This easy recipe for Chocolate Lava Cakes with Mixed Berry Filling is a decadent twist on a classic dessert. Full of bright berry jam, these rich cakes are the perfect end to a romantic date night in.
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Is there any dessert more classically romantic than a Chocolate Lava Cake? The center of a perfectly cooked – or should I say, perfectly undercooked – cake spills out with the first bite, creating a lake of pure melted chocolate. Topped with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or even just a handful of fresh raspberries, this dessert becomes that perfect combination of warm and cold so beloved in many sweet recipes.
The center of a molten chocolate lava cake is like a surprise – it’s hard to know if you’ve baked the recipe right until you break into it. But everyone knows what to expect. How could I capture all of the delicious aspects of the molten chocolate lava cake, yet still add my own twist?
The answer, of course, is mixed berry jam filling.
These otherwise classic chocolate lava cakes are filled with a sweet and tart mixed berry jam. Not only does some of the center remain gooey melted chocolate, but a warm, lovely berry syrup oozes out as well. This simple addition of berry jam filling elevates this Chocolate Lava Cake recipe to a whole new level of decadence.
Chocolate Lava Cakes with Mixed Berry Filling
The ultimate trick to making perfectly gooey Chocolate Lava Cakes with Mixed Berry Filling is twofold: just the right amount of time in the oven and a well-coated pan to allow for easy removal.
With the right temperature and timing, the center of each cake remains hot but uncooked, while the outside bakes into a moist, cakey shell. The Chocolate Lava Cakes may need to bake for upwards of 20 minutes, but after the ten-minute mark it’s best to check on them every couple of minutes or so or they’re liable to overcook. That being said, there are worse things in life than an overcooked lava cake – even if you go a bit over, these Chocolate Lava Cakes with Mixed Berry Filling will still be delicious!
The trickiest part (for me at least) is getting the little cakes out of the jumbo muffin tin – it’s always a little nerve-wracking flipping the tin over and hoping they all come out intact. In my experience though, plenty of non-stick spray and a generous dusting of cocoa powder usually does the trick. If the chocolate lava cakes give you any trouble, you can always loosen the edges with a butter knife. It should be easy then to pop them right out.
High Quality Ingredients
In a recipe with so few ingredients, choosing high quality products is essential to success. For these Chocolate Lava Cakes with Mixed Berry Filling, that means baking with good chocolate and stellar jam is a must.
For the best flavor and texture of the cake as a whole, a high quality semi-sweet or dark chocolate bar is so important. You may be tempted to melt those chocolate morsels you keep in your cabinet, but trust me – experts agree that it’s just not the same.
Check out the ingredients in a typical bag of chocolate chips, and you’ll see they usually contain some form of stabilizer. This is fine if you’re baking cookies – the stabilizing agent helps the chocolate morsels keep their shape through the baking process. If you are melting the chocolate, however, those stabilizers can get in the way of a really silky, decadent result. Bars of really good dark chocolate (they don’t have to specifically be for baking) take a little more time to chop up with a chef’s knife, but it’s worth it. If you need brand suggestions, you can never go wrong with Ghirardelli on the less expensive end, or Guittard and Valrhona for a truly special ingredient.
Now, for the jam: For my mixed berry filling, I used a quarter pint of my homemade Mixed Berry Bourbon Jam. Any homemade or store-bought blackberry, raspberry, and/or strawberry preserve would work beautifully in the recipe below. If not making the jam yourself, look for a product that seems artisan, local, or small batch, preferably with some of the bits of fruit still intact. You don’t want a jam that is too artificially sweet either, but rather something that lets the natural flavors of the berries shine through.
And that’s it. With these simple tricks you are ready to make a restaurant-quality dessert in your home kitchen.
Craving more classic desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth? On the chocolate front, I can offer you my recipes for Mocha Rum Bread Pudding and Milk Chocolate Chip S’more Cookies. Or maybe you and your date would prefer a pair of these beautiful Tiramisu for Two from Stress Baking, or a creamy Crème Brulee from Foodal. Any one of these desserts will elevate your dinner at home any night of the week!
Chocolate Lava Cakes with Mixed Berry Filling
- Non-stick cooking spray
- ¼ cup cocoa powder (for dusting the muffin tin)
- 8 ounces high quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into pieces
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- ½ cup mixed berry jam
- Optional Toppings: whipped cream, chocolate shavings, vanilla ice cream
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare a jumbo-sized muffin tin, coating the cups with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with cocoa powder until well-coated. Tap off any excess.
- Place the butter in a microwave safe bowl and cover with the chopped chocolate. Microwave on high in 20 second intervals, stirring between, until smooth. Be careful not to overcook.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the large eggs and egg yolks together. Add both the dry ingredients and the beaten eggs to the bowl of melted chocolate. Fold together with a rubber spatula until combined. Whisk out any lumps.
- Spoon about half a cup of chocolate batter into each jumbo muffin cup (6 total). Make sure to leave enough batter to cover the cakes. Spoon just half a teaspoon of mixed berry jam into the center of each cup, and top with the remaining batter.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, checking every two minutes after the 10-minute mark. You’ll know it’s done when the sides are firm but the very center still looks uncooked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 1 minute.
- Use a butter knife to gently release the sides of the cakes from the muffin tin. Place a large cutting board or baking sheet over the top of the cakes, and carefully flip the pan over. If all the cakes don’t drop out, you can gently pry them with the knife or a spoon.
- Serve each cake on their own dish immediately with your topping of choice – whipped cream, shaved chocolate, and/or a scoop of ice cream.