Molten Chocolate Cake

by Alonzo Cantu February 05, 2020 6 min read

Molten Chocolate Cake

Love is in the air, and here at Gulf Coast Smoke, we have the BEST Valentine’s Day dessert to make for your special someone. Nothing says “romance” like warm chocolate cake and ice cream. This cake is the perfect date night dessert for two, but be warned! After one bite, you might not want to share. Get ready for a whole new love affair with our Molten Chocolate Cake!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Cocoa powder
  • Flour
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Salt 
  • Water 
  • Non-stick baking spray.
  • 6” Fluted Pan (6” Bundt pan)
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Heavy cream
  • Dark chocolate (or Semi-sweet)
  • Chocolate shell sauce (Optional)
  • Chocolate covered strawberries (Optional)

Note: The picture above shows the ingredients for a doubled recipe. The recipe included below is enough for 1 6” Bundt pan.  

The Pan:

A typical molten chocolate cake is made in a ramekin where the outside bakes like a cake but the inside stays gooey and chocolatey. Trying to make one can be quite intimidating. How do you know if it’s cooked all the way? Will the cake come out right? Will it really be molten on the inside? Well, this recipe takes all the stress away and is so simple to make.

Instead of trying to bake ONE cake with TWO textures, we separated the “molten” from the “cake”. Is this cheating? Maybe. Is it so much easier? Absolutely!

The secret is all in the pan! I used a 6” mini Bundt pan to make this cake. A bundt cake is almost shaped like a volcano, which means the empty cavity in the center of the cake is the perfect place to house hot, chocolate ganache. This gives you the effect of a molten cake without actually baking one.

I bought my 6” Bundt pan at my local Walmart for under $6, but you can also get it from Amazon or any baking supply store. If you cannot find this type of pan, don’t worry! You could simply bake this cake in a regular 6” cake pan and hollow out the center to create that cavity to store the ganache. You can really bake this cake in any pan you want and serve the ganache on top or on the side. The Bundt pan simply creates a more impressive visual.

The Cake:

One of the best things about this recipe is that all the components can be made ahead of time. The chocolate cake and the ganache can be made early in the day or even the night before.

If you make it the day before, let the cake completely cool inside the pan, cover with plastic wrap, and leave it in the refrigerator. If you make it that same day, just let it cool in the pan, cover with plastic, and leave on the counter.

The same goes for the chocolate ganache. Whether you make it that day or the day before, let it cool and store in a container in the refrigerator.

Once you’re ready to eat, take the cake out of the pan and put onto a plate. Heat the cake in the microwave for a couple minutes until it is hot. Next, heat the ganache in the microwave for a couple minutes as well and stir until smooth. Then, your molten chocolate cake is ready to assemble. Your date will definitely wonder how you pulled off such an amazing dessert in so little time!

The Process:

First, make sure the butter and egg are at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a pot, boil a little more than ½ cup of water. Once the water is boiling, measure ½ cup and mix it in a bowl with the cocoa powder until smooth. Set aside.

Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or an electric handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugar for 5-8 minutes on medium-high speed. You’ll notice the color will start to change from a buttery yellow to a bright, almost white, color. Make sure to scrape down the bowl and paddle of your mixer so that everything gets incorporated well. Add the egg and mix on low speed just until incorporated. 

Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and stir to combine. Next, it’s time to add the flour and cocoa mixture to the mixer. Normally when making a cake, you want to alternate the flour and whatever liquid you are using, starting and ending with the flour. Since this is such a small batch, you’re going to add half of the flour mixture first, then add all the cocoa mixture, and end it with the rest of the flour. So:

  1. On low speed, add half of the flour mixture and mix just until the flour is incorporated.
  2. Add ALL the cocoa/water mixture and mix just until combined.
  3. Add the rest of the flour mixture and mix just until the flour is combined.

Scrape down the bowl and paddle of the mixer. Turn your mixer onto medium speed and mix for 30 seconds to ensure everything has been mixed.

Spray the pan with non-stick baking spray and fill with all the batter. Bake the cake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and come out clean. 

While the cake is baking, make the ganache. Heat the heavy cream in a pot or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until hot. Add the cream to the chocolate and stir until smooth. If the chocolate doesn’t melt all the way, heat it in the microwave in 15 second intervals until fully melted. The ganache can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge until ready to use. Just reheat it in the microwave for a couple minutes until it is hot and smooth.

Next you can assemble the cake. To remove the cake from the pan, place a plate on top of the pan, and with one hand holding the pan and one on the plate, flip! Make sure to use oven mitts if the pan is still hot. If you made the cake ahead of time and it already cooled, reheat it on the plate in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. 

Pour the warm chocolate ganache into the cavity of the Bundt cake. Let it overflow a little so that it drips over the sides of the cake. Keep any extra ganache nearby in case you want more! Add a BIG scoop of vanilla ice cream and top with the chocolate shell sauce. Decorate with some chocolate covered strawberries to really “wow” your Valentine.

This cake might just be too pretty to eat, but trust me, you’ll want to eat this while it’s hot! Nothing will impress your Valentine more than watching the chocolate pour like lava from the inside of this cake (and they’ll never have to know how easy it was to make).

Molten Chocolate Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes     Bake Time: 25 minutes

Makes: 1 6” Bundt Cake

For the cake:

¼ cup

Unsalted Butter, softened at room temperature

½ cup + 2 tablespoons

Granulated sugar

1

Egg

¼ cup

Cocoa powder

½ cup + 3 tablespoons

All-purpose flour

¼ tsp + ⅛ tsp

Baking soda

½ tsp

Baking powder

¼ tsp

Salt

½ cup

Boiling water

For the chocolate ganache:

6 oz

Semi-sweet or Dark chocolate

6 oz

Heavy Cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. (Make sure butter and egg are at room temperature)
  2. Boil water in a pot. Measure ½ cup and mix it in a bowl with the cocoa powder until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or electric handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 5-8 minutes until it becomes light, fluffy, and brighter in color.
  4. Scrape down the bowl and paddle. Add the egg and mix on low speed just until the egg is fully incorporated. 
  5. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the flour and stir. Add half of the flour mixture to the mixer on low speed until it is mostly incorporated. Next, add all the cocoa/water mixture and mix until incorporated. Add the rest of the flour mixture and mix until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and paddle and mix one more time on medium speed for 30 seconds.
  6. Spray the pan with non-stick baking spray and add the batter.
  7. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick can be inserted and come out clean.
  8. While the cake is baking, make the chocolate ganache. Heat the cream in a pot or in the microwave. Add the hot cream to the chocolate and stir until smooth. You can heat in the microwave in 15 second intervals if the chocolate doesn’t melt all the way.
  9. Remove the cake from the pan by flipping it onto a plate (Use oven mitts or a kitchen cloth if pan is hot). Pour the warm ganache into the center cavity of the Bundt cake, letting it overflow slightly so that it drips over the sides of the cake.
  10. Top with vanilla ice cream and chocolate shell sauce (optional) and serve!
Alonzo Cantu
Alonzo Cantu


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