Molten Center Chocolate Cakes

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Preparation info

  • Makes


    individual cakes
    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Modern Baker

The Modern Baker

By Nick Malgieri

Published 2008

  • About

This is a wonderful make-ahead dessert. As long as everything is ready in advance, you can make the cake batter and fill the molds hours ahead of time—just bake them immediately before you intend to serve them. Most people agree that these were invented by the 3-star French chef Michel Bras. But Bras’s version calls for the cake batter to have a frozen chocolate truffle baked in the center, unlike these cakes, where the batter itself provides the flow of warm, semiliquid chocolate. These are easier to prepare and taste better, so maybe they’re the 4-star version, which, by the way, come from my friend and Hong Kong restaurateur Jennifer Morris.


  • 5 ounces (150 grams) 70% bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, cut into ¼-inch (6-mm) pieces
  • 10 tablespoons ( sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • cup sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour (spoon flour into a dry-measure cup and level off)
  • 1 batch Crème Anglaise,
  • Seven 4-ounce aluminum foil molds or porcelain ramekins, buttered and floured


  1. Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Half-fill a saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat. Combine the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and place over the hot water. Stir occasionally until melted.
  3. Whisk the eggs and egg yolks together by hand in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk in the sugar, then the butter and chocolate mixture. Place the bowl on the mixer and mix on medium speed with the paddle for 1 minute. Remove the bowl and whisk in the flour by hand.
  4. Fill the molds to within ¼ inch (6 mm) of the top. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes (unmold one to see how liquid it is), then unmold onto warm dessert plates.


Serve with the sauce.


These are like soufflés—you have only one chance to enjoy them. You may prepare the batter and put it in the molds several hours before you intend to serve the cakes—keep them at a cool room temperature until it’s time to bake them.