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Molten Chocolate Cakes

Up close Molten-Chocolate-Cakes plated with ice cream and strawberries
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Molten Chocolate Cake is one of my go-to desserts whenever we go out to dinner. There is something so tasty and delightful about soft chocolate cake bursting with warm lava in the center. Now you can make this all-star restaurant dessert at home and really impress your guests with some serious “wow factor”! The ganache centers are even the real deal! No under-cooked cake batter in this recipe! These cakes are best enjoyed hot with a scoop of high quality vanilla ice cream and maybe even some hot fudge or caramel sauce.

This recipe is fairly easy to make with the correct equipment, preparation, and ingredients. Be sure to read the entire recipe before beginning, and plan in advance to accommodate ganache chill time.

Making the Molten Ganache

To make the molten chocolate ganache centers, place the semisweet morsels and salt in a small bowl. Bring the milk to a simmer and pour of the chocolate. Shake the bowl to submerge the morsels and cover tightly with plastic wrap for 3 minutes. Whisk until the chocolate is completely melted. Add in the butter and whisk until fully incorporated.

Refrigerate the mixture for 2-3 hours, or until firm enough to scoop. After chilling, using a spoon or scoop drop 8 tablespoon sized balls of cold ganache onto a wax paper lined dish. Cover, and freeze until ready to use.

Making the Cake Batter

Once the ganache have chilled, set your eggs out to reach room temperature. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and ensure your oven rack is in the bottom third of the oven. Continue preparing your ingredients by chopping the butter and separating the eggs. Pre-measure everything you can, it helps to have everything ready before starting on the cake batter. Everything comes together really quickly! I had some cute helping hands with this recipe!

Prepped Ingredients for Cake Batter

Using a double-boiler method, heat the semi-sweet morsels, butter, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring constantly until almost fully melted. Remove from heat and continue stirring until the chocolate is completely smooth. Next, stir in the 6 tablespoons of butter and whisk until smooth. Finally, whisk the cocoa powder, instant coffee, flour, vanilla, and egg yolks into the warm chocolate mixture, and set aside.

Whisked egg yolks and cocoa powder

In a large bowl or bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat the 6 egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form when the whisk attachment is lifted.

Gradually beat in the caster sugar on high speed until the egg whites form stiff peaks, but are not dry.

Slowly fold one-quarter of the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture from before until just incorporated.

Folding in Egg Whites

Scrape the chocolate egg-white mixture over the remaining egg whites and continue folding until just blended. Do not over-mix the batter! We do not want the cakes to become tough from over-mixing.

Cake Batter fully mixed

Preparing to Bake the Molten Chocolate Cakes

  • First, remove ganache balls from freezer
  • Spray the ramekins with non-stick cooking spray, and coat them lightly with sugar or cocoa powder, tapping out any excess
  • Place the prepared ramekins on a baking sheet and portion out the cake batter evenly into the 8 dishes
  • Center a ganache ball on the batter in each cup and gently press down until it is about ¼ inch below the surface of the batter. Spread the batter over the top gently with a spoon

Once all eight ramekins are ready, transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 14-16 minutes, or until the cakes have risen and a toothpick inserted in the center meets no resistance. The toothpick should be coated with chocolate sauce that is warm when touched to your lips.

After baking, let the cakes rest for 3 minutes. Run a thin knife around the inner edge of each ramekin, separating the cake from the sides of the dish carefully.

Molten Chocolate Cakes after Baking

Cover each cup with a serving plate, invert, and lift the ramekin off slowly. Dust the tops of each cake with cocoa powder or powdered sugar.

Plated Molten Chocolate Cakes

Serve the cakes immediately with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge or caramel, and sliced strawberries.

Molten Chocolate Cakes plated with ice cream

These Molten Chocolate Cakes are one of the absolute best dessert recipes to make for your dinner guests! Everyone loves a personal dessert, and they are substantial enough satisfy the most extreme chocoholic!

Up close Molten-Chocolate-Cakes plated with ice cream and strawberries
Up close Molten-Chocolate-Cakes plated with ice cream and strawberries

Molten Chocolate Cakes

Melted ganache centers make this the ultimate mini molten chocolate cake recipe! No undercooked cakes here, just real melted chocolate inside of delicious, moist cake! Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate restaurant-style treat! Read the recipe in full before starting!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Chilling Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8

Equipment

  • 8 6oz Ramekins

Ingredients
  

Molten Chocolate Ganache Center

  • 4 oz. Semi-sweet chocolate chips or melts good quality
  • 1 pinch Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 cup Milk 2% or Vitamin D
  • 3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, diced

Cake Batter

  • 8 oz. Semi-sweet chocolate chips or melts good quality
  • 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, diced into chunks
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 3 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp Dry Instant Coffee Powder
  • 3 large Eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 3 large Egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ½ tsp Cream of Tartar
  • ½ cup Caster/Superfine Sugar*
  • 2 Tbsp All Purpose Flour

Optional for Serving

  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Sliced Strawberries
  • Hot Fudge or Caramel Sauce

Instructions
 

Molten Chocolate Gnache

  • Place the semisweet morsels and salt in a small bowl. Bring the milk to a simmer and pour of the chocolate. Shake the bowl to submerge the morsels and cover tightly with plastic wrap for 3 minutes. Whisk until the chocolate is completely melted. Add in the butter and whisk until fully incorporated.
  • Refrigerate the mixture for 2-3 hours, or until firm enough to scoop. After chilling, using a spoon or scoop drop 8 tablespoon sized balls of cold ganache onto a wax paper lined dish. Cover, and freeze until ready to use.

Cake Batter

  • Set eggs out to reach room temperature. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and ensure rack is in the bottom third of the oven. Spray the ramekins with non-stick cooking spray, and coat them lightly with sugar or cocoa powder, tapping out any excess.
  • Using a double-boiler method*, heat the semi-sweet morsels, butter, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring constantly until almost fully melted. Remove from heat and continue stirring until the chocolate is completely smooth. Next, stir in the 6 tablespoons of butter and whisk until smooth.
  • Whisk the cocoa powder, instant coffee powder, flour, vanilla, and 3 egg yolks into the warm chocolate mixture. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl or bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat the 6 egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form when the whisk attachment is lifted.
  • Gradually beat in the caster sugar on high speed until the egg whites form stiff peaks, but are not dry.
  • Slowly fold one-quarter of the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture until just incorporated. Scrape the mixture over the remaining egg whites and continue folding until just blended. Do not overmix the batter.
  • Place the prepared ramekins on a baking sheet and portion out the batter evenly into the 8 dishes.
  • Remove ganache balls from freezer. Center a ganache ball on the batter in each cup and gently press down until it is about ¼ inch below the surface of the batter. Spread the batter over the top gently with a spoon*.
  • Transfer the baking sheet with the ramekins to the oven and bake for 14-16 minutes, or until the cakes have risen and a toothpick inserted in the center meets no resistance. The toothpick should be coated with chocolate sauce that is warm when touched to your lips.
    After baking, let the cakes rest for 3 minutes.
  • Run a thin knife around the inner edge of each ramekin, separating the cake from the sides of the dish carefully. Cover each cup with a serving plate, invert, and lift the ramekin off slowly. Dust the tops of each cake with cocoa powder or powdered sugar.
  • Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge or caramel, and/or sliced strawberries.

Notes

*Regular sugar can be substituted for the caster sugar, if desired.
*Heat proof bowl made of glass or metal over a sauce pan of simmering water with the bowl not directly touching any water. 
*You can cover the ramekins with plastic wrap and refrigerate to bake later, if desired. 
Keyword Lava Cake, Mini molten chocolate cake, Molten Chocolate Cake

Like this recipe? Try my Gourmet Chocolate Covered Strawberries next!

Gourmet-Chocolate-Covered-Strawberries Finished

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