I finally just watched Chef, written and directed by Jon Favreau, which I was super excited to watch when I found out it would premiere and screen at South by Southwest last year. I didn’t get a chance to watch it there, and then I somehow just forgot about it during it’s actual release a few months later. For anyone that hasn’t seen it that loves Jon Favreau’s overall writing/directing/humor, chef Roy Choi, great editing, or just good ol’ fashioned food porn, do yourself a favor and see this movie as soon as you can. For those that have seen it, yes, this post is about the “dreaded” molten lava cake. You can find the trailer here, aaaand then I’m done shamelessly promoting. Sort of. With this movie top of mind and Valentine’s Day being less than a month away, it’s the perfect time to share this recipe.
And yes, this post is from last year’s Valentine’s Day. It’s always dangerous baking for two because most recipes will make at least 12-15 servings, and when you have the snacking discipline that we do, that doesn’t last very long for two people. When thinking about a Valentine’s Day dessert, what is more stereotypical than a rich and chocolate-y lava cake? Fortunately, Kevin loves chocolate too, and since I was charged with making V-Day dinner last year, trying out Martha Stewart’s Molten Mocha Cakes for Two recipe was a no brainer. There is something so delicious about chocolate and coffee paired together, and these mini cakes were no exception.
This recipe is perfect for two people, or for a small dinner party. If you double or triple the recipe, just add a couple minutes to the baking time. Be sure to keep an eye on the cakes in the oven, and make sure not to overbake or you won’t get that amazing gooey center.
- 2 TBSP unsalted butter, plus more for ramekins (I don’t have ramekins so I used two 6-oz glass Pyrex containers)
- 1/3 C confectioners’ sugar, plus more for ramekins and serving
- 2 oz semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- Pinch salt
- 3 TBSP all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter two 6-ounce ramekins, then dust with sugar. Place butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high in 20-second increments, stirring after each, until melted. Let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolk, sugar, espresso powder, and salt. Add chocolate mixture; whisk to combine. Add flour, and whisk just until combined (do not overmix). Pour batter into prepared ramekins. (Recipe can be made ahead up to this point.)
Bake until a toothpick inserted 1/2 inch from edge of ramekins comes out clean, and a toothpick inserted in center comes out wet, 10 to 12 minutes (Do not overbake – I can’t emphasize that enough!). Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Run a knife around inside of ramekins to loosen the cakes. Invert cakes onto serving plates. Dust with powdered sugar; serve immediately….preferably with ice cream!
I made a graduation dinner for one of my cousins a few months later and doubled the recipe to make 4 total (for three of us). I didn’t have vanilla ice cream at the time, so I paired the cakes with some delicious matcha green tea ice cream that we had just bought.
Are molten lava cakes adventurous? No. But they were damned good.