Molten Chocolate Cake


Delicious, easy, and perfect to make in advance, whether for 2 or 20.

The first time I had ever heard of this cake was when it was to be served at a catered party in someone’s home. The owner of the catering company, Sybil, gave me explicit instructions on how many minutes to cook it for, so that it would turn out “runny”. The ramekins were already filled with the batter, loaded on trays in a portable insulated “dolly” and all I had to do was whip the cream on site, run them in the oven, and serve with the freshly whipped cream and fresh strawberries. It was amazing.

Years later, I found the original recipe in a book about cooking utensils, and made it. It’s so easy, you’d think everyone would make this all the time! But, as simple as it is, it is very, very rich. Use the best chocolate you can afford, and the type that you like. I used the 60% Ghiradelli chips, because that was all I had in the pantry that day. However, I like the 60% because it appeals to everyone.

There are many, many recipes out there for this cake, most are true to the original recipe by Jean George Vongerichten. I’ve attached a few links for the original recipe from the Chef, as well as the recipe on Ghiradelli’s website.

**I strongly suggest you try this in advance before the big day, for the sole purpose of getting the baking time to just how set you want your cakes to be. It is also important to note, that on the two cakes that were cooked for 10 minutes, the first one inverted is the one in the photo. By the time I inverted the second one, it was even more set firm, due to the remaining heat. It’s important to move fast to invert them.

Buen Provecho!

Note: Make SURE that your ramekins are oven-safe, not just some cute little ramekins that are only for dipping sauces.

This recipe is easy to scale up or down. This recipe can be made earlier in the day, and refrigerated before baking. Just make sure that they come to room temperature before baking, because the oven is so hot – you don’t want to tempt fate and have really cold ramekins explode due to the heat of the oven.

For 4:

  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces 60% chocolate (or 2/3 cup chocolate chips) (bittersweet, semi-sweet, or combination)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (4 tablespoons)
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 teaspoons flour (2 tablespoons)

For 6:

  • 6 ounces unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces 60% chocolate (or 1 cup chocolate chips) (bittersweet, semi-sweet, or combination)
  • 6 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 8 teaspoons flour (2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons)

For 8:

  • 8 ounces unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces 60% chocolate (1 1/3 cups chips) (bittersweet, semi-sweet, or combination)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (8 tablespoons)
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 8 teaspoons flour (4 tablespoons)
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Butter your 4-ounce ramekins and dust with flour, tapping out the excess flour.
  • In the top of a double boiler, melt the butter with the chocolate. Remove from the heat and whisk in the sugar, whole eggs and egg yolks. Whisk in the flour.
  • Scrape the batter into the ramekins and bake for 7-10 minutes (till set to your desired “moltenness”), or until the sides of the cake are set, but the center is still slightly loose. Let the cakes cool for 1 minute, then run a thin knife around the sides and invert them onto plates. Serve with strawberries or raspberries, and whipped cream. Or, simply dust the cakes with cocoa and confectioners’ sugar and serve.


Buen Provecho!

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