Dessert Directions: Lava Cake

In my quest to bake my way through Dessert for Two, today I have landed on molten lava cakes. The best thing about lava cakes is that they look impressive and fancy but they are stupidly easy to make. Your friends will think that you are a master chef if you make these for them!

All the ingredients for this recipe are the common staples for baking that you will most likely find in your pantry, except for the instant espresso powder. I really did not think ½ teaspoon would really affect the taste of these cakes, so I skipped it. The only annoying thing about lava cakes is that they must be baked in a ramekin or something resembling a ramekin. I was lucky enough to borrow two from a friend, but ramekins are relatively cheap if you want to buy them off Amazon. For this recipe, the serving size is two, and the amount of batter would not be enough to fill two larger sized ramekins. The recipe takes about 10 minutes prep time and 13 minutes cooking time:

Ingredients:
Cooking spray
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon instant espresso powder
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray ramekins with cooking spray.
2. In a bowl, microwave the butter and chocolate chips for 30 seconds on HIGH. Stir, and microwave for another 30 seconds
3. Add sugar, espresso powder, and vanilla. Stir, and then add the egg. Stir until combined and then add the flour.
4. Divide the batter between the ramekins. Bake for 13 to 14 minutes.
5. Let cool for at least 3 minutes. Do not let them cool completely or they will finish cooking completely.

These lava cakes turned out pretty well! If this is your first time making lava cakes, I would definitely start off with this recipe because it is so simple. However, I would recommend a recipe that required baker’s chocolate and powdered sugar, since I have found in the past that makes a denser, more decadent cake. Also, I would suggest baking these for a couple extra minutes. The cooked outer cake part was not equal to the molten chocolate center, so I ended up eating a little more of liquid chocolate than I would have liked. All in all, this was a success, and these small lava cakes are sure to fix your sugar craving!

-Maggie Simon
Photos by Leah Sprague

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