This recipe guarantees you a molten lava cake that has fluffy, soft and rich chocolate cake outside with creamy, smooth and runny lava filling in the center. Check out the secret in my video (the video is HD, press CC to activate English subtitles).
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INGREDIENTS (makes 12)
A. Chocolate ganache fillings
45 gram (3 Tbsp) unsalted butter
60 gram (1/4 C) whipping cream (30 – 40% fat)
35 gram (2-1/2 Tbsp) caster sugar
25 gram (3-1/2 Tbsp) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1 – 2 tsp rum (optional)
B. Chocolate cake
160 gram (1-1/4 cup) all purpose flour
60 gram (1/2 C) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
160 gram (3/4 C) caster sugar
8 gram (2 tsp) baking powder
1 egg (medium size – 60 gram including shell) – at room temperature
150 ml (2/3 C minus 2 tsp) milk (unsweetened – at room temperature)
100 gram (1/2 cup minus 1 Tbsp) natural unsweetened yogurt
75 gram (5-1/2 Tbsp) unsalted butter – melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
Step 1: Making Chocolate Ganache Fillings
1. Add butter and cream into a bowl. Simmer some water on a saucepan. Put the bowl of butter and cream onto the pan (the bottom of the bowls shouldn’t touch water in the pan). Stir well to help butter melt and incorporate with cream.
2. Take the bowl out of the saucepan. Sift into this bowl sugar and cocoa powder, mix very well until we have a smooth and nice mixture. Add vanilla and rum (optional).
3. Divide this chocolate mixture into 12 portions, each portion is 13~14 gram. It’s easier to use molds like cake pop molds, ice-cube trays, mini cupcake molds. If you don’ have any, put this ganache into the fridge and wait until it solidifies and gets firmer, so that you can easily use a spoon to scoop it.
4. Put these fillings into the freezer and freeze them for at least 12 hours so that they would become very very firm. Keep frozen until use.
Step 2: Making the Cake
Preheat oven at 190 C/ 375 F (top and bottom heat). Grease cake pans with cake spray. If you don’t have cake spray, grease the pans with softened butter, then dust some dry flour over this butter, invert the pans and shake to discard excessive flour.
1. Dry ingredients: sift into a bowl the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk well and set a side.
2. Wet ingredients: add into another bowl the egg, milk, yogurt, melted butter, vanilla and blend very well until smooth.
3. Make a well in the center of the bowl of dry ingredient, pour the wet ingredients in. Mix quickly to incorporate ingredients. Stop when we see no dry flour anymore. The batter is perfectly fine to be lumpy. Don’t try to make it smooth because there more we mix the ingredients, the drier, more rubbery, denser and harder the cake will be.
4. Fill about 1/3 of the cake pans with the chocolate cake batter. Remove ganache fillings out of their molds and put them into the cake pans. Fill all the pans with remaining cake batter (fill up to 4/5 of the cake pans so that the cakes have space to rise).
5. Bake these cakes at 190 C/ 375 F for about 10 minutes at the middle rack of the oven. These baking time and temperature may vary among different ovens. In some ovens, the heat might be hotter than the actual temperature that we set. In some other ovens, top heat is hotter than bottom heat. So make sure to “understand” your oven so that you can set proper baking time and baking temperature.
It’s best to bake these cakes at high temperature (190 – 200 C/ 375 – 392 F) in a sufficient amount of time for the outside of the cake to set and get firm while the filling is still runny.
Too low temperature requests longer baking time, which may make the ganache filling leaking out. Too high temperature makes the cake rise very fast, hence the texture of the cake will be weak and may collapse after being taken out of the pan.
6. After taking the cake out from the oven, let them cool in the pans for 3 – 4 minutes. Then invert the pans and put the cake onto a dish. Dust some powdered sugar and garnish with fresh raspberries up to your preference.
7. These cakes taste best when they are still warm. So if they have cooled down, you’d better warm them up in the microwave for 20 – 25 secs.
8. This recipe makes 12 cupcakes – medium size. If you don’t need that many cakes, you can simply scale down the recipe (my egg is 50 gram, so if you only bake half of the recipe and need just half a egg, lightly beat 1 egg and get 25 gram).
These cakes can be stored in air-tight boxes in a cool and dry place in 1 day. Microwave the cake for 20 – 25 secs to warm it up before serving.