How to Build a Chocolate Volcano

Looking for an explosion of delicious chocolate flavor? Try a chocolate volcano!

The chocolate volcano is a fun treat that any chocolate extremo, whether child or adult, can enjoy. But fear not, we're not talking about rigging a chocolate fountain to explode (though wouldn't that be fun?). This particular type of chocolate volcano is a sweet restaurant-style dessert with a gooey chocolate filling.

It looks like an individual chocolate cake from the outside, but when you slice into it, the liquid chocolate in the interior gushes out and onto your plate, just like cocoa-flavored lava. In this exciting episode, we're going to show you how to make 'em yourself -- but beware, the process can be complex.

Ooey gooey delicious

When it comes right down to it, making a chocolate volcano only takes about 40 minutes -- 20 minutes to mix the ingredients, and less than 20 minutes to bake it. But there's a fine line between the finished product being too gooey inside and not gooey enough, so you may have to experiment a bit.

So follow this sweet little recipe as closely as you can, and vary the cooking times as necessary until you figure out the right balance for producing the ideal melt-in-your-mouth dessert. And don't fret -- even if you make a few mistakes while learning to get it just right, your failures are still perfectly edible!

The first step

Besides the basic ingredients, you'll need a series of individual oven-proof ramekins to bake your chocolate volcano cakes in. The eight-ounce ceramic kind will work best for this recipe. Here's what else you'll need:

Ingredients

1/2 cup of cocoa powder
1 cup of white flour
12 tablespoons of butter
A little extra butter for greasing the ramekins
6 ounces of bittersweet dark chocolate
3 eggs
3 extra egg yolks
1/2 cup of refined sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and then melt the butter and chocolate together on the stove top in a double boiler, making absolutely sure that 1) it doesn't burn; and b) no water or steam gets into it. Once it's melted appropriately, set it aside to cool, then mix the sugar, eggs, and egg yolks thoroughly in a mixing bowl, until they're thick and light yellow in color. Next, fold in the flour, followed by the melted chocolate mixture. Blend it all together until your chocolate volcano batter has a smooth, rich consistency.

Now, grease up the interiors of the ramekins with butter, then coat the interiors liberally with cocoa powder (this will help the individual cakes come out of their ramekins when they're done). Tap out the excess powder, then fill the ramekins a little more than three-quarters full with the batter. Place the filled ramekins on a cookie sheet, and bake then at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. You can tell they're done when the edges are firm, but the center's still soft. At that point, take them out of the oven and let them sit on a cool surface for five minutes.

To remove the cakes from the ramekins, carefully run a knife between the cake and the wall of the ramekin. Put a dessert plate over the top of the ramekin and turn the whole thing upside down; if necessary, tap the top of the ramekin sharply. The cake should slide right out. Serve it with vanilla ice cream to help complement the flavor, and hopefully, when you stick a fork into it, the uncooked chocolate "lava" inside will come burbling out. Voila -- a chocolate volcano!

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