For the cookie dough:
½ cup (115 g) unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsp granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp instant espresso powder (optional)
1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
100 g (just under 4 oz) chocolate, chopped/chocolate chips
For the molten chocolate:
100 g (just under 4 oz) chocolate (dark chocolate is preferable), chopped/chocolate chips
1/3 cup (80 mL) heavy cream
- To prepare the chocolate interior, bring the heavy cream to a boil in a saucepan or in the microwave (30 seconds to 1 minute- check after 30 seconds).
- Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for 30 seconds. Then, stir till smooth.
- Place the ganache into the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours or until firm and malleable (or in the freezer for 30 minutes-1 hour).
- In the meantime, prepare the cookie dough by creaming together the butter and sugars.
- Add in the egg, and continue to beat.
- Add the baking soda, salt, vanilla and instant espresso (you could also add the espresso at the end like we did in the video). The espresso is barely noticeable, but it cuts through the sweet, vanilla scent of the cookie dough and does a fine job of bringing out that rich, chocolatey taste. You could bump it up to ½ tsp if you wish.
- Gradually tumble in the flour, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is combined.
- Fold in the chocolate chips and chill the dough for 30 minutes. This step isn’t completely necessary, but it makes the dough far easier to work with once it’s time to assemble. You could do the chocolate mixture and dough the night before you plan to serve the dish.
- To finish the lava cakes, preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C), butter 8 ramekins (or 8 cups in a muffin tray) and dust with flour or sugar to prevent sticking.
- Divide the chocolate ganache mixture into 8 portions and keep them ready on a parchment-lined tray.
- Scoop ¼ cup sized mounds of the cookie dough (using a ¼ cup measure or an ice cream scoop) and divide into two parts.
- Flatten one of the parts with your fingertips and place one of the ganache balls on top. Cover with the other cookie dough part and roll into a ball, making sure the ganache is completely covered in cookie dough. This is why it is important to make sure the ganache is chilled thoroughly so that none of it seeps through the dough.
- You should end up with 8 cricket-ball sized rounds. Place each round into a ramekin/muffin cup.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the tops are golden but the lava cakes are still soft to touch and very slightly jiggly in the centre.
- Serve with berries (preferably raspberries or blackberries) and/or ice cream.
- If you want to remove the cakes from the ramekin/muffin tray (which is slightly more difficult), cool the lava cakes completely, then run a knife around the edges and flip over. If the bottom of the cake sticks to the pan, leaving a hole, fear not- scoop the remnants back into the lava cake and flip the lava cake pretty side up. No one will know. Heat in the microwave for 15 -20 seconds.