Chocolate Ganache Is The Secret To Foolproof Chocolate Lava Cake

We can thank Jean-Georges Vongerichten for the chocolate lava cake. In 1987, he created the decadent dessert at his restaurant, JoJo in New York (via What's Cooking America). Since then, it's gone from being a dessert only found in fine dining establishments to a frozen dessert you can buy at the grocery store and heat up at home.

Chocolate lava cake is everything a chocolate lover could desire, a warm chocolate cake filled with a dreamy, melted chocolate center. The chocolate lava cake is one of the only cakes you can cut into and watch in amazement as a stream of shiny, fudge-like chocolate rolls out of it. To make it even better, the cake is served in individual portions, so you don't have to share. Still, lava cake has one flaw — it's not the easiest thing to perfect.

When making chocolate lava cake you aren't just making the cake. You must make the gooey goodness that goes on the inside, and then when it bakes, there is a delicate balance that happens as you decide if the cake is thoroughly cooked. With the melted center, it's tough to tell, and you could end up with something very undercooked or quite overdone. The secret to an easier lava cake is creating a foolproof center.

Chill the ganache

According to Embassy Chocolate, to make ganache, all you need is chocolate and cream. If your ganache is too runny, simply add a little more chocolate, and if it's too thin a little more cream. Seems simple enough, right? The problem with ganache in the lava cake is that it remains runny as the cook is trying to determine if the cake is cooked all the way through. It can be beyond frustrating. Thankfully, there's a solution. Set the ganache first.

Once your ganache has reached the right consistency, place the bowl in the refrigerator until the ganache sets up. Then, just as you would make truffles, scoop the ganache into a ball shape and then place it in your chocolate lava cake recipe at the same point that you would if it was melted chocolate. The chilled balls of ganache will slowly melt into the right consistency and help your cake have time to cook in the center, so you aren't left guessing if your lava cake is done.