Molten chocolate cake

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20 min


8 small cakes

* PLUS Standing Time: 5 minutes, Baking Time: 12 minutes
Molten chocolate cake

© Royalty-Free/Masterfile


  • 8 tsp unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 8 tsp granulated sugar
  • 250 g bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules , optional
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds , optional


  • Butter insides of 8 custard cups or ramekins, then sprinkle each with about a teaspoon (5 mL) sugar. Gently shake until sugar coats each cup evenly. Then turn cups over and shake out any excess sugar.
  • Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Coarsely chop chocolate. To melt 1/2 cup butter and chocolate, place both in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl along with cocoa and coffee, if using. Microwave on medium power, stirring every minute, until butter is melted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir until smooth. Or melt butter with chocolate, cocoa and coffee, if using, in a saucepan set over medium-low heat. Stir often until smooth, about 5 minutes.
  • Separate 3 eggs, placing yolks in a large bowl and whites in a mixing bowl. Add remaining 3 whole eggs to yolks. Using an electric mixer, beat yolks while gradually adding 3/4 cup sugar until mixture is pale in colour, from 3 to 4 minutes. On low speed, gradually beat in chocolate mixture. Then gradually beat in flour and almonds, if using, just until combined. Immediately clean beaters, then beat whites until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted. Turn into yolk mixture. Using a wide spatula, gently fold in just until no white streaks remain.
  • Divide mixture between cups, filling to 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) below the rims. Place on a large baking sheet. If making ahead, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 1 day. Bake in centre of 400F (200C) oven until sides are crusty and tops are set. This takes from 12 minutes for very runny centres to 14 minutes for soft centres. If baking cakes from the refrigerator, bake 2 more minutes. Do not overbake.
  • Remove cakes from oven and let stand 5 minutes. Centres will flatten and fall. Run a knife around edges. Using a tea towel to hold cakes, invert each one onto serving plates. Centres should be slightly runny. Serve warm with ice cream or orange liqueur crème anglaise.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 454,
  • Protein
  • 8.6 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 36.8 g,
  • Fat
  • 34.9 g,
  • Fibre
  • 4.8 g,
  • Sodium
  • 91 mg.

A fabulous dessert is the perfect way to wind up a satisfying meal, so we’ve created little cakes that give a hit of chocolate but are still light. You can make the cakes a day ahead, if you like, then bake just before serving.

Make ahead

After baked cakes stand 5 minutes, turn out and cool. Place on a plate, wrap in plastic and refrigerate up to 2 days. To reheat, remove wrap. Microwave cakes individually, bottom-side up on a plate, on medium, 30 to 45 seconds. Or heat several, uncovered on a baking sheet in a preheated 450F (230C) oven, about 4 minutes.

Orange liqueur crème anglaise

Split 1 fresh vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Scrape seeds from pod into a small saucepan. Add pod. Stir in 1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream and 1/2 cup (125 mL) 2 per cent milk. Bring to a boil, uncovered and stirring occasionally, over medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk 4 egg yolks with 1/4 cup (50 mL) granulated sugar in top of a double boiler or heatproof bowl until sugar is dissolved. Gradually whisk cream mixture into yolk mixture. Set over bottom of a double boiler or pan of simmering water. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until thick enough to coat back of spoon, 10 to 12 minutes. Do not let it boil. Remove from heat. Discard pod, then strain sauce through a fine sieve, if you wish. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 mL) orange liqueur. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 1-1/2 cups (375 mL). If making ahead, press plastic wrap into surface and refrigerate up to 1 day. Reheat over simmering water or in microwave on low, stirring often.