Monday, February 2, 2009

Chocolate Lave Cake 2.0 - Return of Molten Chocolate Love

I finally re-visited my chocolate lava cake recipe, and this new user-friendly version looks better, sounds better, and doesn't call for any extra-large eggs. I don’t remember why the original recipe called for them, but this updated formula uses the standard large variety, which should save me from answering another 300 emails.

The original chocolate lava cake video recipe is probably the most watched, most commented, most emailed, and most linked-to recipe I've ever filmed. Most people like chocolate cake, but when you add "lava" to the name, they go completely mental.
I also had the upcoming Valentine's Day in mind. For you single guys that aren't handsome, don't have money, and can't play a musical instrument, this may be the only arrow in Cupid's quiver. But take heart, it is a devastating weapon when used correctly. End your romantic home cooked meal with this dessert, and watch the magic. Enjoy!



Ingredients:
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
5 tbsp butter
3 tbsp sugar
3.5 oz dark chocolate (this is one standard chocolate bar)
3 tbsp flour
4 tsp good (aka expensive) cocoa powder
pinch salt
1/8 tsp vanilla


View the complete recipe

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253 comments:

1 – 200 of 253   Newer›   Newest»
Rou said...

This... is quite frankly amazing.
Since i live in England i wont be able to try it till tomorrow but i'm gonna be perfecting it till Valentines day.

Thank you John, once again you amaze me.

Pyrofish said...

Ugly broke male home cooks salute you! hehe I am definitely making this for V day, and as the previous poster says, I'm going to have fun experimenting till then :-)

On a sep. note, I made the Sloppy Giuseppe's for the superbowl party, BIG HIT! Thanks for that.

Chef John said...

Thanks!

TECH NOTE: beeps being fixed!

Anonymous said...

Ok,I gotta preface this with the simple fact that I love your site and have learned so-o-o-o much from you. That being said I gotta tell you that I love chocolate lave cake but really prefer the ones that are made by pushing a little ball of very cold ganache into the middle of each of the ramekins batter. This one seems like underdone cake to me. I store them in the 'frig and bake them right before I want to serve them. They keep for at least a week.

Jackie

Chef John said...

it is undercooked cake. ;) But, I would love your recipe... It could be lava cake 3.0

Dawn's Recipes / The Baby Blog said...

I have never literally laughed-out-loud so many times watching a cooking video. This was priceless!

My dad is always asking me when I'll make him some chocolate lava cake. I think you've just pushed me over the edge.

Love the Le Creuset ramekins, by the way!

John said...

I love you man.

Anonymous said...

Umm . . . how much flour, again?

An said...

Très magnifique!

(That was a fancy compliment with fancy accent marks for you :D)

DeLynn said...

Chef John, stop it!! You are sabotaging my diet!!!

Chef John said...

3 tbsp flour... feel free to check the ingredient list under the video! ;)

Pam said...

Not that you're running a dating site, Chef John...but you sort of did started the thought train heading down this track.

1. Not to crush the dreams of the previous bachelor posters, but serving this to me for desert on V-day would not be a "big win" Then again, I guess I'm not your 'normal' woman or I wouldn't be single at this point in my life! (grin)

2. Speaking of dreams... So bachelors, if I served this to you on V-day would it be the "big win"? (Personally, I'm thinking a a good steak entree would be the big win for a man. As for me, the big win would be a super fresh seafood entree!)

San-Man said...

OMG!!! EGGS!!! UNCOOKED!!! HEAD EXPLODING!!!

(don't worry, I won't say anything to the food nazis)

Susannah said...

This looks so damn good but I'm afraid it would never ever turn out right for me. Plus I would be worried about the egg part not being cooked enough. Is it cooked enough? Why do you fill the pan with water? I gave this 5 stars and faved it on YT.

Chef John said...

water evens the heat transfer. even raw eggs are a 10,000 in 1 shot of killing you. I likes them odds.

Susannah said...

so it's like the same principle as a bain-marie? LOL! like I know what that is! I googled it.

Charlemange said...

I made this but didn't quite cook it long enough. It was still delicious with a small scoop of homemade lavender ice cream. I'll make it again and cook it longer.

Anonymous said...

Here's my recipe for lava cakes

chocolate lava centers:
2 oz dark chocolate, chopped
1 tsp butter
1 1/2 oz heavy cream
Put chocolate and butter in a small bowl. Heat cream and pour over. Stir until mixed. Cool, then chill. Form into round balls and put into freezer until ready to use.

Chocolate cake batter:
Place 7 oz of dark chocolate and 8 oz butter in a metal bowl and melt over hot water bath.
Remove from heat and add 1 tsp vanilla and 3 egg yolks, mixing until smooth.
Sift 1/3 cup flour into chocolate mixture and mix until smooth.
Beat 3 egg whites, 1/8 tsp cream of tartar and 1/8 tsp salt in a clean metal bowl until soft peaks form. Slowly add 1/4 cup sugar while continuing to beat.
Fold whites into chocolate mixture 1/3 at a time.
Pour into well buttered ramekins to about 3/4 full.
Push one ball of ganache into each cake.
At this point, you may refrigerate until just before you want to serve them.
Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes (maybe a little longer if chilled)
Let cool for about 5 minutes before unmolding.
And.....enjoy. Oops, sorry to steal your material!
Jackie

gpm said...

oh dear.. this looks evil....
Do yuo think this would work with GF flour too?

Jared Retter said...

Just made tonight, my ramekins were a little shorter but wider, still worked great. Did 17 minutes in oven, kenmore electric, and they were absolutley perfect! Cooked on all sides and lava in the middle! Thanks for all your videos!

Aahzmandius Karrde said...

So I know you said it wouldn't work with white chocolate, but any suggestions on that account, since my wife's allergic to cocoa solids.

Substituting a white chocolate bar is "easy", but what do you suggest to substitute for the cocoa powder?

Chef John said...

sorry, i know no substitute :(

Anonymous said...

Aahzmandius Karrde--You could use the recipe sent in above and use white chocolate.

KitchenMaus said...

OMG, that looks fantastically gooey. Love the video!

Logan Munro said...

Ach! Rammekins! Specialty equipment be derned!
I'm going to have to try this with a cupcake pan. I cannot justify buying those cute little things for this one recipe.
Any other suggestions?

Chef John said...

Yes, I suggest buying some ramekins. ;) (check garage sales, and seconds hand stores, they always seem to have some, also Ross stores.

Anonymous said...

Dear Chef John,

today I found you on Youtube and instantly came here to your site for a visit. About 20 minutes later I was already walking to the store to buy vanilla ice (instead of coffee) and plastic bags ^_^

The lava cake is delicious, your videos are delicious too. I have seen a lot of cooking shows but none of those ever made me actually want to cook something. Thank you very much!

Bhavik said...

Chef John.......that looks amazing!!! I'm still laughing from the ahhh son of a *@%$$ @$$..haha

greg said...

hey Le Chef John!
this recipe looks smashing! it looks a little less liquid in the centre than the previous video though.
hey, if ever you want some real authentic pure belgian chocolate sent by mail, I'll gladly be your "liaison officer"!

Joe! said...

The original is how I stumbled upon Foodwishes. How can I count the times I've thanked the Google gods for sending me here...

Superb as usual.

-Joe

Susannah said...

hi Greg
pure authentic Belgian chocolate?
Are you married? If you are do you have a single brother? cousin? uncle? grandfather?

Anonymous said...

For those looking for ramekin substitutes, I use my Noritake teacups, everyday ware not china. They are just sturdy enough for lavacakes plus that nice handle makes them safer to remove from waterbath. You can probably find them at any used dishware site or Ebay.
Luisa Vacaville.

granny said...

Jackie, thank you for your version of the lava cakes. A little more involved but I like the fact that I can bake on demand (store in fridge)until ready to enjoy. Chef John, not to worry, I will still check out Food Wishes for your wonderful entertaining food videos.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this great recipe! I can't wait to make it for my sweetheart on Valentine's day :) P.S. I love your other recipes and videos too!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant recipe once again chef john, just wondering, is it possible to do the batter several nights before (putting the batter in the fridge) actually baking it and creating that molten goodness?

Chef John said...

yes, if the batter is in the ramekins

Liz said...

Chef John, could you add a liqueur to this recipe for added specialness, say Frangelico for example? If you think this would be a good idea, how much would you suggest using?

Chef John said...

i've never tried, but you'd have to be careful not to thin out the batter. I would drizzle over the over after they are cooked!

Anonymous said...

Chef John,

Is it possible to add a pinch of cayenne pepper to spice things up? If so... how much would you recommend?

Chef John said...

yes, but the pinch size is up to you. taste the batter.

Anonymous said...

Is there somewhere that has the full
recipe. Loved the video but I need
everything written in front of me,
Colleen

Jasmine said...

i was wondering if we could use another baking pan other than the one u showed on the video

Chef John said...

sure, as long as it hold water and isn't too big

Anonymous said...

sry, i have another question.( i don't bake nor cook alot )

when u say butter, salt butter? or no salt?

Chef John said...

always unsalted for baking

Anonymous said...

if we leave the batter in the ramekins overnight in the fridge, do i need to let them sit out for a bit before i put them in the oven?

Chef John said...

yes, i would leave out for 30 minutes before.

Anonymous said...

i used your recipe for valentine's day and my boyfriend loved it! thanks so much for the easy to follow recipe!! i'm definitely going to find more things to make from your website!

Anonymous said...

here are my lava cake after your recipe:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hausmeister/3376130985/in/pool-chocolatedreams

or at least one of them : )

Anonymous said...

Where can I find those ceramic baking cups?

Anonymous said...

hmmm. mine turned out bad. the exterior doesn't get solid like a cake. what could possibly be wrong? the instruction on the video seems quite easy. i used a bigger cup though, could that be the reason?

Chef John said...

yes, that's it. who told you u could use a bigger cup?

Chef John said...

amazon, BB&B

Anonymous said...

can i use a microwave oven for this recipe?

Chef John said...

no

Anonymous said...

how long do you leave them in the fridge?

Chef John said...

at least 30 min.

Anonymous said...

hello. i've tried this four times, and everytime, the exterior of the cake is not as good looking as the one you made, mine looks all messy and it's so hard to take them off the cups, it usually breaks apart by the middle. but the taste is really really really good. I've tried baking it from 15-20 minutes but the result is almost the same, except when baked longer, the inside is not melting. so what am i missing here?

Peter said...

Our family loves your blog Chef John. Your videos are awesome and help those of us who are not gifted in the kitchen to deliver meals that are out of this world.

For those who have not tried these, they are rich and chocolatey and everyone loves them, and they are simple to make. We followed Chef John's instructions exactly and they were perfect.

Thanks again for a great contribution to the lives of others. May there be many more recipes to come.

Meghna said...

chef John i love all your recipies n your blog is a totaly wowie!!!!!!!!!!!! am a big foodie!!!!!n this perfect site ever n your stuff taste great i am tryin your stuff all of it is just super..please post more......

Reena said...

what flour do you use?

Chef John said...

All purpose

Clara said...

Hey I thought u said no more large eggs?

Chef John said...

i said x-tra large... the original used x-tra large, this uses large which are the most common size

Minh "Sa" Chau said...

Hey Chef John, I recently made this, but it didn't rise, it was still amazingly good though, but it was a little short and not tall like yours, could this be a mess-up on the Order of the ingredients entered? or not whisking the egg enough?

Chef John said...

as long as you followed the order of ingr. in the video it should be fine. It doesn't really rise. Only a little from the egg, and the it recedes.

Minh "Sa" Chau said...

Yeah see, thats where i messed up, because i didn't have any pudding in it either. thanks! i'll try again in my cooking episodes.

Anonymous said...

Can you add baking powder or soda to make it rise?

Chef John said...

you could, but why? it's not suppose to rise. It's suppose to be a dense gooey mess.

Minh "Sa" Chau said...

Everytime i try to make it, it always is solid inside, should i take it out when the top is still mushy a little? or just becoming firm?

plus when its solid its a little bitter from dark chocolate, should i add condensed milk?

Chef John said...

go by the time, youre cooking too long if its solid. you cant add con mlk.

Minh "Sa" Chau said...

i'll try again, thanks.

Chef John said...

its not a sweet dessert, maybe you dont like it dark chocolate?

Lisush said...

I was sadly disappointed with the flavor of this cake =(. I looked through so many recipes and decided on this one, but the flavor just wasn't right. I picked it because I liked that the inside was more pudding then liquid consistency. I guess I'll be going back to the drawing board. (and I used the same chocolate =\)

Chef John said...

dark chocolate isn't for everyone!

Lisush said...

No, I LOOOOVE dark chocolate and dark chocolate molten cakes, but this just didn't live up to the amazing ones I've had in some restaurants. =\

Brandee said...

Visited your blog for the first time today and love it! Entertaining to read/watch and I can't wait to try out a recipe. I'm having a dinner party and want to make the lava cakes. Does this recipe double easily and do I need to adjust the cooking time for 8?

Brandee said...

Oh one more thing...can I make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge for longer than 30 mins (ie make it in the morning and bake it in the evening?) and if so, any other special requirements?

Chef John said...

yes

Brandee said...

Can i double the recipe? Do I then need to cook it longer?

Chef John said...

should cook the same as long as the ramekins are the same

Ruth said...

Unfortunately, I cannot eat chocolate at all (painless migraine sufferer) but I can at least enjoy watching someone else make something awesome with it.

Many MANY thanks!

Incredible! This stuff looks like it should be illegal! ;>

Chef Play said...

I have been Playing With this cake for a few months....peanut butter makes this cake explode i put like a 50/50 on chocolate n peanut butter...i taste awesome

Anonymous said...

Tonight I cooked as our night before school starts meal your lemon chicken in yogurt and got "this is edible" (high praise from my 10 and 8 year old for protein based entrees believe me....i really enjoyed it and they ate it all) and I got "You HAVE to make this again!" for this.

We'll make both again!

Thanks

Minh "Sa" Chau said...

Hey Chef John, what happens if you do not use unsalted butter?

Chef John said...

it will be slightly saltier

A Thai Girl ^_^ said...

I just wanna let you know that I have used your recipe for several times and the cakes are very yummy!!! It's better than any other restaurants I have ever been to. Thank you so much for sharing it with us! ^_^

Anonymous said...

Followed this recipe but came out like hockey pucks. Figured out the ramakins I was using were 7 oz and not 5oz so more surface area wider and got overcooked i guess. Will try again with bigger batch of batter and will err on side of undercooked when monitoring cooking time.

Cindy said...

Chef John, I just made this the other night for no particular reason other than the video made it look ultra yummy...followed everything to a T...it was fab!! So, incredibly easy to make...I'll definitely make this again...thank you for the recipe.

angelina said...

This menu is great!!

i love chocolate lava, usually when i was in indonesia or singapore there's always a place to eat this.
but when i arrived in america,especially in texas(college station) i couldn't find any place to eat this cake that really taste great..
then i think i will try to make it for myself.
i have a bunch of time during new year's holiday before my school starts. luv ur recipes..

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !!

Destyna26 said...

I tried this one tonight. It's so HEAVENLY!!!! I'm literally melting with each bite!!! Linked your video on my Facebook. Thank you for this recipe.

Destyna26 said...

Oh yeah, your site is bookmarked! =)

Eliza said...

Hi, do we also let these sit for 15 minutes before turning them out, like we did in the old recipe? sounds redundant i know, but... you know how it is. Thanks a lot!

Chef John said...

yes, enjoy!

grub said...

Hey Chef John, thanks for the updated recipe! I remember making it two years ago for valentine days and it turned out perfect!


Anyway, I ran into a little bit of trouble this time around. I now live in Colorado and the altitude didn't play well with the cake. I took the cakes out at exactly 15min as they were getting burnt (just slightly) around the edges. Let them sit to cool down and finish cooked and when I pulled them out the bottom half was still liquid -- however the top was good and cooked.

It's worth to note that with the ramekins I have I only get 2 cakes...but this wasn't an issue with the first cakes so I'm leaning more towards altitude adjustment...


Anyway, I did some research and all I could come up with was to lower the temp to about 400 and back a decent amount of time longer. Maybe even have the water bath sit in the oven a bit beforehand (as that seems to be where the problems lies). I'm just a little stumped here as I don't want the top (bottom really) to get all overcooked and chewy/burnt and not get the lava center.

Hope you can help, thanks Chef John! :D

Chef John said...

I would try to cover in foil to bake, with a few small holes to let out the steam, this may prevent the tops from getting crispy.

Anonymous said...

Dear Chef John,
I love all your videos! I haven't made anything yet, but recently I have become obsessive over making French macarons - not macarOOns with the coconut. i never tasted a macaron and I heard it is a challenge to many so i'm requesting a macaron tutorial from VOUS ! merci

Christine said...

wow... that's amazing... I am totally new to bakery... do I need to pre-heat the oven?

Tim said...

Hi Chef John,
I am trying your recipes like crazy. You are such a good teacher! I have a question for you about this cake. I made it, exactly like the recipe and video called for. The batter was much thicker than yours on the video and it wouldn't have filled up four 5.5 oz ramekins. I used 2.5 oz, and it only filled up three. What do you think caused it to thicken up? To much stirring with the flour in?

Chef John said...

no way to tell. Don't understand the quantity problem. If you're using the same amounts u should get the same number as me.

maryam said...

wow :) o was looking for a cupcake's recipe and ended up on ure site. it looks delicious :)
ok i have 2 questions.

1. can i use all purpose flour with some baking powder in it?

2. can i use muffin pan instead of ramekins? i can't afford them yet as we just moved to a new place

3. can u plase tell the amount of buuter sugar and flour in ounces or grams?

thanks a lot! :) take care

Chef John said...

I don't convert metric, but you can here: http://www.france-property-and-information.com/metric_conversion_table.htm

Why would you use flour with baking soda in it? I haven't tried that nor would I.

Also, I've never used muffin tins, so I can't say, but if you scan the previous comments some poeple have talked about that. enjoy

Mel said...

Hey Chef John,

I would like to ask if 200ML ramkins or irregularly shaped ramekins (ie. flower or heart shaped) would work?

Ramekins are usually very overpriced or unavailable where I live so I tend to buy them when I go on vacation (sad), which is why I

Chef John said...

any small ramekins work, but time may change. buy online, very cheap

Purnima said...

Tks for this recipe, we enjoyed it ! Part 2 is what I baked. :D

Anonymous said...

Dear Chef John, thanks for the informative and really interesting video! Did you place the chilled ramekins immediately into the water bath and into the preheated oven? What is the reason for chilling the batter?

Chef John said...

yes i did. so the outside cooks before the inside

Elena said...

I tried this the other day and it was fabulous!

It is so difficult to find some ingredients in Czech Rep. but this was easy. My partner was trying to eat the mix even before it was cooked.

I follow you blog quite a lot recently and I want to thank you for the great ideas!

Best of Luck! :)

Chef John said...

thanks!!

Anonymous said...

i have no ramekins, so i was wondering if i could make these in a cupcake pan ? if so what would the cooking time be. and how much should i fill it up? 2/3 way ?

Chef John said...

sorry, never tried muffin tins. some people made comments above regarding this, so maybe take a peek at those.

maryam said...

i made them in a muffin pan.. took me 13 minutes to bake them. thanks for such an easy and yummy recipe :D i can post pix for the people who want to try it in a muffin pan :) best of luck people!

chocolatelover >___> said...

can this dish be served cold?
and if i don't have ramekins what else can i cook it in?

Anonymous said...

how many grams is one tbsp?

lilian85 said...

I don't have ramekins but I have small ceramic bowls; those chinese ones that can hold rice or soup. They are small and can hold about 200 ml of liquid. Will those work?

Chef John said...

if they are oven proof they should work

lilian85 said...

The choc lava cake really turned out moist and delicious. When I inverted the cake, the top was a bit gooey and had some melted choc on top but otherwise the cake retained its perfect shape. Plus the inside was really like molten lava! Was the top suppose to be like that or should I have cooked it a bit longer? I baked it at 15 mins exactly.

Chef John said...

maybe a minute more

Jackie said...

Ok. I failed here. Everything came out right with the batter. But when I took them out of the oven, the chocolate inside had been cooked. Should I keep it in for less time, next time, and how do I know when they're done?

Chef John said...

Yes, you'll have to go a little less i guess. Really no good way to test. I'm going to redo the recipe soon to use a different technique. At least you got chocolate cake. ;-)

Mildred said...

It's so easy to make this dessert! I don't have an oven nor ramekins at home. But managed to successfully bake this dessert in my little oven toaster for 3 minutes, using 8 3oz cupcake moulds.:) Love it!

Anonymous said...

hey chef john. whats the size of ur ramekins? are they 4oz ramekins?

Chef John said...

more like 5oz

Anonymous said...

Hi, is it bad if i don't use premium cocoa but use 95%cocoa instead(which is the only thing i have)? Is that bad?

Chef John said...

probably fine :-)

Chef John said...

probably fine :-)

Naz said...

Hi Chef John,
Loved your recipe. In my experiment, the taste turned out great, intense chocolatey. But I couldn't take the cake out of the ramekin; it got broken apart by the middle and top stayed in the ramekin. Then, I baked it a little longer. Again, it broke apart and this time without a lava inside. What can I do for that?

Chef John said...

grease the cups more :-)

VoOdOeLiZiBeTh said...

Hey Chef John, I made this recipe tonight and ate it with vanilla icecream, turned out great! lol i watched the video of this recipe sooooo many times before i made it.
my ramekin was a bit bigger than yours so all batter went into one and it was shared by three people =)
i saw your comment about re-doing this recipe, looking forward to that. btw, i used the regular sized eggs.
Thanks alot!

Vickie said...

..will try to do this later, im excited! will tell you if it works fine. Thanks for being selfless and sharing this wonderful recipes..

May I request for video of RUM CAKE? i really want to try that one too..

thanks!

Anonymous said...

I love this recipe Chef John. I've tried it for several times and my older brother requests for it. He gives me all the ingredients needed. Thank you! Btw, I'm only 14 yrs. old.

Kalamooti said...

I was so pissed off seeing this video in youtube...this dude does not say a word about you ... he even copied your funny inputs-- in a so-not-funny way though ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-ykytdhPYk

Barbara P said...

Hi, I've looked everywhere, but I want a real answer: do you need ceramic ramekins (I bet there's an alternate)? If not, what can I use that's cheaper but will produce the same delicioussss results?
I want to do this for Christmas for my friend and I, we recently lost our favorite chocolate cake at a restaurant (how COULD they?)
Thanks!

Chef John said...

Sorry, I just don't know, I've only used ceramic ramekins and this method. I would have to experiment.

Anonymous said...

How cute is your website!!!
i found your onion rings recipe on youtube and i loved the way you made cooking fun! i bought chocolate and cocoa and will bake this cake tomorrow... Thanks a whole bunch!

saras said...

dear Chef John,
i dont have the ramekins. can I use muffin pan, and put it in a bigger pan for the water bath?
thankss :)

Chef John said...

Sorry, never tried, so may work but not sure of time temp difference. Check comments.

Rema said...

I want to make this for christmas but i want it to be more cooked, will it get ruined if i leave it to cook for longer?!
also what kind of butter should i use and what kind of flour?! Im going food shopping tomorrow so feel free to email me at rgouyez@gmail.com

thanks!! we always buy this for our christmas desert but i want to make it this year!

Chef John said...

its not too good cooked through. better to just to google and find a nice chocolate decadence recipe. enjoy!

Gary said...

I experimented last weekend. The taste was FABULOUS. Compared to what yours looks like, mine was less cooked on the edges and less lava-like in the middle. The consistency was more uniform from middle to edges. How do I correct this to make sure my lava is molten without it falling down? Hotter oven and shorter cook time? I went for 18 minutes because it looked too wet on top at 15. I'm trying to get this perfected for Christmas eve dinner.

Thanks!

Chef John said...

That's why I thinking of redoing this recipe. It's almost impossible to give you specifics on how to adjust. Just too many factors. It's basically trail and error. I'd pick a safer xmas dessert. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef..
for the molten chocolate, can i use a cooking chocolate? or it must used a dark chocolate..thank you.. :)

Chef John said...

No, baking choc is unsweetened and will not work.

Gary said...

Determined to perfect this for Christmas eve, we tried it again. I guess the way I'd describe the technique for a successful lava cake is that it requires the chef to "have his or her hands on the controls at all times." You can't put this on autopilot and just follow a recipe because there are too many variables. Ovens vary, the size of the ramekins (I could only find 4 oz or 8 oz, while you call for 5.5 oz), and the texture must be perfect - cooked enough to maintain its shape without just turning into a puddle of hot pudding. Ideally, cutting it open with a fork would result in a flow of chocolate heaven, creating an instinctive reaction by the diner to quickly scoop up the lava - or letting it flow into the ice cream. :-)

After the results of my first attempt (see my comments above) I surmised I needed higher temp, shorter cooking time, or both. I inspected it at 10 minutes and the top was still wet, causing some concern. I put it in for another 2 minutes and then took it out but left it in the water bath for another 2 minutes before putting the ramekins on a cooling rack. Why the 2 minute water bath? My 12-yr old daughter was the chef, calling the shots, and I was just her assistant/advisor. She decided that would be the thing to do so I went with it.

The result worked - it was softer inside than my first time and it looked like yours. I usually don't bake - I'd rather cook. But this recipe is worth perfecting and having in my quiver for special occasions. Next time I might experiment with a 10 or 11 minute baking time and immediately removing them to a cooling rack.

I'll email you a pic of our results.

Anonymous said...

i tested it just now for the upcoming valentine, surprisingly it came out beautiful, from the lava in the inside until the little crisp on the edgy top. i don't like the taste of it, however. it's bizarre, i love chocolat, and usually i love just every recipe u put in here. i tried a looooot of it, this is the first time it fails me. guess i'm not a good baker! gonna stick to cooking dinner instead of baking..

Stacie B~ said...

Chef John,

I noticed on your original recipe it called for 2tsp of cocoa powder and on this one it says 4tsp. I made this using 4tsp for my Valentine (who loved it, btw). It did taste a wee bit bitter and I wondered which measurement is appropriate 2 or 4 tsp? Thanks!

Chef John said...

I believe I did up it on this 2nd version. Maybe 3 is good for you?

1 Year Anniversary said...

Dear Chef John,

I've been making this chocolate lava cake for the past 3 weeks and after few tweaks it's become one of my favourite desserts ever. Of course, valrhona chocolate doesn't hurt haa. However, I keep noticing that the bottom of the cake (which becomes the top after you flip it over) always looks very wet even after I decreased the amount of butter i was smearing on the sides. Any suggestions on how to get rid of that?

Lincoln

Chef John said...

Sorry, I don't!

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you are going to answer this, but can I serve this beautiful dessert cold? Or does it have to be warm/hot? My birthday is coming up, I'm going to serve this to the guests, I'm just wondering, because I'm going to do the dessert before anything else, like appetizers and the main course. If it has to be warm, how can I heat it up afer the main course? Any tips? Should I just put it in the oven to get it warm? Thanks, love your blog!

Chef John said...

I would pick something else. It's not good cold, or reheated. Sorry!

pam! said...

hi chef john.. and everyone.. i live in mexico city and i about to experiment :D
i want to know it the oven is 425° C? or F?
thax!!

Chef John said...

F!! I don't believe they make ovens that get up to 425 c ;-;

Emerald_Mara85 said...

Well I tried but it became moist chocolate cake, so I'll decrease the time next time.

I just have a few things to ask...

When I put in the flour, it doesn't become smooth anymore...a more gunky type...why does this happen? Did I stir too long? I'm such a noob so I don't really know. Luckily the cake was soo delicious!

Ehhh...
you type the the recipe 2 eggs, and 2 large eggs ...was that supposed to be 4? I used 2...

Chef John said...

Can't answer the stirring question, sorry. The ingredients say 2 large eggs PLUS 2 more large egg yolks. Good luck.

Anta said...

this is an amazing recipe! thaaanks!
i made them, but for some reason the batter turned out much ticker than yours, although i only put 3 table spoons of flour. also they were not moist inside.. probably a combination for leaving them 17 minutes instead of 15 and the batter not being as fluid as it should be.
However the taste was still good, we had them with vanilla icecream

Genesis said...

hey chef, i went to the store (5 to be exact) and the only cocoa powder i found was Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder, will it affect the taste?

Chef John said...

that's fine!

Emerald_Mara85 said...

Well, I tried it again but...

1 was half cooked (the bottom is all creamy at 12 minutes)
the other was overcooked again...(added 2-3 minutes)
Sigh...
Does using somewhat larger bowls effect the outcome of making the cream not centered? Using 2 bowls with the same amount as the recipe.

Also the mixture is more smoother than last time but yes if I stir too much after the flour it does become gunky (not too gunky this time but it does effect the appearances)...

Anonymous said...

OMG! When I cut the lava cake and saw the chocolate flow out the cake, it almost made me cry. I cannot believe it. I did it, on the first try. The cakes look delicious and test great.

Betty said...

Hello John,

This is my first time on your site.
I love your video for lava cake. Cooking is my passion as well. However I am not a Chef like your self.I will be back to try all your recipes.I added a link to one of my favorite recipes (Chocolate Floating Pudding).

Thanks Much
Betty

Emerald_Mara85 said...

WAHHHH!
T_T

This time I had 4 little cups to go on a casserole dish but I still couldn't get the timing right...

I noticed that in your video the bottom was all baked too leaving the center molten but my 1st 2 was all top = bake, bottom = molten (the rest overbaked).

Is this because of ramekins that allows it leave the center molten and the rest baked? Or is it I put too much water in the casserole dish?

On the happier part, I know when to stop mixing after the flour, making the cakes look smooth.

Please help...

Anonymous said...

Do you have a gluten free recipe?
Please

Arthur said...

Wow, this is really something special. I actually ordered some ramekins specifically to make this after watching the video (hint hint set up an amazon affiliate link for the supplies...) and it was totally worth it. I particularly like how the cakes come out in person sized servings and how the texture is rich and moist without being too buttery or overwhelming. I guess the cocao adds some dry chocolateness. Having a texture gradient makes the cake fun to eat and interesting throughout, like a Thai ice tea. I actually forgot to butter the ramkins first but I was able to get the cakes out ok anyway with a little careful prodding. My wife was super happy. Thanks so much!

Zach said...

hey just tried ur recipe and it is really great...

but i got one very very big question... how to make the inside of the cake more wet and heavy... i mean when u cut the cake, i want the inside to be very heavy and wet.. i know it already has the wet and heavy feel.. but i wan MORE!!!!!! haha!!!

nevertheless, THANK YOU FOR SETTING UP THIS BLOG!!!!

oo and pardon my bad english haha!!

Anonymous said...

Do you use selfrising flour or just regular flour?


thnk you

Charlie

Chef John said...

reg!

Emerald_Mara85 said...

Well I tried it with ramekins of like 3.5 inches size but apparently its wider than the ones in the video...

Hmmm This time the shape was more like how it was supposed to but the bottom never seem to form the light cake surface...but I do get the middle. I think its too wide and flat...

Does increasing the ingredients increase the baking time?

Jazy said...

You're so funny i love your videos! Hi im from Singapore and im going to try your lava cake recipe now ^^ Just for my boyfriend, coming out of army this wed!

Question is, Can i chill it overnight (2 nights) so i can bake it on wed ?


Thanks:)

Jas

Rajani said...

Hello Chef John,
I tried this yesterday it came awesome, it was just as urs.. I gave surprise to my hubby and he wants it more ;).. thanks to u :)
i m planning to prepare this for his birthday ( Coming April 28).So i want to know whether can i make it of birthday cake size? If so can u plz tell me the measurements.
I hope u will not disappoint me :)
Plz plz reply soon.

Chef John said...

sorry, won't work as a cake. :-(

Rajani said...

Ohk.. :( np.. Can u please tell me the Chocolate cake recipe.. Though i got few recipes, i just want to follow ur recipes so i will be very glad if u provide me chocolate cake recipe.

Rajani said...

Ohk.. :( np.. Can u please tell me the Chocolate cake recipe.. Though i got few recipes, i just want to follow ur recipes so i will be very glad if u provide me chocolate cake recipe.

jb-loverx3 said...

ahhhhhh too delicioussssssssss :)so looking forward too making these tonight :)
Easter dessert! woohooo
theyre gonna go perfectly with my chocolate covered starwberries and champagne sorbet!!
quick question,
can i use baking squares instead of a chocolate bar?

Chef John said...

no baking squares are different

Emerald_Mara85 said...

Finally, at my 5th time, I got the timing correct (Yay!!!) now I just have to adjust the recipe to make it a little sweeter (couldn't find 60% so I went with 70%)

So anybody who tries this recipe, don't give up if you fail! Keep working at it!

Emerald_Mara85 said...

Whoah even my comment here dissapeared...

Okay reposting part
Don't give up if you fail, I finally did at my 5th time!

New Part:
For those who have larger ramekins hence flatter cakes, make it another half more and maybe 5 minutes extra for oven time(Your oven could be different than mine and also I put 2 at a time due the space constraints of my oven)?

And instead of letting it cool in the ramekins for 15 minutes, you can take it out and let it cool by it self. If not it would overbake from the heat of the ramekins.

amanda said...

hi chef John, i love your molten chocolate lava cake! it looks so awesome inside when you break it open in your video :) i am going to try and make these tonight for the first time for my dad for father's day :) i hope they turn out good, im starting to bake and cook more and i love it! im 15 and im making dinner for my big family at home and everyone always wants seconds, its the best thing seeing everyone smile eating food that i made :) hopefully everyone loves these ^__^
~Amanda

Anonymous said...

chef john, i followed carefully the instructions, but it didn't turn out the way you did. the lava part is missing, it's pure cake... what shall i do?

Chef John said...

Not sure. Maybe your oven is hotter than you think? Not much you can do, except eat chocolate cake :-)

Jav said...

How much Rum you think I could get away with using in this recipe without messing it up?

Chef John said...

Soak in a little rum after it's cooked!

Mike said...

My wife and i made your "Cherry Surprise Lava Cakes" and were stunned by how good they came out. I realize that the omission of placing a single pitted Cherry in each half filled ramekin then adding the rest of the batter on top was just to keep the time down. Genius as usual Chef!

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't it taste as good if reheated? Will the inside be cooked or is it better to be eaten fresh? I'm planning to give this to my crush cause she loves chocolate. Thanks!

Chef John said...

Yes to both! Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

hye chef john , does this cake taste like dark chocolate ? or like sweet chocolate

Chef John said...

dark!

Anonymous said...

hi chef
just wanted to know can u chill them for over half a hour.

Chef John said...

yes

branderic said...

can i have the recipe in metric? i am not use to measuring in tbsp!

Chef John said...

I don't have metric. But if you google you find tons of converters.

Anonymous said...

Hello Chef, I just found your site yesterday and already have made 4 recipes! amazing!
one question on this one, should the oven be turned on from the top and the bottom?, and on which rack should I put them?

Elias said...

Chief chef John!
My batter doesnt lay down inside the cups as easy as yours does, I waited a couple of minutes but it seems to be thick i believe. And the batter gets thicker in the end, too much flour? and also I did not use the exact same size ramequins, not sure it really makes a huge difference, they are still small and round but better safe than sorry so i ask :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a great recipe Chef John! I've made this several times now and it always turns out great. I'm not sure I would have attempted it if it wasn't for your easy-to-follow video and laid-back style. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Recipe worked well especially as i've never attempted a dessert before. Thanks Chef. I'm well stuffed.

Anonymous said...

Hi, for the oven temperature what is it in celsius?
Thanks

Anonymous said...

Chef John I absolutely love you and your recipes,watching you is amazing and I know that I should be studying and focusing on finals but instead I always just find myself googling your recipes.lol
Can you do me a favour and tell me which cocoa powder you used ?
Please&thankyou.:)

Chef John said...

Guittard "Cocoa Rouge" Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Chef John, I posted this q earlier today then forgot where I posted it (duh!!), I wanted to ask what size ramekins you use? They look like the smaller ones but perfect size for chocolate desserts!

I am looking to buy my first batch; what would be work for most preparations?
The one at my store stated as 9cm/4in if that sounds right?

Thanks!

John said...

Dear Chef John,
do I necessarily need to bake it in the pan 1/2 way filled with water? What happens if without water? Am I risking that the sides and the bottom gets over baked? Thanks for this great recipe.

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