Molten Chocolate Cake with Ice Cream

So, this is actually quite an exciting day for me. This is my 100th post! When I started this little blog of mine, I made a goal to write 100 post before New Year’s…ok, so maybe I met my goal a little late, but I reached it all the same and it’s pretty exciting! This molten chocolate cake recipe was slated to come up next and I contemplated writing a different post to commemorate this moment, and then I said to myself, “self, you love chocolate, and you love blogging about dessert,” so it’s actually perfectly appropriate that a special post like this would include both! Thank you so much to all of you, my wonderful readers, that make blogging worth my while. I’ll keep blogging as long as you keep reading!


After I decided that I was going to make the Engagement Chicken for Dane and myself on Valentine’s Day, I wanted something amazing and delicious to follow it up for dessert. I had a couple requirements…one was that it had to include chocolate…two is that it had to be amazing. I came across this recipe for Molten Chocolate Cake on The Pioneer Woman’s blog, which is actually originally from here at Tasty Kitchen. Lava cake is one of those desserts that I always have to order when I see it on a menu at a restaurant, so I figured it was worth a try to see if I could make it myself!

I’m going to be honest here…this did not turn out exactly as planned. Although it still came out delicious, there may have been some yelling and swearing and the threat of throwing the cake across the room…I’ll get to that later. 😉

I ended up only having a half a cup of powdered sugar in my pantry when I went to make this, so I made half of the recipe. This was fine, because it was the perfect amount for two people.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this:

  • 2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate (I splurged and got Ghirardelli)
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons flour

In case you didn’t know, the “gh” of Ghirardelli is pronounced with a hard g as in “gear” as opposed to a soft g which is pronounced more like a j as in “George.” An “h” after a “c” in Italian does the same thing; it makes it a hard c as in the word bruschetta. It should actually be pronounced “bru-sket-a” even though it is commonly pronounced “bru-shet-a” here in the good ol’ U-S of A. There’s a little Italian lesson for ya. All those years of Italian classes in college and a semester living in Rome really paid off. 😉 This recipe is actually pretty easy to make and I’m sure you’ll be shocked to know I didn’t use my stand up mixer for this one. All you need is a microwave safe mixing bowl and a whisk.

I waited to make this until we were all done eating our dinner so that they came out all lava-y and molten-y…and yumm-y. 😉

The Ghirardelli squares are actually only a 1/2 ounce each. Most baking chocolate comes in 1 ounce squares, so just make sure you check your package. I used 4 squares of chocolate, which is 2 ounces.

In a glass mixing bowl, I added the butter and chocolate. Cut the butter into smaller pieces to help it melt faster.

Microwave the butter and chocolate just until the butter is melted and get out your whisk. I would start out with 15 or 20 seconds and see if it’s melted. Our poor whisk is a little wonky after it got into a fight with our drawer. :( Dane couldn’t figure out why the drawer wasn’t opening…we found out a little too late that it was because the whisk was in the way.

Luckily, it still works fine. Use the whisk to mix up the melted butter and chocolate.

Mix it until all the chocolate melts and it is smooth. You can also do with using a double boiler, but as long as you don’t over microwave it, the microwave method is fine. As you are stirring, it may seem like the chocolate is never going to melt, but after I kept stirring it eventually all did. Have your powdered sugar measured out.

Then, whisk in the powdered sugar.

Next, add one whole egg and an extra egg yolk. I use the “crack the egg and carefully pour the yolk back and forth until all the white is gone” method. (You can see photos of that in this post.) Whisk the both the whole egg and the yolk in.

Next, add the flour and stir until combined.

The batter should be about the consistency of brownie batter.

The recipe says to use ramekins to bake the cakes. Not wanting to have to buy anything new, I went into my cupboards and came up with these.

One small ramekin (who knows where the second one is, but I know it’s somewhere in the house) and this large cup that I use for french onion soup. I figured it was worth a try! So, I doused them both with non-stick cooking spray hoping the cakes would easily pop out when done…key word being “hope.”

I filled them both with batter.

The recipe says to bake for 13-14 minutes. The cake should start to pull away from the sides when it is done. That never really happened for me on either cup and the big one took a lot longer than 14 minutes to cook. I wish I had kept track of the time, but, alas, I did not. My tip would be to check it every minute or so after 13 minutes until the top looks completely cooked. See how the small one looks cooked, while the large one is still gooey? I took out the small one and left the big one in for a while longer. (The recipe said to put them on a cookie sheet, btw.)

I followed Pioneer Woman’s instructions on placing a plate upside down over the ramekin.

And then flipped it. Be careful because those ramekins are toasty!

And this is what happened…waaa…waaaa.

Even more frustrating was that the oven mitt was so bulky that I dropped the ramekin several times trying to get the cake to come out. Not only was it loud when it hit the plate, but there was chocolate oozing out all over…not so good for presentation. I actually ended up scooping it back in a baking it a little while longer. After Dane heard enough swearing and yelling, he took a break from thesis writing to help and came up with the genius idea of using a knife to loosen the sides of the cake. (This was one of those “duh” moments on my part…guess I was too frustrated to think of a simple idea!)

And then he flipped it. The cake popped right out. The same method worked for the smaller one as well and all was right in the world again.

I had purchased some french vanilla ice cream to go with this yummy dessert. The recipe suggests real whipped cream which I’m sure would be amazing as well, but I just didn’t feel like making it. (I spent all day roasting a chicken, ok?)

I love that Kroger named it “French Vanilla Magnifique” haha. It was pretty delicious actually. After all the frustration this was the perfect end to the night. It was super yummy!

Although, I wish it had turned out as pretty as the picture on the recipe’s website. I think next time I would probably bake them in the larger cups and just scoop the ice cream right on top.

Anyone else have an easier recipe for lava cake? Maybe this is just one of those desserts I should leave to the experts. Or, I guess I just need to make this more often to get more practice!

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2 Responses to Molten Chocolate Cake with Ice Cream

  1. Roselie says:

    YUM! I love chocolate lava cake too and those look yummy! Regardless of how “pretty” they turn out, the taste is what really matters! The nice thing too is that they are single serving and you don’t have a whole chocolate cake sitting on your counter tempting you all night 😉

    • karen says:

      You’re right about taste being more important than looks and I do like that I didn’t have a whole 9 x 13 pan of cake to eat all week! Having that ice cream in the freezer is hard enough to avoid. :)

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