About Me

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I have two kids - a girl and a boy - and live in north-central Minnesota, land of snow and ice. Well, for 9 months of the year, that is. I work full-time for a local government, and on my "free time" I enjoy cooking, baking, hanging out with my kiddos, and RELAXING.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

mini lava cakes

I got this recipe from my favorite blog, The Pioneer Woman. These mini lava cakes are super easy, so delicious, and fairly impressive. Unless your guests see you making them and realize how easy they actually are.
I halved the recipe since it was just me last night, so I have one mini lava cake in the fridge. I'm curious to see how it turns out. What I'm telling you is the half recipe, for two people. Or one person.
Start with two custard cups. Spray them generously with Pam. Seriously cannot be generous enough with the Pam here, people. We want these babies to just fall right out when they're done baking. You can get custard cups at Target. Mine are Anchor brand, but I'm sure Pyrex makes them too. And they come with lids. How handy! Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. You'll need 2 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate and half a stick of butter. Yes, that means each mini lava cake has one-quarter of a stick of butter. Did I mention how yummy they are?? Note: That chocolate bar is 4 oz, so I broke it in half. You can also buy 1-oz baking chocolate squares. I do have some...not sure why I didn't use those instead. Microwave the chocolate and butter on high for about one minute, until butter is melted. Whisk until chocolate is also melted and the whole thing is just a smooth chocolate-buttery cream.

Stir in 1/2 cup powdered sugar until well blended.
Put in one egg...

...and one egg white. Note: When I was re-typing the recipe at the bottom I realized I should have put in one egg YOLK, not white. So pretend I did. But on a side note, it turned out okay, so if you want to cut some of the cholesterol and fat, give it a go. Notice my awesome Pampered Chef egg separator. Probably the most practical of all PC inventions. I love it. See how the white just oozes through and the yolk is left? Makes separating eggs so easy. I seriously don't even know how to do it any other way. My MIL has this fancy trick where she just pours the yolk back and forth in the egg shells until somehow it's magically separated. I think I should maybe try it someday, but I don't have any high hopes for success.
Whisk in the egg and the white. Add 3 tbs flour. Stir. Divide the batter between the two custard cups on a baking sheet.
I also love this little baking sheet. I got it from (where else?) Pampered Chef. Perfect for baking chicken nuggets or french fries or tator tots. Or mini lava cakes.
Bake 13-14 minutes until sides are firm and center is soft. This is VERY IMPORTANT: you do not want to under bake. Or over bake. If you under bake, the cakes will fall apart and your molten chocolate will go everywhere (I speak from experience). If you over bake, well, you won't have any molten chocolate. The hardest part about this recipe is flipping the cakes out without breaking them. Here's what works for me: Hold the bottom of the custard cup in your palm (with an oven mitt, of course!) and a plate in the other hand. Set the plate face down on top of the custard cup. In one motion, flip the entire thing so the custard cup is now inverted on top of the plate. If you used enough Pam, the cake should just slide right out. Try not to let the custard cup actually touch the plate, because it's very difficult to get it off. Or maybe that's just me. But I've had issues. If it does get stuck to the plate, trapping your lovely lava cake, use a sharp knife to pry up the edges and try and grab it. Maybe I just need better oven mitts with grippers or something, because this part is super difficult for me...
You will definitely want to serve this with either ice cream or homemade whipped cream, because it's so rich and chocolaty it needs something to balance it out.

Mmmm...now that's what I'm talking about. Here's the recipe written out: 2 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate 1/4 cups butter (half a stick) 1/2 cup powdered sugar 1 whole egg 1 egg YOLK 3 tbs flour Preheat oven to 425 Spray 2 custard cups with Pam and place on cookie sheet. Microwave chocolate and butter in large bowl on high for about 1 minute, until butter is melted. Whisk until chocolate is also melted. Stir in sugar until well blended. Whisk in eggs and yolks. Stir in flour. Divide between cups. Bake 13-14 minutes until sides are firm and center is soft. Let stand 1 minute. Invert onto plate. Serve with cream or ice cream.


  1. Um, these look amazing. I want some so bad. But I don't have any baking chocolate. And it is snowing. And cold. And I never want to leave my house again.

    Maybe I will send Chris to the store when he gets home from work. I bet he'd do it if I showed him these pictures of the deliciousness...

    Oh and I can totally separate an egg by pouring it back and forth between the shells. No big deal.

  2. I'm way jealous of your mad egg-separating skills.

    Also, I'm curious to see if chocolate chips will work as a substitute. You should try it and let me know. :)

  3. Hmmm, I actually had that same thought about the chocolate chips but instantly rejected it cuz I figured there was some magical property in baking chocolate that really makes it what it is. But then again, maybe not.

    Also, I remembered after I wrote my comment that I have no custard cups. But I do have a very small loaf-shaped pan. Like to make mini banana breads in. I might try that.

    Although my main problem would be that I am not smart enough to figure out how many chocolate chips make 2 oz...

  4. Hmm...how many ounces is a bag of chocolate chips? Like 12? Just pour them all out on the counter, and sort them into 6 piles. Ta-da! :)

  5. Haha, good suggestion. I actually took the bag and laid it flat on the counter and eye-balled about 1/6 of it, then poured that amount out. Then Chris actually looked it up and said that 2 oz. is 1/3 cup. So I measured what I had already guessed and it was basically a heaping 1/3 cup. So I was pretty darn close! Plus I just kept the heaping part because really, I wasn't going to take chocolate away...

    Anyway, so I made it in my mini-loaf pan (it fit perfectly in just one of those) and cooked it for about 14 minutes and I think I should have cooked it a little longer because it split open on its own shortly after I put it on the plate. Probably because it was all in 1 instead of 2 dishes, definitely need to add some time to it. But boy was it tasty! And the best thing is that Chris LOVED it! And it was so easy!

    I'll definitely be making it again :-)