Film and TV

The Non-Pressure Test: Make Lava Cake Like a MasterChef

We've been loving MasterChef (team Christine!), especially the weekly pressure tests. But with a pissed-off Ramsay, daunting time restraints and cameras right in the contestants' faces waiting for them to break down in an ugly cry in front of the judges and all of America, it's no wonder these contestants succumb to the pressure.

Luckily, we don't have to. Making "stunning" versions of the challenges at home is actually not intimidating at all.

We started by learning how to make the perfect eggs, and this time we're taking on the dessert challenge that sent Ryan home in shame: Molten Chocolate Lava Cake (did anyone else just mmmmm out loud?).

Chocolate lava cake is the heavenly union of a chocolate cake and a soufflé. It should be fluffy, rich and cakey on the outside and a melted gooey mess in the inside.

The show may make it seem impossible, but with the right timing and a few simple steps, it's a truly easy and incredibly impressive dessert.

Here's how to make it:

Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes recipe adapted from brandielle

Ingredients yields 4 individual cakes

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 4 oz good quality dark chocolate or semi-sweet baking chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 large eggs + 2 egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons cake flour
  • homemade whipped cream for topping


    To start, you'll need the right ramekins.

    Pyrex custard cups are the perfect size, allowing the center of the cake to ooze chocolate decadence while the outside sets.

    Brush the ramekins generously with melted butter (or use cooking spray). This will ensure the cakes pop out easily when inverted.

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

    Using a double boiler setup or a microwave (on high for 1 minute), melt butter and chocolate pieces, whisking until chocolate is melted.

    Stir in sugar until combined, then add in eggs plus extra yolks. Stir to combine and add in flour, stirring until mixture is smooth.

    Distribute the batter evenly among the buttered ramekins. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and cook for 13 minutes, or until the edges have set and the middle is soft to the touch (not liquidy, but soft).

    Place inverted serving plates on top of each ramekin and holding the ramekin with a dish towel, flip over and set down the plate.

    Carefully remove the ramekin, allowing the cake to gently slide out.

    Top with powdered sugar or cocoa powder and fresh whipped cream and prepare to "oohhh and ahhh" as you cut into its gooey goodness.


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    Brooke Viggiano is a contributing writer who is always looking to share Houston's coolest and tastiest happenings with the Houston Press readers.
    Contact: Brooke Viggiano