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Chocolate lava cakes

6 Nov

It was a pretty big decision, to choose the very first recipe for my site, but I made these chocolate lava cakes for a friend on the weekend and they went down really well. They were so good, she tried to propose to me, and then changed her mind, and proposed to the cake!

Chocolate lava cakes with the molten centre - easy to make, divine to eat!

Chocolate lava cake

These chocolate lava cakes are quite easy to make, they don’t require many steps. And, it actually helps to make them a few hours in advance and let them sit in the fridge to chill before cooking. This means if you’re having a dinner party, you can prepare them in the morning and just leave them in the fridge until you are ready to cook them. Very little stress for the host! They do also work with only half an hour in the fridge, but if you let them chill for a couple of hours, the centres will be really gooey and delicious.

Ingredients:

(Makes 6)
200g chocolate (good quality dark couverture chocolate works best but you can probably use any good quality chocolate off the shelf. I found Lindt cooking chocolate in the baking section at Coles so I have used this)
240g unsalted butter
4 eggs
90g caster sugar
60g plain flour
icing sugar for dusting

How to:

1. Chop the chocolate into small pieces (I use my hand mixer with the blade attachment for this as it pulverises the chocolate in about 20 seconds.)

100g of Lindt dark couverture chocolate, before chopping    100g of Lindt dark couverture chocolate, pulverised

2. Melt the butter and chocolate together in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. (Investing in a good set of pots that includes a melting pot that fits snugly over one of the saucepans is a good idea, as you should never melt chocolate directly in a saucepan, right over the heat – it’s likely to burn if you do that.) Set this aside and let it cool to room temperature before using.

3. Grease 6 ramekins and lightly dust them with flour, shaking off any excess flour. (*see note about greasing). You can get a set of ramekins cheaply at a supermarket or store like BigW/Target, or a specialist homewares store. If you have an oven-proof set of tea cups, you could use those instead, or just use a muffin tray lined with patty cases.

4. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together for a few minutes, the mixture should look thick and pale. You can use a hand whisk, an electric whisk, or your mixer to do this.

5. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and gently fold in with a spatula or spoon. Add in the flour (sifting it in helps give an even texture) and gently fold in again.

6. Pour this mixture evenly into your prepared ramekins and pop them in the fridge for as long as you can hold out.

7. When ready to start cooking, pre-heat the oven to 200°C (400°F, or gas mark 6). Place the ramekins on an oven tray (just easier, no other reason!) and put them in the oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until they have risen a bit and look like muffins on top.

8. Take them out of the oven and let them sit a minute or two. You can serve them in the dishes, but I prefer to take them out, so when you crack into them the chocolate centre runs out. It’s up to you whether you serve them upside down, or the right way up (the photo of the lava cake above is upside down, out of a ramekin). Serve them dusted with a little icing sugar and a dollop of ice cream on the side. Or get creative and serve them with berry coulis and/or vanilla anglaise.

Enjoy!

Notes

Greasing: take a piece of paper towel and rub it in butter, use this to grease the inside of the ramekins, then sprinkle a little flour in and shake them around, tapping them upside down to get rid of the excess flour. As an alternative to butter, you can spray lightly with a light vegetable oil spray, used for cooking, and then flour as above.

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