Volcano cakes

My kids walked into the living room just as America’s Test Kitchen was talking about volcano cakes. (They are called this because the interiors are “molten.”) “Huh?” The next thing I know, my youngest is doing some kind of gymnastics maneuver on the couch to my right while the oldest would occasionally tell me to pause the show so she could write down the ingredients we needed to get the store. Now. I was on the hook for making them.

Volcano cakes are a flourless chocolate cake (similar to the brownies), where the interior is raw. The ATK folks served it with espresso-laced coffee ice cream, inappropriate for small kids before bedtime.

Volcano cakes – From America’s Test Kitchen
1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate — Trader Joe’s sells a nice 70% bittersweet chocolate bar.
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
10 T butter (1 1/4 sticks)
1 1/2C sugar
2 t corn starch
4 egg yolks
3 whole eggs

  1. Chop the chocolate into coarse chunks. This is to help it melt, so uniformity isn’t important.
  2. In a double boiler (or a thick saucepan over low heat), melt the chocolates and butter.
  3. Butter the interior of the ramekins. Pour some granulated sugar and roll around the interior.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar and corn starch.
  5. Add the melted chocolate, butter mixture to the sugar. Mix in the eggs.
  6. Fill the ramekins about 3/4.
  7. Bake at 375F for 16-20 minutes. The time will greatly depend upon several factors including your oven’s temperature and ramekin size. The 5 ounce ramekins were cooked perfectly after 16 minutes. The 7-ounce ones needed 18. You can sorta tell by looking at the top center.
  8. Serve with ice cream of your choice.

8 thoughts on “Volcano cakes

  1. Jen and I did a similar recipe (Lava Muffins) on New Year’s Eve. Much yummy goodness… 🙂 If you want the recipe for comparison, let me know and I’ll find it.

  2. I made these, too. But, I can’t remember one thing from the show. Were we supposed to fill the baking sheet with water? It doesn’t say so in the recipe, but since I thought that’s what they were doing, I baked them like that. They took a lot longer, 25-28min depending on some factors and the bottoms never got crusty, they barely held their shape.
    If you can tell me if you used a water bath or not, I will try again.
    Also, when I put 1/2 cup in ea. ramekin as in the ATK recipe, it made only 6 servings as opposed to 8 as they suggested. How many ramekins did you use?
    Even with all these reservations, they were really tasty. I would make them again. Oh, I used cherry liquor. They suggested orange flavored liquor in the original, but I replaced it.

  3. I didn’t use the water bath.

    With the 5-ounce ramekins, I get eight servings, six with 7-ounce ramekins. Liquor is an interesting addition.

  4. I’m not sure how muffin bake cups would affect this. You’re essentially underbaking these so the innards are gooey. It’s likely you’d destroy it ripping off the bake cup.

    They won’t stick to the cups if you butter the sides. (Any residual easily washes out because you barely cook them.)

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