Chocolate lava cakes, those retro darlings of the 1990s fancy restaurant scene, are a playful throwback to dessert decadence while just being downright delicious. With a softly flowing centre that spills out of a tender crumb cake with a mere slice of a fork, these lava cakes are impressively easy showpieces for the holidays. They’re no harder to make than a pan of your favourite fudge brownies and feature the wholesome goodness of 100% whole grain Quaker Oat Flour.
A controversy in cakes
Whether you believe that famed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten invented molten lava cakes or merely popularized a version of a creation from chef Michel Bras several years earlier, there’s no denying that the concoction of melted chocolate plus flour and eggs is a classic combination that creates something pretty spectacular. In terms of technique, however, the cakes can also be surprisingly divisive. Some camps follow the Bras method of using a ganache to achieve the liquid centre. The more popular (and not coincidentally, much easier) method bakes the cakes to the point where the outside has baked fully and the interior is still flowing—a balancing act that can be achieved with a few simple steps.
Baking with oat flour
To make this chocolate lava cake extra special, Anna Olson uses an ingredient that is gaining prominence in the baking world: oat flour. Although you may think of hearty breakfasts when it comes to oatmeal, oat flour, such as this one made by Quaker, is quite delicate. Produced by grinding whole grain oats down to a fine consistency, oat flour is baby powder soft and a light golden shade. You can use Quaker Oat Flour to add the wholesome goodness of 100% whole grain oats to your favourite baked goods while delivering a delicious toasty and nutty flavour. This season, bring it into the world of holiday baking in everything from cookies and squares to scones and muffins.
Tips and techniques
This recipe takes full advantage of the softness of oat flour in a number of savvy baking techniques. Greasing and flouring the ramekins with oat flour before baking ensures that there won’t be tears when it’s time to turn the finished cakes out to serve—the fineness of the oat flour ensures an easy release. Since the liquid nature of the centre is key in this cake, the texture of oat flour plays a critical role in keeping the interior smooth and eliminating clumping, even without sifting. The underlying nutty, toasted flavour of also carries through, emphasizing the richness of the semi-sweet chocolate. With just 15 minutes of hands-on work, this cake comes together from start to final flourish in under an hour—a neat party trick for any holiday celebration.
Anna Olson’s Chocolate Quaker Oat Flour Lava Cakes
- Prep time: 15 minutes
- Cook time: 20 minutes
- Total time: 35 minutes
- Makes: 4 individual desserts
- 5 oz semisweet baking chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup unsalted butter, diced
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup Quaker® Oat Flour, plus extra for dusting the ramekins
- ¼ tsp fine salt
- Icing sugar, for dusting
- Grease four 5-oz ramekins and dust them with oat flour, tapping out any excess.
- Melt the chocolate and butter together in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, or melt together in the microwave.
- Pour the chocolate into a mixing bowl and whisk in the brown sugar. Whisk in the eggs one at a time and then add the vanilla. Whisk in the oat flour and salt.
- Pour the batter into the ramekins and chill until ready to bake. This can be done up to two days in advance.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the ramekins onto a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes, until the surface of the cakes has set yet the centre still quivers when moved. Let the desserts rest for 5 minutes, then run a small spatula or knife around the inside edge of each ramekin and quickly but carefully invert each onto a dessert plate. When you lift the ramekin, the lava may begin to flow from the centre of the dessert. Dust the top with icing sugar and serve immediately.
For more tasty ways to add 100% whole grain Canadian oats to your day, check out more Quaker Oat Flour-based recipes.