This has become one of my very favourite recipes, ever. That’s pretty surprising, considering the fact that I almost passed it by when I first encountered it. Essentially a rich, deep, dense brownie, with a dark, moist, fudgy tunnel of chocolate lava burrowing through the center, Lava Beast Cake is so named because it is a beastly lava cake that will devastate all but the most hardcore chocoholics. This beautiful cake is then drizzled with the royalty of the icing family – chocolate ganache.
The Lava Beast Cake (I really love saying that aloud!) comes together in minutes with ingredients that are basic pantry staples. Those ingredients are probably eyeing you right now, saying, “You know you want to put us in that cake. Go on! Put us in there! Do it! Do it now!” This cake is a winner for entertaining, because the recipe is so easy to implement, yet the outcome is stately. Yes, I said stately. Though the cake is baked in a humble tube pan, it is elegance personified.
I did have one minor issue with this recipe. The ganache is meant to be poured over the finished cake, but when I attempted to do so, I was attacked by a tidal wave of ganache. I stopped what I was doing and put the remaining ganache in the freezer for 30 minutes, stirring it every 10 minutes or so, and then iced the cake with it, using an offset spatula. The consistency of the ganache without refrigeration is really best for drizzling sparingly, rather than outright pouring, over the finished cake.
When it comes to chocolate, I don’t do anything sparingly.
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Lava Beast Cake
Makes 1 10″ Bundt or tube cake
For the pan:
1 TBS Dutch processed cocoa powder
nonstick cooking spray (such as Baker’s Joy) OR 1 TBS unsalted butter, melted
For the cake:
½ cup boiling espresso OR boiling water
2 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. salt
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 TBS vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
2½ sticks butter, at room temperature
For the ganache:
¾ cup heavy cream
¼ cup light corn syrup
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Spray a 10″ (12 cup) Bundt or tube pan with nonstick cooking spray and then dust with cocoa powder. Alternatively, you could stir together the melted butter and the cocoa powder, using a pastry brush to coat the inside of the pan with the resultant mixture.
In a medium bowl, pour the hot coffee over the chocolate. Let stand for a minute, then whisk until smooth. Separately, combine flour, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and salt. Lightly beat the eggs and the vanilla in a small bowl.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter. Beat until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes on medium-high speed). Add egg mixture and mix on low until just combined. Note: Batter will not look smooth at this point.
Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and mix until combined. Blend in flour mixture on lowest speed until just combined. Note: Batter should smooth out with addition of flour mixture.
Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake 40 – 45 minutes or until the edges of the cake begin to pull away from the pan. Cool on a wire rack for 90 minutes before inverting onto a serving platter. Cool completely, about another 90 minutes.
To make the ganache:
Combine cream, corn syrup, and chocolate in small saucepan. Stir mixture frequently over medium heat until smooth; blend in vanilla. Set aside for 30 minutes or until slightly thickened. Drizzle or pour over cake and let set for 10 minutes or so before slicing.
Source: Barely adapted from Annie’s Eats