If you want to do something special for your sweetie this V-day, these molten lava cakes are a great way to do it! They’re rich and chocolatey, and when you cut into them, you’re rewarded with a molten chocolate centre. They’re pretty simple to make. The trickiest thing about this recipe is the timing. You have to serve them fairly quickly after coming out of the oven, or else they will be too set and you won’t get the lava centre. Coffee enhances the flavour of the chocolate. It brings out the depth and bitterness of the dark chocolate. This is definitely a grown-up dessert!

Chocolate Espresso Lava Cakes (makes 2)

¼ cup butter
1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate (70%)
1 egg
1 egg yolk
¼ cup sugar
2 tbsp strong coffee or espresso
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp flour
Pinch of salt

Additional butter & cocoa powder for preparing the ramekins
Ice cream or whipped cream, powdered sugar and raspberries or rose petals for garnish


Prepare your double-boiler. Take small or medium saucepan and fill it with an inch or two of water. Overtop, place a large heat-proof bowl, and then turn the heat on and bring the water up to a boil. The bowl should entirely cover the top of the pot so that there’s not much steam
escaping between the pot and the bowl. Once it comes to a boil, you can turn the heat down to medium.

In the bowl (over the boiling water), place the butter and the chopped dark chocolate, and allow to gently melt together, stirring occasionally. Once it’s completely melted, remove from the heat, give it a good stir, and let it sit for a moment while you prepare the ramekins.

Generously butter the insides of 2 250 ml ramekins, and then dust them with cocoa powder. Set aside.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

In the bowl with the melted butter and chocolate, add the rest of the ingredients, and whisk well to combine.

Divide the batter between the two ramekins. Place the ramekins on a tray or cookie sheet, and bake in your preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 1 minute to cool.

Carefully (using oven mitts!) place a plate upside-down on your ramekin. Hold both the plate and the ramekin and flip over. The lava cake should slide out of the ramekin, and you can take it off and away.

Garnish your lava cakes with whatever you like; vanilla ice cream is a great textural contrast to the warm gooey cake, whipped cream is also great. You can simply dust with powdered sugar and serve. These ones were finished with edible rose petals in honour of Valentine’s Day.

HOT TIP: for an even more chocolatey molten centre, press a few extra chunks of the chopped dark chocolate into the batter after you’ve poured it into the ramekins, but before baking.

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