If you are a chocolate lover, keep reading. There is nothing more delicious and decadent than a molten chocolate cake. It is simple and straightforward, but delightful. A molten cake is actually a combination of two things, a flourless chocolate cake (often referred to as a decadence cake) and a soufflé. Its name refers to the lava-like chocolate center that oozes out if the cake is baked properly. In the pastry world, there is some disagreement about who actually invented this cake. The well-known three-starred Michelin chef in New York City, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, claims he invented it by accident in 1987 when he pulled a cake from the oven too early. Another famous French chef claims otherwise. Jacques Torres, chef, chocolatier and former dean of my culinary school, has argued that this cake originated in France long before Vongerichten’s recipe mishap.
You will see numerous versions of this cake out there, each one claiming to be the very best. What fluctuates in recipes is in the balance of egg and chocolate. You have some choice in the type of chocolate you use. Semisweet or bittersweet both work fine; just don’t use unsweetened chocolate. My recipe is not overly sweet and is lighter in texture, leaning more toward a soufflé–which is what I prefer. Served right out of the oven, there simply is nothing better for a chocolate lover. This remains one of my go-to recipes for dinner parties. Many friends have been served this and asked for the recipe, so I though it was time to share it. Served as-is or with a rich crème anglaise or white chocolate sauce, you will never disappoint with this dessert. Another great thing about this recipe is that it is fast and foolproof, and not many desserts are. You can even make this a day in advance. Simply fill the ramekins, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate till needed. I recommend allowing them to came to room temperature before baking, but it works perfectly, and 16 minutes later you have heaven on a plate.
Molten Chocolate Cake
- 5 oz good quality semisweet chocolate (no not use unsweetened chocolate)
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Using a pasty brush, butter six small ramekins or soufflé dishes, place on a baking sheet and set aside.
- Step 2 In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally to incorporate. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
- Step 3 In a medium mixing bowl whisk the eggs and egg yolks.
- Step 4 Whisk in the powdered sugar.
- Step 5 Once the chocolate has cooled, whisk into the egg mixture. Add the sifted flour and whisk well to incorporate.
- Step 6 Evenly divide the batter into the six prepared ramekins.
- Step 7 Place the sheet tray on the middle oven rack and bake until the sides look set but the center remains soft and runny, about 16 minutes.
- Step 8 Serve hot.