Monday, February 27, 2017

Month-of-Few Ingredients: Melt-Your-Heart Chocolate Cake

Yum! Chocolate Lava Cake
I have a number of recipes that didn’t make the cut this month. February would have had to have had at least another 20 days for me to use up the collection I have. So here we are, one day from the end. I want to do a dessert, and I have four options.

Do I go for the unusual/interesting/may-not-have-heard-of option, two that are variations of ones you probably already do, or a dessert that screams elegance and fancy restaurant? And which one would DH likely give up Five Tongues to? I mean, I like validation, too. So fancy dessert it is.

I almost made this for Valentine’s Day, but I decided to save it to give DH an unexpected treat. He loves lava/molten chocolate cakes because they are so chocolatey dense. Being warm, I think they also fall into the comfort food category.

The Internet, unsurprisingly, abounds with lava cakes/melted chocolate cake recipes. Interestingly, three versions I found (maybe there are more) are attributed to Carnival Cruise Lines. The recipes are related but different of their Melting Chocolate Cake, a signature dessert for Carnival. Why so many versions? Beats me, but it might have to do with which chef they ask. Seems like cutting down a recipe for thousands to one for six might affect proportions. I can’t explain it.

Back in the day, I used to make lava cake for a crowd in the slow cooker. Not as pretty, but it serves a bunch. If that interests you, check out this slow cooker chocolate lava cake.

In one version of Carnival’s Melting Chocolate Cake, you watch a video (which I suggest if you haven’t made a melted chocolate cake before). In the vid, sometimes they tell you the ingredients, and sometimes you have to figure it out, but the technique is very clear and helpful for your first time with lava cake.

In another version, posted on the Internet with somewhat different ingredient amounts (four eggs or seven eggs?), the recipe gives a different cooking temperature. What’s with that???

Anyway, here’s the version of Lava Cake I ended up with. I don’t know about the others with different amounts of ingredients and different cooking temps, but I can assure you this one works beautifully!

Chocolate Lava Cake (serves 6)
6 tablespoons butter
6 ounces best quality chocolate (Ghiradelli), ½ 85% cacao & ½ 60% cacao
¾ cup sugar
4 eggs
¼ cup flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter or spray 6 ramekins with butter-flavored, non-stick cooking spray. Place ramekins on sturdy baking pan.
Put butter and chocolate in a double boiler and stir gently with spatula until all chocolate is melted into the butter. Remove from heat while mixing other ingredients.

Put sugar in a small bowl. Crack in one egg and whisk until the egg/sugar mixture turns lemon yellow. Add in one more egg and whisk again. Continue with remaining eggs, always whisking thoroughly after each addition. This will take several minutes. Don’t rush it.

Add flour and thoroughly incorporate into the egg/sugar mixture.

Slowly pour chocolate mixture into sugar mixture, whisking completely after each addition.

Distribute batter among the ramekins. After filling, shake or tap each ramekin on the baking pan several times before putting into oven.

Bake for 14 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately serve in the ramekin, or wait a couple of minutes, and up end each on small dishes to serve upside down. The lava cake right out of the oven will look molten-y. It is done even if it doesn’t look it to you. The top will look like regular chocolate cake if served upside down out of the ramekin.

You can add sprinkled powdered sugar, ice cream, or whipped cream if you like.

DH’s Rating: 5 Tongues Up  As expected. Warm, deep, dark chocolate. What’s not to love? Because it’s so rich, it should be served after a lighter meal. Sort of like a reward after eating your stir fry veggies. “Very chocolatey. Glad it’s so small,” DH said. Yep, the best things are in little packages.

If you liked this recipe, I’d really appreciate you spreading the word on your social media outlets. Here are some pre-made Twitter and Facebook posts you can use or modify.

Twitter: #recipe for you-won’t-believe-how-easy chocolate lava cake. Check out the post by @good2tweat at

Facebook: Do you love chocolate lava cake/molten chocolate cake? Find out how easy it is to do them at home. See Sharon Arthur Moore’s blog, Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary Time at

Two more recipes to look at:

A reminder:
House rules for what counts as an ingredient:
Salt and pepper are not ingredients.
Oil is not an ingredient when it’s for the cooking pan, not the recipe.
Water is not an ingredient.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks so much! Check out the other recipes from earlier in the month of February. Enjoy and happy cooking!