I found this pretty delico. I do, however, share your prediliction for trying new stuff when people are coming over.

  2. There's that word 'ramekin' again-- am I supposed to have these things? Looks delicious, as always, jie jie.

  3. L. - I have not needed ramekins in all of my 40+ years...until last weekend. When I did need them, though, I found some super cheap ones that still look plenty cute. You don't HAVE to get them from Williams-Sonoma. ;)

  4. omg, that looks heavenly!!! i want to see an 'after' picture that shows the oozey chocolate gushing out yum

  5. I know...I was planning to take one, but the cakes were still warm when I served them, so the whipped cream oozed all over and they weren't all that pretty by the time they were cut open. This was one of those rare moments when I was more focused on eating than photographing.

  6. This was a Master Chef pressure challenge earlier this week... It was ugly.

  7. Darla, I haven't seen that show - how do the pressure challenges work?


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