April 02, 2014

Chocolate Lava Cakes with Salted Caramel Goo

In the past, I would always over bake Lava cakes, resulting in a mini chocolate cake that was moist, but with no lovely surprise lava flow. By inserting a salted caramel centre however, you can be sure that the centre will remain gooey and silky, while the liquid cake mixture bakes around it, forming the perfect moist cake casing.
There's not too many ingredients in this recipe and the prep isn't too hard. But have a watchful eye over the baking time and you will have the most perfect chocolatey caramel dessert!


(adapted from the wonderful Rachel Khoo's recipe, from her "The Little Paris Kitchen" book)

Salted Caramel Sauce
  • 80ml Double Cream
  • 1/3 Cup White Caster (Superfine) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Fleur de Sel salt (or normal table salt can work)
Chocolate cake mix
  • 80gm (or 1/3 cup) Dark Chocolate (at least 65% cocoa content, I used Callebaut dark chocolate chips)
  • 80gm (or 1/3 cup) Butter, cubed
  • 80gm (or 1/3 cup) Light Brown Sugar
  • 40gm Plain Flour
  • 3x Eggs, beaten 
  • Butter & Cocoa for coating the inside of your ramekins
1.  Preheat your oven to 180 degress celsius
2. Butter up the insides of 2 or 4 ramekins and then coat with a nice layer of fine cocoa (I had used 2 large ramekins. The chocolate cake batter makes 350ml of batter, you can gauge how big your ramekins need to be based on this!
3.  To make your caramel, place your white sugar in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Slowly heat up the sugar and once some of the crystals start caramelizing, swirl your saucepan around until all white sugar crystals start to form an amber liquid (do not use any utensils to stir the hot caramel).
4.  Once the caramel starts to turn a coca cola colour, pour in your double cream and whisk quickly (watch out for splatters!). Turn off the heat and whisk in the salt. Set your caramel in the fridge until ready to use later.
5.  Using the bain marie method (or microwave on low heat), melt your chocolate and butter together until liquid, let this mixture cool.
6.  Combine your Sugar and flour together. 
7. Whisk the beaten eggs into your melted chocolate mixture, (ensuring a constant whisk so your eggs don't start to cook, in case your chocolate mixture is not quite cool), and then pour and whisk this combined liquid into your sugar and flour.
8.  Pour equal portions of the chocolate cake batter into each prepared ramekin.
9.  Time to plop a small dollop of salted caramel into the middle of the chocolate cake mixture! The double cream I used resulted in my caramel hardening up in the fridge, so I ended up just plopping in a small thumb sized blob into the chocolate cake batter. If your caramel doesn't harden up, then use a piping bag, fill it with your caramel then pipe a small dollop into the middle of your batter filled ramekin, ensuring you don't touch the bottom of your ramekin with your piping nozzle (your chocolate mixture will rise up in the ramekin as you pipe).
10.  Place the filled ramekins in the oven for 26-30 minutes, if your ramekins are smaller than mine, they may only need 15-20 minutes. Make sure you start checking the tops of your cakes in the last 5-10 minutes of your cooking time. 
11.  Once cakes are ready, take them out of the oven and leave in their ramekins for a few minutes. Your cakes should come away slightly from the edge of the ramekin. Turn them out onto your serving plates and wait for you and/or your friends to be wowed when you take your first spoonful!
12. Serve alongside some vanilla ice cream, or eat on its own!

Ensure that when you cook the cakes, the tops of your cakes  actually are cooked through (about 2cm deep from the top), while the chocolate & caramel centre remains gooey. If the tops of your cakes aren't cooked, then when you turn them out, the caramel will just completely ooze out... and then you'll miss out on being able to stab your cake with a spoon and watch the chocolatey salted caramel oozy action. :)

You could always make this dessert ahead of time, keep the ramekins wrapped in cling film and then place them in the fridge until you're ready to serve. If you want to be SUPER prepared, make the lava cakes ahead of time, then pop them in the freezer. When ready to bake, place the frozen ramekins in the oven to bake, but add another 20 minutes on top of the normal baking time.


2 comments so far

  1. What a beautiful and gooey treat! I like the idea of salted caramel to switch up the traditional lava cake.

  2. Thanks for your lovely words Jessica!! Sorry I only saw this comment now, not sure what went wrong there! It is definitely a yummy spin on the lava cake! I'm wondering now whether this can be done with a berry option too! X


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