There is literally nothing I love more than lava cakes. Truthfully, it all started at Applebee’s…seriously, no one does a lava cake like Applebee’s (except for maybe you, after this recipe). There’s just something so amazing about the ice cream on top of the warm cake, and that very satisfying gush of chocolate that comes out when you attack it with a spoon.
I have this thing where I love to order dessert first, if whoever I’m with will let me, so I figured for the big V-Day meal, we’d start with dessert first (don’t worry you traditionalists–I have a delicious dinner recipe coming at you later today). The great news is that these chocolate lava cakes, adapted from a recipe I found in Food and Wine, are super quick to make (like 20 minutes, quick) and are best eaten right out of the oven, so there’s that whole immediate satisfaction thing. You’re going to want to grab a glass of wine–let’s do this:
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken up
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
- 2 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks (that’s two whole eggs, plus the yolks of two additional eggs)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the ramekins.
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees. In a double-broiler on the stove, melt the chocolate and butter together–you’re going to want to chop up both of these a bit so they melt easier and combine more quickly. Stir occasionally to ensure an even melt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the eggs/egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and salt on high until light and thick, like above. Using a spatula, gently and gradually fold the melted chocolate and 2 tablespoons flour into the egg mixture, taking care to combine well (but don’t go crazy on it–you don’t want to deflate the eggs).
Pour the mixture into ramekins that have been coated with butter and dusted with a touch of flour–this recipe makes just enough for two perfectly sized cakes (they won’t expand that much, so feel free to fill them almost to the top). Pop in the oven to cook for about 10 minutes. It’s important to keep an eye on the cakes, because cook time will largely depend on your oven. You want the edges of each cake to firm up, but the middle to still be a bit soft.
Once cooked, remove the ramekins from the oven and allow the cakes to cool for one minute. Invert them onto a plate and allow them to cook upside down for five minutes before slowly lifting the ramekin–the cake should stay on the plate, but if it doesn’t, feel free to run a knife around the edges of the ramekin to loosen it up.
Dust the finished cake with some powdered sugar, or top with your favorite ice cream flavor or dessert syrup (caramel sauce would be amazing I bet!). Serve warm and to chocolate-lovers only…these are very rich, but so so worth it. Enjoy!