This recipe has been featured on Serious Eats.
Hey guys, I made this for Valentine’s Day a few weeks ago. I know… I should have posted it a bit earlier, when everyone was still looking for that one awesome Valentine’s Day dessert which would make their love fall in love with them all over again.
Oh well… I guess I didn’t seize that opportunity. I was too busy chasing the Rocking Rebel across a massive trampoline room (which was as fun as it sounds) and watching romantic movies (which were actually action movies) around Valentine’s Day anyway…
Besides, this dessert is great any time of year! You don’t need a special day to eat messy chocolate dessert, right? I mean, this little ramekin cake is insane. It’s basically a delicious molten chocolate cake for two (or one!), with a super gooey center, topped with ice cream, whipped cream, salted caramel sauce, hot fudge sauce and fresh strawberries.
Try saying that five times fast.
And sure, this dessert is the perfect ending to a romantic, home cooked Valentine’s Day dinner, but it also happens to be the perfect ending to an ordinary, less romantic dinner. And it’s definitely THE BEST treat you can make yourself when you’re home alone! It’s super easy to make and you can whip it up in no time at all.
The secret to this cake? It’s actually a chocolate lava cake, but instead of unmolding it you just serve it in the ramekin.
Like I said, making this little cake is easy. You’ll need just six basic ingredients for the cake itself: unsalted butter, semisweet chocolate, powdered sugar, an egg, all-purpose flour and a pinch of salt.
First, combine the butter and the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a pan of simmering water to melt the two together. Make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Obviously, you could also melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave, but since I don’t have one I always take the bowl-and-pan route. Once the butter and chocolate are nicely melted, simply whisk in the powdered sugar. It’s okay if the mixture still looks a bit lumpy at this point.
Now for the difficult part: adding the egg. Mind you, you don’t want to add the whole egg. First, separate the egg, allowing the egg white to drip into a small bowl and placing the yolk in another bowl. Beat the egg white with a fork until loose and add half the egg white to the yolk, so you have one bowl with half an egg white and one bowl with half an egg white and a yolk. Discard the lonely egg white and add the contents of the other bowl – aka: the yolk and the other half of the egg white – to the chocolate mixture. Whisk until the mixture looks smooth.
Seriously guys, this is the hardest part of this recipe…
Last but not least, whisk in the flour and the salt. Then pour the batter into a clean (ungreased!) ramekin and bake for 12 minutes. As far as the ramekin goes, use one that’s big enough to hold at least ½ cup (4 ounces) of water. Mine was actually 3.75 inches across at the top rim, but ramekins come in a lot of different sizes, so make sure to check whether your ramekin holds that ½ cup of water before pouring in the batter.
While the cake is in the oven, gather your preferred toppings. You can use store-bought ice cream toppings, but I usually use homemade. Making a delicious salted caramel sauce – which happens to be WAY better than the stuff you can buy at the store – only takes about ten minutes and it keeps forever in the fridge! Well, if you can keep your hands of it… The same goes for homemade chocolate fudge sauce, 3-ingredient vanilla ice cream (you don’t even need an ice cream maker for this stuff) and of course whipped cream.
Either way, after 12 minutes of baking, remove the chocolate cake from the oven. And mind that kitchen timer! Just a few minutes longer, and chances are the cake is no longer deliciously gooey and molten in the middle, but fudgy and cakey.
Which means you’d miss out…
This molten chocolate cake is rich, super chocolatey and delicately sweet. Dust is with powdered sugar and serve with a Chantilly cream cannelle and you’ll have an impressive dessert for a fancy dinner party.
However, as good as this molten chocolate cake is on it’s own, it’s even better topped with a sundae, right? Just don’t forget the napkins!
Oh, and the best part of this recipe? The leftovers! Of course you can keep the ice cream and sauces in the fridge until your next ice cream craving, and no one will stop you if you want to add the strawberries to your morning yogurt, but I bet there are other, more creative and fun uses you and your own true love can find for salted caramel sauce, hot fudge sauce, fresh strawberries and whipped cream?
Like, maybe, um, make another one of these little cakes right after you’ve finished the first?
Enjoy this recipe guys!
- 1 ounce semisweet chocolate
- 2 tablespoons (¼ stick) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (or 18g) powdered sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1½ tablespoons (or 12g) all-purpose flour
- pinch of table salt
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 200°C/390°F (standard oven setting).
- Melt chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl) or in the microwave. Once fully melted, whisk in the powdered sugar.
- Separate the egg, allowing the egg white to drip into a small bowl and placing the yolk in another one. Whisk the egg white briefly with a fork, then add half the egg white to the yolk, so that there’s 1 yolk and half an egg white in the bowl. Discard the remaining egg white.
- Add the yolk and half the egg white to the chocolate mixture and whisk until incorporated. Add flour and salt and whisk until the batter is smooth.
- Pour the batter into a 4-inch ramekin. Bake for 11-13 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 1 minute before adding desired toppings. Serve immediately.