There is very little that needs to be extolled about the virtues of a lava cake. Molten chocolate cakes are the ones which instantly come to mind, breaking apart to reveal a glorious gush of melted chocolate.
Lava cakes can however be baked with more than just chocolate. Variations with Dulce de Leche are particularly popular in Brazil, with these little “petit gateau” oozing unapologetically-rich and indulgent caramelly magic. Of course, if you know you know that dulce de leche is distinctly different from caramel.
Translating to “sweet made from milk,” this South American staple was legendarily discovered in Argentina when an absent-minded maid was called away when cooking milk and sugar. Upon her return, she was startled to discover that the milk and sugar had metamorphosed into a richly-thick sweet sauce!
Over time, dulce de leche has evolved into a star ingredient across a number of decadent desserts including a classic lava cake! The recipe is a deceivingly-simple one with a high-reward-to-effort ratio. Other than a thick and creamy dulce de leche (I get mine from Sprig Gourmet), you don’t need much more than eggs, a bit of flour, salt and vanilla extract. Yes, really! Bake these now, thank me later by leaving a review in the comments below.
Dulce de Leche Lava Cakes
- ¾ cup Dulche de Leche (I get mine from Sprig Gourmet)
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- 1 egg, whole
- 2 egg yolks
- 2½ tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract (I get mine Sprig Gourmet)
- pinch of salt
- butter & flour for greasing
- Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C.
- Take 2 to 4 ramekins (depending on the size) and grease each well with butter and flour. This step is essential in ensuring the lava cakes are easy to remove from the ramekin after baking.
- Mix the dulce de leche and melted butter together a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Add the egg and egg yolks to a separate mixing bowl, beating well (with an electric mixer) until the egg mixture has doubled in size and turns thick (creamy) and pale. To this, add in the dulce de leche mixture and vanilla extract and beat well until evenly mixed.
- Now slowly sift in the flour and salt, folding in the dry ingredients gently until combined.
- Pour out the batter into the prepared ramekins and pop them into bake for 8 – 12 minutes; baking times vary from oven to oven. You’ll know you’re done when the lava cakes have turned golden brown. The edges should be set but the centre still jiggly. Remember, the more you over-bake these cakes, the less lava-like the final cake will be (the centre will be less molten).
- Let the cakes cool down for a minute or so, before gently running a sharp knife around the edges of the ramekin and inverting the cakes out onto individual serving plates. You could also serve the lava cakes in the ramekins themselves – the end result will be just as delicious and dramatic!
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