Call it what you like–lava cake, molten chocolate cake, or chocolate pudding cake–but this oozing little piece of heaven is downright sinful. It’s hard to believe that this delicious dessert found on so many of our favorite restaurant’s menus was conceived from a culinary whoops made by none other than chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who supposedly took a cake out of the oven before it was ready.
Although it’s a tried and true recipe, it never goes out of style, and is the perfect decadent dessert to share (though I have NO problem consuming one on my own) on Valentine’s Day. Even better, it’s a cinch to make and the cake be prepped in advance.
With so many varied recipes out there, we turned to Victoria Recano, the host of The Trend on Zappos, who claims to have done a lot of experimenting so we don’t have to. “I’ve tried lots recipes for this type of dessert, but this molten chocolate lava cake is the best,” says Victoria. “It’s a rich and romantic dessert for two to share. Unless you are like my husband, who has a hard time with just one.”
Chocolate Lava Cake
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, preferably Valrhona
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate reserved chopped or 4 chocolate truffles or chocolate carmels
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Vanilla ice cream
Preheat the oven to 450°. Butter and lightly flour four 6-ounce ramekins. Tap out the excess flour. Set the ramekins on a baking sheet.
In a double boiler, over simmering water, melt the butter with the chocolate. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the egg yolks, sugar and salt at high speed until thickened and pale.
Whisk the chocolate until smooth. Quickly fold it into the egg mixture along with the flour. Spoon the batter into the prepared ramekins and place the chocolate pieces or truffles in the center and top off with batter. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the sides of the cakes are firm but the centers are soft. Let the cakes cool in the ramekins for 1 minute, then cover each with an inverted dessert plate. Carefully turn each one over, let stand for 10 seconds and then unmold. Serve immediately and top with vanilla ice cream.
MAKE AHEAD: The batter can be refrigerated for several hours or even overnight; bring to room temperature before baking. Do not overcook.