When you plunge your spoon through the delicate, crackly crust of this single-serve dessert, the lush, oozy center is likely to remind you of a molten lava cake. But this chocolate-filled ramekin is something entirely different. The center is filled with warm, velvety pudding that has just the right balance of sweet chocolate and eggy richness, without overwhelming.
As you work your spoon to the outer edges of the ramekin, this dessert gradually takes the consistency of a moist and ultra-tender chocolate cake. It's a decadent treat to break out on the fanciest of occasions, yet is quick and easy enough to pull off any night of the week.
For the Best Pudding Cakes, Skip the Chocolate Chips
Save the chocolate morsels for your next batch of cookies, and start with a good-quality bar of semi-sweet or milk chocolate instead. What makes this two-in-one dessert really sing is the small pool of hot chocolate-like pudding at the center. Chocolate morsels and chunks don't quite leave you with the same lush consistency, since they contain stabilizers that help them resolidify and keep their shape after melting.
A Note on Sugar
While several types of sugar can be used to make this recipe, I think superfine sugar (also known as caster sugar), as noted in the recipe, yields the best results. This has ultra-fine crystals that are quick to dissolve, which means your pudding cakes won't bake up with a grainy consistency. White granulated sugar can be swapped in for a similar result, experimenting with light or dark brown sugar will make for a richer dessert with notes of caramel.
5 Sweet Ways to Share the Love This Valentine's Day
There is no better way to spread some love and celebrate Valentine's Day than with a sweet treat. These five low-effort, high reward baked goods are made for sharing. They offer a little something for everyone, whether you're celebrating with your main squeeze, crew of girlfriends, family, officemates, or a classroom full of kiddos.
The Easiest Chocolate Pudding Cakes
(1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for the ramekins
good-quality semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
large egg yolks
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F.
Lightly coat inside of 4 (6-ounce) ramekins with butter; place on a baking sheet and set aside.
Place the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is melted. Set aside to cool.
Add the sugar, flour, and salt together to a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add the eggs and egg yolks, and whisk until well-combined, pale yellow, and no lumps remain. Whisk in the melted chocolate until completely incorporated.
Divide the batter between the prepared ramekins. Bake until the tops are set and look crackly, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately.