How to make moelleux au chocolat and turn out the most delicious molten chocolate cake every time!
The base of this deliciously fabulous chocolate cake is a chocolate ganache that creates a soft liquid, lava-like center. How much lava ooze you have is based on personal preference and how long you bake the cake. Each time you make them, note your baking time and whether you liked how runny the center was says pastry chef and author Molly Wilkinson. “For me, they are perfect at eight and a half minutes, using the convection setting on my oven. I love a combination of milk and bittersweet chocolate in the batter, too.” A bonus is that it’s made all by hand in one big bowl!
These are best served warm and are delicious with a scoop of ice cream, fresh berries or a caramel sauce.
Ingredients for moelleux au chocolat
You’ll need baking spray or unsalted butter, for pan or ramekins.
7 tbsp (100 g) salted or unsalted butter
7 oz (200 g) bittersweet chocolate (60 to 70%), milk chocolate or a combination of the two
3 large eggs, at room temperature
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (30 g) all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt (omit if using salted butter)
Makes 9 cakes
Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
Spray either nine wells of a muffin tin or nine individual ramekins with baking spray, or butter them.
Melt the butter and chocolate together, being careful not to burn the chocolate. You can do this in a microwave until melted. Alternatively, using a double boiler is a great method, too: Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until melted. Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes.
If you microwaved it, transfer the chocolate mixture to a large bowl and whisk in the eggs (if you used the double-boiler method, you’ll just have to dry off the bottom of the bowl). The batter will seem runny at first, but as the mixture cools and the eggs incorporate, it will thicken and resemble a brownie or cake batter. You will need to whisk strongly for about 30 seconds to reach this state.
Add the vanilla. Whisk in the sugar, then the flour and salt (if using).
Use a large (¼-cup [60-ml] or #16) scoop or spoon to transfer the batter to the prepared muffin wells or ramekins. Filling each well or ramekin three-quarters of the way full. This batter will not rise when baked.
Bake, admire, indulge!
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, using either the convection or standard setting on your oven. The cakes are done when they are puffed around the edges and the center is a slightly darker color and soft to the touch. Sometimes, they will have small cracks around the edges. The baking time depends on your oven and how gooey a center you want. Keep a close eye on them, starting at 8 minutes.
After removing from the oven, let cool for a couple of minutes.
If you used ramekins, they should be served in the ramekins. To remove from the muffin tin, place a large piece of parchment paper on top of the pan. Place a big cutting board or baking sheet on top of the parchment. Then flip, using two oven mitts! If any cakes stick in the pan, run a knife around the edge to release.
These are best warm from the oven.
Molly Wilkinson is a pastry chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Originally from Texas, teaches pastry and cooking workshops in Versailles, she lives in Versailles, France. Find her on instagram.com/mollyjwilk. Her book, French Pastry Made Simple: Foolproof Recipes for Éclairs, Tarts, Macarons and More By Molly Wilkinson, . is available on Amazon, online bookshops and can be ordered in book stores everywhere!
Listen to our fun Eat, Love, Cake podcast as we chat with Molly about all things French baking in Paris!
More delicious recipes from Molly Wilkinson
How to make perfect profiteroles
Raspberry mousse cake – a creamy concoction you can’t resist!
Merveilleux – mouth-watering and moreish meringues
Earl Grey Madeleines – a classic cake with an elegant twist