Paleo Chocolate Lava Cakes
Updated: Jan 18
What could be better than warm, melty, gooey chocolate cake? A paleo version!
Click here for the printable recipe.
Does anything scream “date-night” more than chocolate lava cake? If your Valentine’s Day usually includes white tablecloths and prix fixe menus (or if you’re a patron of Chili’s or Domino’s), there’s a pretty good chance you’ve experienced some version of this decadent, choc-o-licious dessert. I’ve had some that were underwhelming and some that were spectacular, but none has excited me as much as this one.
As wonderful as restaurants can be, there is something so magical about turning a perfect little chocolate cake out of a silicone pan, cutting into it with a spoon, and watching the molten center spill slowly onto the plate. If you’re looking for a paleo-friendly indulgence, this is one chocolate lava cake that can turn even a quarantine Valentine’s Day into the stuff of dreams.
The recipe has a few stages, but with a little planning ahead, the cakes can be quickly reheated and ready when you are.
First you’ll make a quick ganache from semisweet chocolate and coconut cream, spread it in a parchment-lined loaf pan, and chill overnight.
When the ganache has firmed up, cut it into 18 pieces (3 slices down, 6 slices across). You’ll only need 15 of these, so three of them will be up for grabs (chef snack!). Stash these squares in the freezer while you prepare the cake batter (for at least 30 minutes or until ready to use).
The batter starts by melting together coconut oil, unsweetened chocolate, and coconut sugar. Cocoa, almond flour, almond milk, and egg yolks are added, and whipped egg whites are folded in.
For greatest success, use standard-size silicone muffin pans. This recipe makes enough batter for 15 cakes, so you will need two pans. Remember to place the floppy silicone pans on sturdy baking sheets for transferability. Grease the cups for good measure, and divide the batter evenly among them--I like to use a 3-T cookie scoop for this.
Finally, drop one frozen ganache square into each cup, pressing down to envelope it in batter. Use a spoon or spatula to gently spread the batter over any ganache that remains exposed, and bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes.
You can dig into these immediately, but for prettiest results, allow them to cool completely before unmolding. They can be reheated at 300 for about 5 minutes to ensure a liquified center if desired.
I like to serve these lava cakes with a little whipped coconut cream and raspberry sauce for an extra-swanky affair, but the monsters will eagerly gobble them up unadorned at room temperature.
Here's what you'll need:
⅔ cup semisweet chocolate chips (paleo-friendly if possible)
1 (5.4 oz) can coconut cream
¼ tsp almond or hazelnut extract (optional)
2 large eggs
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
½ cup coconut sugar, divided
¼ cup coconut oil
½ cup almond flour
½ cup cocoa
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Here's what you'll do:
Make a simple ganache by melting together the coconut cream and the semisweet chocolate chips (I like to do this in a double boiler over medium heat). Add a pinch of salt and ¼ tsp of almond or hazelnut extract if desired, and stir until smooth.
Transfer the ganache to a 4.5 by 8.5-inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper such that the parchment extends several inches up the sides of the pan. Let cool completely at room temperature, then refrigerate overnight to set.
Remove the chilled ganache from the fridge and cut into 18 pieces (3 slices lengthwise; 6 slices across). You will only need 15 of these, so 3 are up for grabs! Freeze the ganache squares while you prepare the cake batter (at least 30 minutes or until ready to use).
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, place two silicone muffin pans on baking sheets for stability and grease 15 of the cups.
Separate the eggs. Set the yolks aside in a small cup, and whip the whites with 2 tablespoons coconut sugar until voluminous enough to hold soft peaks. Set aside.
In a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat, melt together the coconut oil, chopped chocolate, and remaining coconut sugar. Off the heat, stir in the almond flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, almond milk, and vanilla. Finally, stir in the egg yolks.
Stir in about ⅓ of the whipped whites to lighten the mixture, then gently fold in the remaining whites, combining just until no large clumps of whites can be seen.
Divide the batter evenly among the 15 prepared muffin cups, using a 3-T cookie scoop if desired.
Retrieve the ganache squares from the fridge and place one square in the center of each cup, pushing down gently to envelope the square in batter. Use a spatula to gently spread the batter over the top of any visible ganache
Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Let cool at least 5 minutes before gently unmolding. Alternatively, cool completely before unmolding, and reheat at 300 for about 5 minutes before serving.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Click here for the printable recipe.