So we couldn’t help ourselves. We don’t make a lot of desserts in our household. BUT, with a special holiday coming up next week, we thought a lot of you might be. Plus, we’re all for a celebratory treat once in a while!
We liked the challenge of trying to come up with a treat that uses local and natural ingredients, that also sits well with my stomach (living gall-bladder free makes it hard for me to digest fatty foods, so I stay away from most typical desserts these days!). However, Alex was determined we could develop a molten lava cake that met all these criteria.
And did he ever! This cake is ultra delicious, using nothing other than local honey as a sweetener, and a small amount of coconut oil as the fat. It also includes whole wheat flour, which gives it a nice robust taste. (Sorry to all the low grain friends out there – we weren’t up to that challenge just yet!)
If you make the full recipe for four servings, it’s decadence at a minimal calorie count. But more importantly, it’s a quick and easy treat to throw together using natural ingredients that you might already have in your pantry. Give it a try for an upcoming special meal – and try to use local eggs and honey if they are available to you!
both at the Indy Winter Farmer’s MarketPrint
We’ve made this recipe using either 2 8-ounce ramekins or 4 5-ounce ramekins; you’ll just need to adapt the baking time (see below). The trick is to bake the cakes so that the outside is baked but the inside is still liquid. The timing is hard measure since all ovens and ramekins are different, so you’ll have to give it a try and adapt accordingly to your oven! You’ll want to remove the cakes when they have just solidified, but before they are cooked through. The liquidity of the honey also affects the runniness of the dough, which in turn affects the cook time.
- 2 8-ounce ramekins (or 4 5-ounce ramekins)
- 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/3 cup honey (local, if possible!)
- 1 egg (local, if possible!)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon coconut or vegetable oil (or substitute 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour, 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 3 tablespoons cocoa powder. Then whisk in 1/4 cup milk, 1/3 cup honey, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 tablespoon coconut or vegetable oil. Whisk until smooth.
- Liberally grease the inside of the ramekins with oil or butter, especially the bottoms (don’t forget this part – it helps the cakes will easily slide out after baking!). Divide the mixture evenly between the ramekins.
- Here’s the hard part: bake the ramekins until just hardened on top, but still liquid in the center – between 12 to 15 minutes for larger ramekins, and around 10 minutes for smaller ramekins. The top should be just solidified (not jiggly); you can test with a toothpick to make sure it is cooked but that there is still liquid on the inside. When you remove the ramekins from the oven, let them cool for a bit, then run a knife around the edge and carefully invert them onto a plate (using hot pads, as they’ll still be quite hot!).Tip Don’t worry if you overbake or underbake on your first try – we had to play with it a bit to get the right timing with our oven, but in either case they are still delicious! (Underbaking will end up with a lot of liquid (delicious!) whereas overbaking will have very little “lava”.)
- Serve immediately, sprinkled with powdered sugar. If desired, serve with ice cream, crème fraiche, or sweetened whipped cream.
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.