Archive for August, 2014

August 20, 2014

Molten Chocolate Cake with Nutella Lava and Raspberry Coulis


This spectacular dessert will satisfy even the pickiest eater. It’s also a perfect Valentine’s Day or birthday dessert. The only special equipment you need are the molds, which are useful for crème brulee, soufflé, panna cotta, and holding ingredients while you cook. Be sure not to overcook the lava cake in the oven – the cake will continue to cook even after you take it out of the oven, so if you overcook, your lava will turn into cake!

The Nutella core is my own addition to the recipe (because why not?), but if someone has nut allergies or opposes, feel free to experiment with other flavor combinations. Some flavor combinations that you could play with: peanut butter core with chocolate drizzle + sea salt + roasted peanuts; mango puree core with coconut cream + toasted coconut flakes; pear puree with caramel drizzle; pistachio cream with dried cherries… The combinations are endless! For more flavor combinations, I highly recommend The Flavor Bible – an essential reference guide for any home cook that will help you develop intuition for flavors that go well together. It’s great for when you have one ingredient and want to see what goes well with it.

Adapted from Jean George’s famous molten chocolate cake recipe

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 7 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Serves 4

For the raspberry coulis

2 1/2 cups fresh/frozen raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
zest of 1 lemon – grated (optional)

Puree raspberries with sugar, zest and lemon juice in a blender, food processor, or handheld blender.

Optional: If you don’t want any seeds, pour mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids.


For the lava cake

1/2 cup unsalted butter, plus more to butter the molds
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, the best you can afford (do not use milk chocolate, the fat content is too high so the recipe won’t work)
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp espresso powder (optional)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 teaspoons flour

butter and cocoa powder for dusting the baking dishes
confectioners sugar for sifting on at the end (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 450°F.

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2. In the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, heat the butter and chocolate together until the chocolate is almost completely melted. Add the espresso powder and vanilla at the end and stir to combine.


3. While that’s heating, beat together the eggs, yolks, and sugar with a whisk or electric beater until light, thick and glossy.

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4. After the chocolate has cooled a bit pour in the egg mixture, then quickly beat in the flour, just until combined.


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5. Butter and lightly cocoa powder four 4-ounce molds, custard cups, or ramekins. Tap out the excess cocoa powder, then butter and cocoa powder them again. Divide the batter among the molds. (At this point you can refrigerate the desserts until you are ready to eat, for up to several hours; bring them back to room temperature before baking.)
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5. Bake the molds on a tray for 6 to 7 minutes; the center will still be quite soft, but the sides will be set.

6. Invert each mold onto a plate and let sit for about 10 seconds. Unmold by lifting up one corner of the mold; the cake will fall out onto the plate. Spoon the raspberry coulis over the cake and around the plate in a decorative way. Serve immediately with some vanilla ice cream.

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Happy Eating!



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