With Valentine's Day lurking around the corner, it's time to eat chocolate! I don't need an excuse to eat chocolate, but I feel better about indulging when everyone else is doing the same.
I like to bake desserts that are easy, fun, and time effective, and I bet you do, too! So here's how to make a simple chocolate dessert that can be whipped up after you finish dinner. For real!
Let's make some chocolate lava cakes! These decadent and intensely chocolatey cakes get their name because they are cakey on the outside, but have an irresistible center of flowing chocolate concealed within. At first glance, these cakes may seem difficult to pull off, but you'll be pleasantly surprised.
The first step is to melt together the chocolate and butter. I had my son, Jake, do this in a heavy-bottomed pan over very low heat to prevent the chocolate from burning. Once this mixture is smooth and glossy, set it off to the side so it can cool a bit.
The next step is to whip together the eggs and powdered sugar until they reach what's called "ribbon stage". This means the mixture will be pale yellow and thick. It almost looks a bit like sabayon. This takes several minutes, so be patient. You'll know you've achieved ribbon stage when you lift the beaters over the mixture and the batter falls slowly forming a ribbon. Pretty neat, huh?
You'll then add your melted chocolate mixture and a little bit of flour to the beaten egg and sugar mixture, and mix until incorporated. You now have your batter. Easy peasy!
The batter is thick, so I used a large spoon to portion the batter into the buttered ramekins. Jake actually thought the batter was just like chocolate mousse.
He was pretty convinced that's what our final product was until we baked our cakes. Then his mind was blown.
After the cakes bake, I like to let them rest for about 2 minutes.
Then use a paring knife to release the sides, and carefully unmold the cakes on to individual plates. Dust with powdered sugar, and serve! When you make that first cut into the cake with your fork, you'll be transported to another dimension.
Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes
Yield: 4 servings
Active time: 25 minutes
Start to finish: 40 minutes
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
1 cup powdered sugar
Pinch of fine sea salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Powdered sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 450 °. Butter four 4-ounce ramekins.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in heavy saucepan over low heat, and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Beat the eggs, egg yolks, powdered sugar and salt in large bowl with an electric mixer. When the mixture thickens to ribbon stage, add the chocolate mixture and flour until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared ramekins, dividing equally.
- Bake the cakes until the sides are set but center remains soft and runny, 15 minutes. Allow the cakes to rest for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Run a small knife around cakes to loosen. Immediately turn cakes out onto plates. Top with a dusting of powdered sugar and serve warm.
If these cakes have ignited your passion for chocolate, look no further. The Chopping Block's class calendar is studded with chocolate delicacies for your pleasure. I hope to see you in one of the following classes!
- Date Night: Fireside Feast
- Steakhouse D.I.Y. (You'll make these lava cakes in this class!)
- Death by Chocolate
- Simple French Food
- Fabulous French Pastries
- Chocolate Boot Camp
Most of these classes are offered multiple times at both of our locations, so please peruse our class calendar for more options. We just released March classes today!
All of our Valentine's Day themed cooking classes of course involve chocolate (of course!), so check out our offerings and sign up with your loved one to do something different for the holiday this year. You can even tack on a package of our house-made artisanal macarons to your date night. They are the perfect Valentine treats!