My favourite quick, easy and decadent chocolate lava cakes are these Melting Hot Chocolate Cakes. Make the batter ahead and then just bake off when ready. Perfect for Valentine's Day. (And gluten free, too!)
I couldn't let this week go by without sharing something chocolate. I have no shortage of chocolate treats, but this one is probably my favourite. It scores points for the fact that it is super easy to make, that the batter can be mixed ahead and left in the fridge until ready to bake off later and finally, because it is unbelievably delicious. If you're looking for a quick indulgence, look no further!
As much as I love chocolate desserts, I have to admit, sometimes I find them just too much - too rich and yes, maybe too much chocolate. Not these cakes. They are light and perfectly chocolately. They are also made with just a few simple ingredients, including basic semi-sweet chocolate (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips for mine).
Cooks Notes for Melting Hot Chocolate Cakes
These are easiest to make in 3-inch diamter dessert rings (the stainless steel rings with no top or bottom), if you have them, but you can also use ramekins. In both cases, you'll need to line them with a ring of parchment to increase the height so these cakes have a chance to grow. That said, once they are plated, they will quickly collapse in to an oozing chocolate centre with a denser, brownie-like outside and a light, crispy top. It's a good thing :)
If you have a scale, I suggest weighing your chocolate and butter. Also, be sure to mix the batter thoroughly, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Make these ahead by mixing up the batter earlier in the day and refrigerating, then baking off when ready. Note that even if you're not making ahead, popping the batter in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm it up a bit is recommended, especially if you're using dessert rings.
Melting Hot Chocolate Cakes
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 large eggs
- 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate (about 1/2 bag of chocolate chips)
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
- Pinch of salt (omit if you used salted butter)
- Ice cream or whipped cream (for serving)
- In a small saucepan (or the microwave), melt together the butter and chocolate. Transfer to a medium bowl (to use a whisk or electric beater) or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Stir in the sugar and cornstarch. Add the eggs and mix on low speed until the sugar dissolves completely (*Test by rubbing a bit of batter between your fingers. If it feels gritty, keep mixing!).
- Refrigerate batter at least 30 minutes or several hours.
- Preheat oven to 360° F. Line three 3-inch diameter dessert rings with a parchment paper ring (cut parchment approximately 3 1/2-inches high by 11 inches long). If using ramekins, you will need 4 of them greased and lined with parchment. Place rings or ramekins on a baking sheet.
- Divide batter between rings or ramekins and place in pre-heated oven. Bake for about 22 - 25 minutes (probably a bit less, for smaller ramekins), or until top is firm and crackly and cakes are slightly jiggly but not too jiggly. Allow to stand for a couple of minutes, then gently pull on the top of the parchment. The cakes should lift out. Place on serving plates, then remove parchment ring. Cakes will probably collapse and start to ooze their chocolate centres at this point. It's all good.