Philacatessen | Molten Chocolate Cakes: Special Dessert for Two

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molten cake
(Photo by Keri White)

These iconic cakes were all the rage about 10 years ago. It seemed that every restaurant from here to Timbuktu did a version — then the bubble burst and they were not as ubiquitous.

This was undoubtedly a relief for my esteemed editor, who is not a fan, but my theory is that he simply has not had the right version. Also, when done at high volume, as in restaurant kitchens, there is a potential for over- or undercooking, which is no bueno.

I advised him to try this version, my tweak on the standard. Even if he doesn’t give this a shot, others might. It is a really special, indulgent, surprisingly simple way to end a romantic dinner a deux.


This can be increased for additional guests, but I would not do it for more than eight. It is simply too difficult to manage the timing, get them out of the ramekins quickly and intact, and present them at table without melting the whipped cream or ice cream.

Molten Chocolate Cakes

Serves 2

  • ½ stick butter
  • 4 ounces top-quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (I use Ghirardelli’s)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Pinch salt
  • ¼ cup vanilla

Heat your oven to 425 degrees. Butter two ovenproof ramekins (6-ounce size)

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter and chocolate on 50% power for 3 minutes until totally melted. Stir until smooth and blended.

While the chocolate is melting, whisk the eggs, sugar, flour, salt and vanilla in a medium-sized bowl until thick and well blended.

Fold the chocolate into the egg mixture, and pour it into the prepared ramekins.

Place the ramekins in a baking dish and bake for about 10 minutes, until the sides of the caked are cooked, the top is just starting to crisp but the middle is still gooey and soft.

Remove the baking dish from the oven and cool for a minute. Run a sharp knife around the edges of the cakes, and invert them onto dessert dishes.

Serve immediately with freshly whipped cream, ice cream and/or fresh berries.

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