This recipe for warm (as in runny) chocolate cake comes from Jean Georges Vongerichen — of the famed  Jean-Georges  restaurant in NYC. While I’ve never eaten there, rumor has it that my kids have ordered the cake from there. Its a surprisingly simple recipe but I rate it as “tricky” just because it’s all about the timing to get it baked and plated perfectly. Below I’ve linked to a video of Chef Vongerichten making his own recipe and he definitely makes it look easy.

Warm Chocolate Cake

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: tricky
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Ingredients

  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. flour
  • ice cream to accompany the cake

Directions

  1. Grease and flour 6 ramekin dishes.
  2. Melt chocolate and butter in medium bowl over a pot of water (double boiler effect).
  3. While that is melting, in a second bowl  beat eggs, egg yolks and sugar together with electric beaters, until fluffy but slightly thickened.
  4. Add egg/sugar mix to chocolate mix, stir to blend.
  5. Gently stir in flour, and pour evenly into 6 prepared ramekins.
  6. Bake for 6-7 minutes at 450ºF directly on oven rack, until the outside is set and the inner part is quite runny. if you think it is done, tip the ramekin to check; if the sides slide a lot, consider cooking for 1 more minute  (but not longer or your cake will fully cook).
  7. Remove by running a knife around the edge and flipping the cakes onto individual dishes as soon as possible. Hopefully, the whole cake comes out. Best served with ice cream.

Lessons Learned/Advice:

  • Thoroughly greasing the ramekins is important. You can also dust them with sugar instead of flour, but I’ve found no difference in the end result.
  • Overcooking won’t be a disaster — just not runny. Rumor has it that this cake was originally a mistake (as in undercooked chocolate cake).  I have a friend who claims her cakes never come out runny so she has given up trying and just puts a piece of chocolate in the center of the cake, which melts but never cooks so there is always a soft inside.  I suppose you could do this but I’ve never felt the need to.
  • When you run the knife around the edge try to lift it a little from the bottom; this will help ease the cake out when you flip it.
  • I usually flip the cakes by putting a dessert plate on top of each ramekin, then turn the two dishes over with the ramekin still pushing against the plate. Then with oven mitts, I gently lift the ramekin.

Credits:

This recipe was found in Jean-Georges’ “Cooking at Home with a Four Star Chef” and you’ll even see the warm (molten) cake on the cover of the cookbook. You can also watch Chef Vongerichten making his own molten cake here. He uses a fluted brioche pan which I’m thinking might help in the un-molding process. If you try it, please let me know.

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