I don’t know about you guys, but every time I see a dessert with ‘chocolate’ in its title, I’m sold immediately. And if there is one chocolate dessert that trumps all the other ones, it’s chocolate lava cakes, or moelleux au chocolat as we call it in Belgium. A bit crunchy on the outside, still runny on the inside and deliciously warm: perfection! I used to work with the same recipe over and over again, one that was made by a Belgian chef, but even though he said the recipe was foolproof, I heard from some people that their lava cakes didn’t always work out too well so I modified the ingredients and now it really is fail-proof!
Serves: 8 people
- 125g dark chocolate
- 4 eggs (2 complete ones and 2 egg yolks)
- 110g butter + extra for greasing
- 60g pastry flour
- 125g sugar
- optional: ice cream and red fruit
Needed: 8 small ramekins
Add 2 complete eggs and 2 egg yolks with the sugar to a large bowl. Mix it all really well and add the flour, keep on mixing until you get a smooth mixture.
Put a pot on a low heat and add the chocolate and butter (cut them up a bit before you put them in the pot). Stir regularly and wait until everything is melted and add it to your bowl. Stir it again until it’s smooth and cover the bowl with some cling film and put it in the fridge for about 15 minutes. If you have a pastry bag you can put your mixture in there and put it in the fridge, it’ll make it easier to get your mixture in the ramekins. I always just use a spoon, even though it’s a bit messier to get it in the ramekins.
Preheat your oven to 210°C when you take your batter from the fridge. Rub the inside of the pots with butter and scatter some flour (on the bottom and on the sides), this will prevent your cakes from sticking to your pots and make it easier to flip them over and get them out. Now pour your batter in the ramekins but be aware, only fill them up for 2/3 since it will rise in the oven!
Now, the next part is really crucial, don’t leave the cake in the oven for too long! If you do, you will get some sort of brownie, which is also delicious but not really what we’re aiming for here. Anyway, you need to really know your oven, but you should put your pastries in the oven for 8-10 minutes (In my oven it takes 8,5 minutes) at 210°C. Making this recipe work really is a matter of timing so if you’ve never tried to make this in your oven before, simply make one test moelleux and take it out of the oven at 7 minutes, check both the sides and the center to see how runny it still is. Are the sides still runny? Then pop it back in the oven and check again a minute later. Once you’ve hit that 8 minute mark, check it every 30 seconds until you’ve got your perfect chocolate lava cake. Write down the exact timing and fill up the remaining ramekins.
Take our your pastries carefully and cut them out of the pots (if you used some flour to cover the inside of the pots it should be easy) and serve them with some fruit and ice cream. Alternatively, if it’s just for you, you can just leave it in the ramekins and spoon it out. These cakes should be eaten right away, if you wait too long, you might still end up with a fully baked cake without a runny center.
In order to have to perfect lava cakes, you must pay attention to two things, or else it just might fail after all. Don’t add the flour before mixing the sugar and eggs, and you must let the dough rest in the fridge as described. Other than that, you should be fine!