Is there any better way to say, “I Love You” than with chocolate?
These amazingly delicious fondants au chocolat, or chocolate molten lava cakes, are a decadent way to share something special with someone you love.
I learned to make these in the South of France at Makenna Held’s Courageous Cooking School, located at Julia Child’s former residence La Pitchoune (see the Cooking Classes chapter in my book for more details and recipes). The Provençal scenery and scent of lavender in the air made each day of the cooking school a joy, and these chocolate molten lava cakes were among my very favorite recipes that week.
These impressive cakes are not difficult to make, but no one needs to know that! You can even make the batter up to two days ahead of time, but be sure to bring the batter up to room temperature before baking. You can serve them with fresh berries, caramel sauce, Chantilly Cream, or dusted with powdered sugar. Ooh la la!
fondant au chocolat
- 3 tbsps melted French butter, unsalted (more if needed)
- 1/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder (more if needed)
- 3 1/2 ounces 65%-85% dark chocolate
- 7 tbsps French butter, unsalted
- 2 extra-large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup caster sugar (superfine baker's sugar)
- 9 tbsps all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsps Dutch cocoa powder (plus 1 teaspoon)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 8 tips mint (for garnish)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Melt the 3 tablespoons butter in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush coat aluminum molds (they work best) with the butter and dust the molds with ¼ cup of Dutch cocoa powder. Set tins aside on rimmed baking pan.
- Melt the dark chocolate and butter together in a bowl over steaming water, stirring until smooth.
- With stand mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar together to ribbon stage. Remove bowl from mixer and fold small amount of chocolate into egg mixer to temper the eggs (keep them from curdling or cooking). Fold in remaining chocolate. Sift flour, salt, and remaining Dutch cocoa powder on top of batter and gently fold mixture until combined. Place the batter into a sealable plastic bag. Batter can be made in advance and refrigerated for 2 days, but bring batter to room temperature before baking.
- Cut the corner of the batter-filled bag and fill the molds 2⁄3 full. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Top of cakes should look cracked. Turn mold upside down but do not remove until ready to serve. Place raspberry or mint in center of each and serve immediately on individual plates or serving plater.
- Optionally, serve with caramel sauce or Chantilly cream.