November 27, 2008

Molten-Centred Chocolate Cakes

Also known as Molten Lava Cakes, these are single serve chocolate cakes with a liquid chocolate centre. The idea of cutting open a chocolate cake to find melted chocolate oozing out has always seemed an exotic way to eat dessert.

Unfortunately all the recipes that I have come across for molten-centred cakes have involved baking the cake batter till the outside of the cakes cook but the middle would be partially cooked resulting in a semi-solid centre. I honestly didn’t think I wanted to make molten lava cakes even though the molten centre concept was attractive.
Imagine eating half cooked batter!

Then last month Sra gifted me a book called Everyday Chocolate with about a hundred recipes, every single one with chocolate. I’m not exaggerating. It has 256 pages, and if you take away a few pages (for the contents, introduction, indexing and all that stuff) there’s one recipe every two pages.

So what I wanted to say was that, in this book, there was a recipe for molten-centred chocolate cakes where the centre was actually molten chocolate and not uncooked batter!!

Here’s the recipe, very slightly adapted, from the book. The changes I made are within brackets.


4 tbsp soft margarine (I used 60g of salted butter)

55 g caster sugar (¼ cup)

1 egg

85 g self raising flour (about ¾ cup flour + ½ tsp baking powder)

1 tbsp cocoa powder

55 g plain chocolate

icing sugar, for dusting


Put the butter, egg, flour, baking powder and cocoa in a bowl and whisk together, till just smooth.

Spoon half of the batter into paper cases or greased muffin tins. Make a small indentation in the middle of each cake with a spoon. Break the chocolate into equal pieces and place a piece in each indentation. Spoon the remaining batter on top covering the chocolate.

Bake at 190C for about 20 minutes till springy to touch and the top of the cake is slightly crusty. Stand for 2 to 3 minutes before removing from the moulds.
Invert onto serving plates and serve warm dusted with sifted icing sugar or cocoa powder.

The book says this recipe makes 8 cupcakes. I used my muffin moulds to make these and this recipe gave me 6 cakes.

Some notes:

I have made these cakes twice so far.

The first time, I didn’t have anything but semi-sweet dark chocolate with me (and I’m the only one who likes this here) so I used Cadbury’s milk chocolate bars. I put 2 small squares in the centre of each cake. These squares didn’t melt but I had very nice and tasty chocolate cupcakes with milk chocolate centres.

I still wanted cakes with molten centres. That’s when I came across Anita’s excellent blog, Dessert First. She had made Molten Chocolate Cakes with chocolate ganache centres. This means that the centres are guaranteed to melt and that the ganache centres can be flavoured according to choice. Do check out Anita’s exotic ganache flavours.

So I made a chocolate ganache flavoured with orange, using the following ingredients.

Orange Flavoured Chocolate Ganache

1 cup dark semi-sweet chocolate

1 tbsp butter

2 tbsp cream (25% fat)

2 tbsp orange syrup

½ tsp orange extract

Melt all the ingredients over boiling water till smooth. Keep in the freezer for an hour till firm. Scoop out into balls and place one in the indentation in the batter in each mould, instead of the chocolate pieces.

Otherwise the recipe remains the same. This amount makes a little more ganache than required for the cakes. The extra chocolate ganache keeps in the freezer.

The ganache produces absolutely melty and delicious centred chocolate cakes.
I also tried substituting the egg with flax seed and I have to say that while the flax seed version was quite good, the version with the egg turned out much better taste-wise.

I'm sending this off to Not Quite Nigella's The Ultimate Chocolate Cake Challenge.

It is the 27th of the month today. That means that there are just 3 days left for all of you who are yet to join me in celebrating my blog birthday. So if you're planning to be there, you need to hurry up.

I'm also taking this opportunity to acknowledge some more awards fellow bloggers have honoured my blog with. I'm not sure I really deserve them, but I appreciate the gesture and thank you.
Dibs of Chitra Amma's Kitchen has passed on a whole bouquet of them - A Butterfly Award, Great Buddy Award, Kreative Blogger Award, Inspiration Award, Chocoholic Award, Friendship Award and A foodie Award.
A Kreative Blogger Award from Vibaas of Delectable Vegetarian Recipes.
All these awards are displayed here.


Curry Leaf said...

Aparna,I thght this was for Alice and I was thinking still 3 more days.I had made the same cake-choc pudding cake in ramekins for Alice and will be posting on Sunday.Its very good and blast of chocolate.
Mine actually looks rustic though,one may think it came from rabbits hole :D :P Congrats on your rain of awards Cheers

Happy cook said...

Wow my daughter has been asking me to make a cake like this for ages.
Till now I haven't done it.
Yours look so yummy delicious.
And that last pic is so tempting.
WIsh i had that right now.

Sunshinemom said...

This looks so delicious! Molten lava:)

sra said...

I'm so glad this book helped a dream come true and right! I've just downed a few chocolates and want more - in my defence, they were all bite-sized.

Rosie said...

Aparna, I'm blown away with your stunning "Molten-Centred Chocolate Cakes" - I'm in choccie heaven viewing these delights!!

Rosie x

Joanna said...

wow these look yummy!! i love lava cakes. i've never made them from scratch though. i would always use this betty crocker box and they were just to die for.

Priya said...

WOw cakes looks sooooo a great addict to lava cakes..great Aparna..

Soma said...

I love the way the molten lava comes out from inside...

Pearlsofeast said...

Aparna, This is a wonderful recipe and I have bookmarked it. Love to impress my friends.Must be tasting awesome with orange flavored ganache. Wonderful!

Cham said...

The chocol oozing out is simply divine :)

Vibaas said...

Aparna, first of all congrats on the well-deserved awards :-)

The molten cake looks awesome. I used to goto Chilli's just to have this. I never even thought that it can be made at home. You've really inspired me now :)

arundati said...

fabulous...i can only just imagine biting into the gooey centre....

SMN said...

Aparna these kinds cakes are my all time fav thanks for the recipe

DEESHA said...

it looks awesome ... i would love to dig into it right now

Lisa said...

Beautiful and baked to perfection. Nice job.

anudivya said...

This looks sensational! Great pics. The molten center looks so sinful.

Bharti said...

Oh my...that looks divine! I'm gonna have to make it some time. Thanks for posting.

Aparna said...

I've been wanting to make these for so long, that it was a dream come true when I saw the chocolate oozing out so perfectly.
And its easy to make.

Absolute choccie heaven, Rosie.:)

Thanks again, Sra.:D

payal said...

can v subtitute faxseed or condensed milk for egg in this recipe?

Aparna said...

Payal, I think you left a comment here (at least it in my inbox) but it seems to have disappeared when I moved to a custom domian!

To answer your question, you can replace the egg with flax seed, but I do not think condensed milk would work.

suma said...

Hi Aparna!! Love the idea of putting ganache in the middle and baking the cake.. drool..drool:-)) One more of ur many recipes I HAVE to try!!