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Molten Lava Cake with a Pepper Kick Recipe

Decadent, delectable, drenched in deep dark chocolate, this molten lava cake also packs a kick of pepper. Serve these individual cakes warm with a sabayon sauce, a dollop of whipped cream, clotted cream, creme fraiche, or vanilla ice cream, and top with a raspberry for a dessert experience your guests won’t soon forget.

Preparation time: 45 minutes | Cook time: 10-11 minutes | Serves: 6

Chocolate Cake With Pepper


  • 1 1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate pieces
  • 1/2 cup butter

Chocolate Cake Center 

  • 1/4 cup melted chocolate/butter mixture from above
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground ancho pepper


  • 3 egg whites
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 3 egg yolks
  • remaining chocolate/butter mixture from above

Sabayon Sauce

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar (superfine)
  • 3 tablespoons port wine or Madeira wine
  • 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
  • a tiny pinch of ground ancho pepper
  • 6 raspberries, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF and adjust rack to the center of the oven.  Spray 6 3-ounce ramekins with cooking oil and dust each ramekin with caster (superfine) sugar.   Place prepared ramekins on a baking sheet with sides.
  2. Bring water to simmer in bottom of double-boiler.  Add chocolate and butter to top of double-boiler and place over simmering water.  Melt the chocolate and butter, remove from heat and stir until completely blended with butter.
  3. Chocolate Center: Remove 1/4 cup of chocolate/butter mixture and place in a small metal bowl.   (Set the remaining chocolate/butter mixture aside until later.)  Whisk 1/3 cup of whipping cream and 1 teaspoon of ground ancho pepper into the 1/4 cup of chocolate/butter in the small metal bowl. Place in the freezer  for about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from freezer and with a spoon or cookie dough scoop, form mixture into 6 roundish balls.  Place a piece of parchment paper or wax paper on a plate and place the 6 chocolate balls on it and return to freezer.
  5. Cake: Whip egg whites and sugar to soft peaks.  Mix in cocoa powder and 3 egg yolks until just combined.  Gently fold the egg mixture into the remaining cooled chocolate/butter mixture (set aside earlier), until combined.
  6. Remove the chocolate balls from the freezer.  Spoon equal amount of the cake batter in the six prepared ramekins. Place a chocolate ball on top and press it into the batter.  With the back of a spoon, smooth the batter over the top of the chocolate ball.
  7. Bake at 400°F  for 10-11 minutes.  The outer edges of the cakes will be set but the middle should still be a bit jiggly.  Allow the cakes to rest for a couple minutes then run a knife around the edge of each cake and invert onto a serving plate, or serve directly from ramekins, if desired.  Serve cakes warm with sabayon sauce, a dollop of whipped cream, clotted cream, creme fraiche, or vanilla ice cream, and top with a raspberry.

Sabayon Sauce

  1. Bring water to simmer in bottom of double-boiler.  Before placing over simmering water, whisk egg yolk and sugar together in top of double-boiler.  When egg/sugar mixture becomes thick and pale in color, gradually whisk in port wine and 2 tablespoons of heavy cream.
  2. Place top of double-boiler over the simmering water in the bottom of the double-boiler and whisk continually until mixture is thick and creamy, about 5 minutes.   When whisk is lifted out of the mixture it should leave a trail.  Add in a tiny pinch of ground ancho pepper.  Spoon about a tablespoon or two over each warm cake.

Our Recommendations:

Caster Sugar 2 Quart Saucepan Double-Boiler Ancho Chili Powder

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Author:   Category: sweets  Tags: ,  

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