Gooey Chocolate Cakes

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

TWDGooey Chocolate Cakes (AKA Molten Lava Cakes)Oh wait, you were expecting more? Well then. These are moist and delicious and gooey and really, the only thing that could have made them better is ice cream. Of which I had none. Alas, that didn’t stop me from eating one while it was still piping hot and oozing chocolate.

Speaking of oozing, prior to making these, I read that other people weren’t getting runny insides. Fortunately for me, they came out beautifully (quite unlike the ugly photo). Also, I made them in the afternoon and brought them to a friend’s house later that night. We just popped them in the microwave for a bit and they were perfect!

Photos of the process here.

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, 4 ounces coarsely chopped, 1 ounce very finely chopped
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
6 tablespoons sugar

Getting Ready
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter (or spray – it’s easier) 6 cups of a regular-size muffin pan, preferably a disposable aluminum foil pan, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Put the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

Sift the flour, cocoa and salt together.

Set a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, put the coarsely chopped chocolate and the butter in the bowl and stir occasionally over the simmering water just until they are melted – you don’t want them to get so hot that the butter separates. Remove the bowl from the pan of water.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and yolk until homogenous. Add the sugar and whisk until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add the dry ingredients and, still using the whisk, stir (don’t beat) them into the eggs. Little by little, and using a light hand, stir in the melted chocolate and butter. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and sprinkle the finely chopped chocolate over the batter.

Bake the cakes for 13 minutes. Transfer them, still on the baking sheet, to a rack to cool for 3 minutes. (There is no way to test that these cakes are properly baked, because the inside remains liquid.)

Line a cutting board with a silicone baking mat or parchment or wax paper, and, after the 3-minute rest, unmold the cakes onto the board. Use a wide metal spatula to lift the cakes onto dessert plates.

These should be served as soon as they are put on plates. The cakes are not meant to be served alone – they need something to play off their warm, gooey, soooooo chocolaty interior. Ice cream is the most obvious choice and, to my mind, the best in terms of texture and, of course, temperature. Any chocolate-friendly flavor will be good. Circling the cakes with crème anglaise is another good idea and, for those for whom too much is not enough, circling the cakes with crème anglaise and running a ring of bittersweet chocolate sauce through the custard is an even better idea.

Although the whole point of a warm, runny cake is to eat it when it is warm and runny, the cake is still delicious, but different, the following day. If you wrap the cooled cakes in plastic wrap and keep them at room temperature, the next day the texture of the center of the cake (the part that was once gooey) will remind you of ganache. Eating the cake will be like enjoying a bonbon: it will be firm on the outside and creamy within.

My Notes
I used a disposable aluminum muffin tin. I also used semi-sweet instead of bittersweet chocolate.

Recipe from Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan.


24 Responses to “Gooey Chocolate Cakes”

    Chelle on 1 April 1st, 2008 6:54 am

    Great job! Looks perfect!

    Mari on 2 April 1st, 2008 7:11 am

    I think they look perfect, too!

    Marni on 3 April 1st, 2008 7:28 am

    Those are so neat looking! I love the ooze factor!!!

    p.s. I memed you last night. 🙂

    jami on 4 April 1st, 2008 8:22 am

    They look great!!

    Donna on 5 April 1st, 2008 8:38 am

    Great looking cake! Nice and Gooey!

    DC on 6 April 1st, 2008 9:02 am

    What brand of unsweetened cocoa powder do use like to use?

    I love that you put your own personal touches on the recipes, sharing your experiences with the process and result. That helps so much. For example, knowing how these cakes are the next day is great to know (for me). 🙂 Keep up the good work!

    Rebecca on 7 April 1st, 2008 9:52 am

    Oh, yum! That center looks perfectly scrumptious.

    Madam Chow on 8 April 1st, 2008 10:19 am

    Yours look like they came out great. Good job!

    Marie on 9 April 1st, 2008 10:30 am

    I think your cakes look fabulous! Mine were more fudgy than gooey, but they did taste delicious, especially with a drizzle of muscovado toffee sauce and some clotted cream!!

    justJENN on 10 April 1st, 2008 10:35 am

    MMM. OOZE!

    Erin on 11 April 1st, 2008 10:38 am

    Looks great!

    Dianne on 12 April 1st, 2008 11:03 am

    Look at that center! Now that was more what I was expecting. Mine were slightly gooey. I think perhaps I should cut back on the cooking time.

    Annemarie on 13 April 1st, 2008 11:16 am

    Nice, gooey cakes! Nice to know they are easily reheatable!

    LyB on 14 April 1st, 2008 11:21 am

    Beautifully gooey, chocolatey and rich! Delicious!

    Robin on 15 April 1st, 2008 5:44 pm

    These look fantastic, I love your pictures!

    Cara on 16 April 1st, 2008 6:24 pm

    Those look nice and gooey….good job!

    Natalie on 17 April 1st, 2008 6:25 pm

    Lovely! Good to know that they can be reheated – I had one cold and it was good, but not nearly as spectacular as the gooey warm ones.

    ehme on 18 April 1st, 2008 6:30 pm

    Oh I want one of these right now. Do you deliver to Maine? Love the new look!

    rachel on 19 April 1st, 2008 6:52 pm

    Perfection! I will soo nosh with you any time!

    Gretchen Noelle on 20 April 1st, 2008 7:40 pm

    These look so delicious! Great job on the gooey center!

    judi0044 on 21 April 2nd, 2008 10:06 am

    Looks just like I would expect. Wondering why so many bakers had such different results. I wouldn’t think it would just be because of baking times. I never thought Dorie’s recipe was meant to necessarily be an exact lava type; however, most seemed to think that’s what they expected.

    Heather on 22 April 2nd, 2008 4:03 pm

    Yum! The chocolate looks so delicious!

    Helen on 23 April 6th, 2008 2:23 am

    Oh my goodness, those puddings are ooze factor 10! They look so divine.

    Kim on 24 April 12th, 2008 12:05 pm

    I’ve just started a cake appreciation website
    I’d love it if you’d post some of your photos and recipes there. They’re awesome!
    Thanks and happy baking!