Love is in the air, and I just LOVE these decadent molten chocolate cakes! Soft and fluffy on the outside and ooey, gooey, and melty in the center, these are one of the most perfect Valentine’s Day desserts. Plus, they’re stuffed with Nutella, and who doesn’t love Nutella?
With the help of the PantryChic Smart Storage System you’ll get perfect measurements every time for foolproof lava cakes that are easy to make and even easier to make disappear!
While this recipe makes (four) personal-sized cakes, why not take this opportunity to cook with your family or significant other? Valentine’s Day is about celebrating the people that you love and there’s no better way to celebrate than in the kitchen, baking something sweet and chocolatey. Cooking with loved ones is a wonderful way to get closer and spend quality time focused on a common goal… eating something delicious!
For a couple, cooking together can make for a romantic date night that opens communication and strengthens bonds.
For a family, cooking together can create lasting memories and teach children lifelong skills and a greater appreciation of food. And when you’re using the PantryChic to dispense your ingredients you can cook with your kids with a whole lot less flour scattered across the counters!
This Valentine’s Day, or any day of the year, why not gather in the kitchen, make some new memories, and make something with love? And chocolate. And did I mention Nutella?!
This recipe is made easiest if you are using PantryChic SmartCanisters to store all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, and miniature chocolate chips. You may not have thought of using a SmartCanister for chocolate, but it’s one of my baking musts, as the irregular shape of the chips make using a measuring cup less than accurate.
If you are not already storing all of these ingredients in their own SmartCanister, you can always use the PantryChic’s scale function to manually add an ingredient.
Start with the Chocolate
Use the PantryChic to dispense the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe mixing bowl. Either mini semi-sweet or mini dark chocolate chips will equally work. Top with the butter and melt in the microwave in short bursts, stirring often.
In a separate bowl you’ll dispense sugar and salt, and then whisk in vanilla extract and eggs until well-creamed and pale yellow in color. I like to use an electric hand mixer but a stand mixer or old-fashioned elbow grease will also work.
Bring it Together
Next you fold the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture (or vice versa). Dispense the flour over top and fold until all is combined into a batter.
The batter is poured into four (6-ounce) ceramic ramekins that have been greased and dusted with unsweetened cocoa powder to prevent the fudgy cakes from sticking.
Get to the Nutella Already!
Spoon a dollop of Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread in the center of each ramekin and then cover with the remaining cake batter.
For Peanut Butter Lava Cakes you can substitute peanut butter in place of the Nutella. I find that natural peanut butter melts the best when baked.
Speaking of the Nutella/peanut butter melting, the best part of preparing a lava cake with this method is that it is virtually impossible to overcook. Traditionally, molten cakes like these require perfect timing to remove them from the oven before the centers of the cakes are fully set. The Nutella stuffed into these cakes will never set, ensuring you won’t be disappointed when slicing into them at the table.
With the cakes filled, now all that’s left to do is place the ramekins on a sheet pan and bake them. The cakes are done when the tops begin to crack, sides are set, but center is still a little jiggly.
After cooling just a few minutes, you run a knife around the edges of each cake and invert onto a plate to serve. For the best presentation, put some powdered sugar, cocoa powder, or a combination of the two in a fine mesh strainer and tap over top the cakes to give them a dusting.
For a romantic pairing in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, garnish each cake with a few fresh raspberries. Or, for an absolute dessert-overload, top each cake with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream! Now THAT is love!
Recipe: Nutella Lava Cakes
Active Prep Time: 15 mins ∙ Cook Time: 15 mins ∙ Serves: 4
6 ounces (170g) mini semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
1/4 teaspoon (1.5g) salt
1/4 cup (31g) all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil spray
Unsweetened cocoa powder
1 stick (113g) unsalted butter, sliced
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon (1.25g) vanilla extract
4 scant tablespoons Nutella
Powdered sugar, to top
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Place 4 (6-ounce) ramekins on a sheet pan. Spray each ramekin with vegetable oil spray and lightly dust with unsweetened cocoa powder to prevent the cakes from sticking.
- Place a microwave-safe mixing bowl on the PantryChic scale. Dispense 6 ounces chocolate chips.
- Top the chocolate with sliced butter and microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring in between, until fully melted and combined.
- Place a separate mixing bowl on the PantryChic scale. Dispense 1/2 cup sugar, then 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- Beat eggs and vanilla extract into the sugar and salt for 3 minutes, until pale and creamy. This is easiest with an electric hand mixer.
- Fold the beaten egg mixture into the melted chocolate mixture and then place on the PantryChic scale. Dispense 1/4 cup flour. Fold in, until all is combined into a batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared ramekins, filling each 2/3 full. Using two spoons, place a dollop (slightly less than a tablespoon) of Nutella in the center of each ramekin of batter. Top each with an equal amount of the remaining batter.
- Bake on the sheet pan on the center rack for 15–17 minutes, until cakes have risen, tops are cracked, edges are set, but the center is still jiggly.
- Transfer to a rack to cool 5 minutes before serving. To serve, run a thin knife around the inside edge of the ramekin and invert onto a plate to release the cake. If desired, dust the tops of the cakes with powdered sugar, cocoa powder, or both.