I recently watched the movie Chef (it’s great and will make you crave a grilled cheese sandwich). There’s a part during which a food critic in the movie takes issue with a molten chocolate lava cake. It’s not the flavor, it’s that it’s uninspired and boring. As respectfully as possible, mister fictional movie critic, I disagree. This Molten Chocolate Lava Cake is delicious, easy, and is as impressive to me as a French acrobat doing flips. I chose a French acrobat (as opposed to all other nationalities of acrobats) for a reason since I am told that lava cake is a French invention, and a mistake at that. I picture a chef with a very tall hat (obviously with a little rat underneath it holding the hairs of the human chef like a marionette puppeteer) trying to prepare little chocolate cakes, running out of time to bake them, and accidentally serving ooey, gooey molten masterpieces as a result. Molten Chocolate Lava Cake takes very little time to create (15 minutes at most), can be prepared a day in advance, and it looks wonderful when tipped onto a plate and served to your guests…even when prepared by a human and not a rodent. So regardless of the truth behind the origins, this is a tried and true treat that is always impressive.
- 6 oz. bittersweet or 70% Chocolate, coarsely chopped (As always, use good chocolate because you will taste the difference! I used Sharffen Berger 70% Baking Chocolate Baking Bar)
- 6 oz. (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, diced plus butter for preparing the ramekins
- 3 large eggs
- ½ c. sugar
- 1/3 c. flour
Prepare four small ramekins by generously coating the insides with butter. Set aside. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate, stirring frequently to ensure it doesn’t burn. Add the butter. When chocolate and butter have melted, remove from heat and set aside. In a stand mixer or medium-sized bowl, whip the eggs and sugar together until light-colored and fluffy. While mixing quickly, slowly pour in the chocolate mixture. Add the flour and mix until smooth. Divide the batter among the ramekins. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
When ready, remove from refrigerator 1 hour before serving. Cook in oven 350º for 18 minutes or until the edges look cooked to about ½” thickness and the center is sunken in (it will look somewhat like a doughnut). Remove from oven. Let cool for a few minutes, then invert onto a plate. Serve with fresh fruit and a sprinkling of powdered sugar.