Elegant and indulgent, these foolproof Molten Chocolate-Raspberry Cakes have raspberry ganache tucked inside, which melts into warm, luscious perfection as they bake.
Who doesn’t love lava cakes? Warm and flowing, their centers always feel so decadent and satisfying, especially as the molten chocolate mingles with vanilla ice cream.
I’ve made plenty of chocolate lava cakes over the years, but I’ve never found a recipe worth sharing until now. Too many depend on exact timing — if you’re slightly off, they’re cooked solid or, alternatively, they collapse into a gooey puddle.
This foolproof recipe for Molten Chocolate-Raspberry Cakes has a secret weapon that ensures perfectly warm, luscious centers every single time. These little cakes have raspberry ganache bombs tucked inside.
Despite their fancy feel, and the extra step of creating raspberry ganache, these lava cakes are actually quite easy to prepare.
How to Make Molten Chocolate-Raspberry Cakes
The recipe begins with melted bittersweet chocolate and butter. Hard to go wrong, right?
In the interest of keeping things simple, the melted chocolate mixture provides the base for both the cake batter and the raspberry ganache.
Once the chocolate and butter melt together smoothly, remove a small portion to mix with raspberry puree, sugar, and vanilla extract.
Creating the ganache with raspberries instead of cream adds a bright, fruity backdrop to the deep, bittersweet chocolate flavor of these cakes.
Chill the fruit-chocolate mixture in the freezer until it’s cool enough to shape into small rounds to tuck inside each cake.
These small mounds of ganache will transform into decadent molten centers as the cakes bake.
While the ganache chills, beat the eggs with sugar and salt until they’re pale yellow and fluffy. Fold them into the remaining melted chocolate, along with some cocoa powder.
Add a layer of batter to the ramekins and then pressing in the chilled mounds of raspberry ganache. Top with more batter, making sure to cover the centers before transferring the ramekins to the refrigerator.
Since the cakes need to chill for several hours before baking, they make a great prepare-ahead dessert. When you’re ready to enjoy them, let them sit on the counter while the oven comes to temperature.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes until just set. Let the hot cakes rest for a few minutes before inverting them onto plates to serve. There’s no mess or fuss aside from scooping up ice cream and rinsing fresh berries.
While these sumptuous Molten Chocolate-Raspberry Cakes make a luxurious end to special occasion meals, they add simple elegance to any meal. Why not celebrate every day!
Molten Chocolate-Raspberry Cakes
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter plus more for greasing ramekins
- 3 tablespoons strained raspberry puree (from about 3/4 cup fresh or frozen berries)
- 3 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons granulated sugar divided
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder plus more for dusting the ramekins
- vanilla ice cream for serving
- fresh raspberries for garnish
- Set a pie plate in the freezer to chill. Generously butter four 6-ounce ramekins. Sprinkle cocoa powder over the butter, tap out excess, and set aside.
- Combine chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring frequently until melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
- Combine raspberry puree, 2 teaspoons of the sugar, and the vanilla extract in a small bowl. Transfer 4 tablespoons of the melted chocolate to the raspberry mixture and stir until smooth.
- Spread the chocolate raspberry mixture into the chilled pie plate and set it back in the freezer to firm, about 10 minutes.
- When the chocolate-raspberry mixture is cold enough to hold a shape, use a melon baller or teaspoon to scrape it into 4 small balls (it’s okay if they’re uneven and rough looking). Leave the balls in the pie dish and return them to the freezer.
- Whisk the eggs, remaining sugar, and salt in the bowl of a standing electric mixer on medium-high speed until they triple in volume and turn very pale yellow, about 8 minutes.
- Fold about one-quarter of the egg mixture into the melted chocolate along with the cocoa powder. Add the eggs to the chocolate mixture in two more additions, folding until evenly mixed.
- Using a large ice cream scoop, add a generous dollop of batter to each of the prepared ramekins. Press a chocolate-raspberry mound gently into the batter in the center of each cup. Add the remaining batter, making sure the ganache centers are completely covered. Tap the ramekins on the counter several times or smooth the tops with the back of a spoon to level the batter. Cover the cups with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- Twenty minutes before you plan to serve the cakes, remove the cups from the refrigerator and let sit, uncovered, at room temperature. In the meantime, preheat oven to 400° F.
- Set the cups on a baking sheet and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the cakes are puffed and the centers are just set. Let cool for about 3 minutes.
- Run a thin spatula around the sides of each cup, taking care as the ramekins will be quite hot. Working one at a time, set a ramekin on top of a clean kitchen towel. Set a plate top-side down over the ramekin. Gather the towel around the ramekin as you hold it tightly against the plate. Flip both over and pull the ramekin straight up to release the cake onto the plate.
- Serve the cakes hot with scoops of vanilla ice cream and fresh raspberries.
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