Happy Friday! It seemed fitting to end the week with a chocolate recipe, since we’re nearing Valentine’s Day on Monday. Like I said, I’ll take any excuse to eat my fair share of chocolate, drink a good glass of wine, or go to dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants. This is hopefully my last week of recovery before my doctor allows me to resume normal activities, so I figured a relaxing hour or two in the kitchen would be time well spent this week! I was feeling comfort food this week and these gooey fudge brownie lava cakes have been on my must-try list for awhile now. The texture is so good, the browned butter really adds a ton of flavor, and they’re quick & easy to whip up! I got the recipe from Food52’s Baking cookbook… which has been my favorite this winter. Click through for the perfect Valentine’s Day treat or just a delicious indulgence for the remaining winter months. Definitely pin this one for later!
I ended up making a half batch of these, because let’s be real- I certainly don’t have the willpower to stay away from a brownie lava cake. Emmett & I definitely didn’t need 12-14 fudge brownies to ourselves. I felt like six was a better number for just the two of us. I’ll copy the regular recipe for you though… just know that if 12 is too many, you can easily make a half batch!
Brownie Lava Cakes
- 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter
- 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder natural or Dutch-processed
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs cold
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 3/4 cups walnuts finely chopped (optional)
- 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar for dusting (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Generously butter and flour a nonstick muffin tin, or line the cups with large cupcake papers.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, swirling until it begins to brown and smell nutty- about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the granulated sugar, cocoa, water, vanilla, and salt. Allow it to cool for 5 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add the flour and mix vigorously for about 1 minute. Stir in the walnuts, if desired (optional).
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, evenly distributing the batter. It's ok to fill the muffin cups almost to the top edge becuase these brownie lava cakes barely rise. Press some chocolate chips into the center of each brownie to create a chocolate lava center.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the edges are set but the middle is still a bit gooey. If need be, cut into one brownie with a paring knife to determine whether the batter is set.
- Allow them to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing. Dust with confectioner's sugar and serve immediately. A scoop of ice cream is also recommended! Store leftovers in a resealable bag at room temperature for up to 3 days- or freeze for a few months.
The fun part of this recipe is pressing some chocolate chips into the center of the batter which creates the gooey molten lava cake. The batter is pretty thick, so the chocolate chips really stay in place nicely.
As for the baking time, my muffin tin is a bit larger than the average size, so I ended up baking my lava cakes for 20-23 minutes. It’s pretty easy to tell once they’re set- or use a knife to test them.
The key is to allow these to cool before removing them from the tin. I got excited and tried while they were still pretty warm, and one fell apart on me. Once they cooled a bit, they easily fell out of the tin. Patience is key for keeping them in tact and looking pretty!
If you do get some surface cracking or have trouble removing them, it can easily be hidden with a dusting of powdered sugar. I enjoy a light dusting either way!
Don’t worry if the centers sink- that’s supposed to happen since they contain the molten chocolate… plus it makes the perfect divot for a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream!
You can store these in an air tight container for up to three days- or better yet… store them in the freezer for up to three months! We used to buy the lava cakes from Trader Joe’s that are frozen, but these taste a thousand times better. I love the convenience of having some of these in the freezer, ready to go, for special occasions or for those evenings when a dessert just sounds really good. That also kept me from eating the entire batch at once. Ha!
I definitely recommend a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top. What’s a lava cake without ice cream anyway? Emmett had no idea I was making these and came home from work to dinner and this fun dessert. He has already requested more. They’re seriously delicious… dare I say- maybe even my new favorite chocolate concoction? It just feels like a February food.
I’d love to hear if you give these a try! I know I’ll be making them again soon. You can check out all of our cookbooks here. I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend ahead. I’m still supposed to be taking it easy, but we’re hosting some friends for the game on Sunday. To be honest- we aren’t really football people, but given the fact Cincinnati is playing in the Super Bowl for the first time since the 80’s, we have to watch and show our support for the Bengals! I’m also excited for game day food- Emmett is grilling out, I’ll put together some tasty appetizers, and I’ll definitely eat one of these molten cakes with a glass of wine at the end of the night for dessert. What are your weekend plans? Thanks again for your patience this week while I’m easing back into work. You all are the best!