Chocolate Lava Cakes Are a Warm, Gooey Delight
2024/02/02

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Is there anything more decadent than sliding your fork into a chocolate lava cake? That moment when the crust cracks, releasing a flood of molten chocolate, well, that's pure indulgence. Of all the delicious for Valentine's Day, chocolate lava cakes are a sure win. If you want to take your dessert experience to the next level, pair the cakes with a rich and robust red wine, such a Cabernet Sauvignon, or a fortified dessert wine, like port. (If you can't find either of these locally, you can always try your luck with a .) Of course a scoop of ice cream, drizzle of chocolate sauce, and fresh berries play well with this

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, too!

What is the filling made of in lava cake?

The filling for these lava cakes is simply underbaked cake batter. That's what makes 'em so easy! The edges of the cakes set up while the center remains deliciously melty. And don't worry—the gooey center is perfectly safe to eat (more on that below).

Are chocolate lava cakes safe to eat?

Don't be scared by the ooey, gooey chocolate center! Even though the batter seems undercooked, the eggs reach a temperature of 160 degrees during baking, which guarantees that the cakes are safe to eat. It's the exceptionally low ratio of dry to liquid ingredients that makes these cakes so rich, melty, and so darn good.

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What does espresso do for chocolate lava cakes?

Adding a little coffee, or in this case, instant espresso granules, to chocolate desserts is a baker's trick for intensifying the chocolaty flavor. If you're not a fan of coffee, don't worry! These lava cakes taste nothing like coffee. In fact, you won't even know it's there.

What can you bake chocolate lava cakes in besides ramekins?

Good news! You don't have to own individual (adorable) to make chocolate lava cakes—you can also bake them in a . To remove the cakes from the tin, run a knife around the edges, place a rimmed baking sheet on top of the muffin tin, and carefully invert the pans together.

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Give gravity a few seconds to work before lifting away the muffin tin to reveal your gorgeous chocolate lava cakes. Then, use a spatula to transfer the cakes to individual serving plates. Keep in mind, the cakes may cook quicker in a muffin tin, so keep a careful eye on them.

How do you make chocolate lava cakes look perfect?

The key to perfect chocolate lava cakes is to generously butter and flour the ramekins or muffin tin before adding the batter. While baking spray is often a great shortcut for preparing a pan, it doesn't work great for this recipe. A liberal smear of butter into every nook and cranny of the ramekins or muffin tin, along with a light snowfall of flour are your best bets to help these chocolate lava cakes glide out of their baking dishes with ease.

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6 tbsp.

unsalted butter, plus more for ramekins

2 tbsp.

all-purpose flour, plus more for ramekins

6 oz.

bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

2

large eggs

2

large egg yolks

1/4 c.

granulated sugar

1 tbsp.

vanilla extract

1/2 tsp.

instant espresso granules

1/4 tsp.

kosher salt

Vanilla ice cream, chocolate or caramel sauce, and strawberries, for serving

Step  1 Preheat the oven to 450°F. Butter and flour 6 (6-ounce) ramekins. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.  Step  2 In a medium, microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter and chocolate. Microwave at 50% power until the mixture is smooth and melted, about 90 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds.

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Set aside.  Step  3 In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the eggs, yolks, sugar, vanilla, instant espresso granules, and salt. Beat on medium-high until thick and pale, about 3 minutes.  Step  4 Immediately fold the warm chocolate mixture and flour into the whipped egg mixture. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared ramekins. (A heaping 1/3 cup should go in each). Step  5 Bake until the sides of the cakes are set, but the centers are still slightly jiggly, 7 to 9 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the ramekins for 1 minute. Invert each cake onto a serving plate. Serve immediately with ice cream, chocolate or caramel sauce, and halved strawberries. 

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