Molten Chocolate Cakes
This classic chocolate dessert is easy to prepare and perfect for making a meal feel special and a little bit fancy. There is something really decadent about the molten chocolate oozing out of the center when you take the first bite. The warm cake is especially delicious served with a scoop of cold vanilla bean ice cream.
TIP: You can also melt the butter and chocolate in a microwave, but keep an eye on them so they do not burn. The cake batter can be made the morning of a dinner party, poured into ramekins, and refrigerated. The batter must come back to room temperature before the cakes are baked. An extra minute or two in the oven can make a huge difference. If cakes are overcooked, they will not have the molten center. If they are undercooked, they will not drop out of the ramekins and the cakes will collapse.
Special Equipment: eight 4-ounce ramekins.
Molten Chocolate Cakes
Recipe makes 8 servings. Total time 35 minutes, including cooling time. Active time 20 minutes.
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the ramekins
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 8 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, chopped
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar for dusing
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450°F. Use a paper towel to spread a generous, even layer of shortening and flour over the inside of each of eight 4-ounce ramekins. Arrange the ramekins on a baking sheet.
- Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler. Mix to make sure that everything is completely melted and blended. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs for 1 minute. Add the granulated sugar, salt, and vanilla. Whip on high speed until the mixture is frothy, pale in color, and beginning to thicken. Carefully fold in the flour, and then the chocolate mixture, until just incorporated. Do not overmix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared ramekins, being sure to distribute it equally. Bake for 8 minutes. You should be able to lightly touch the center of the cakes without getting any batter on your finger when they’re done. Remove from the oven and let rest for 1 minute. Use a thin, sharp knife to loosen the edges of each cake. Turn each ramekin over onto its own individual dessert plate. Let the ramekins sit upside down for 5 minutes before lifting to see if the cake has fallen out of the ramekin and onto the plate. If so, lift off the ramekins. If not, wait 2 to 3 more minutes and check again.
- Dust each cake with a small amount of sifted powdered sugar. Serve immediately.
Recipe first featured on Ranch To Table Season 3 Episode 8: "Ranch Reunion" on the Magnolia Network.
Photographs by BJ Golnick and Brian Skope