Coulants au chocolat

Coulants au chocolat

By
From
Paris Pastry Club
Serves
4
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

When it comes to these coulants au chocolat (chocolate lava cakes), I have a secret inspired by the method we use in restaurants. A little secret. I always make extra ganache for the melting hearts, which I pipe into small balls and freeze until needed for up to three months.

If you have already made the ganache hearts, all you’ll have to make is the batter. You can also make the whole thing one day ahead. Just pipe the batter into buttered rings, insert the ganache spheres and keep chilled overnight for a fuss-free dinner party dessert.

For the ganache hearts

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
80g caster sugar
160g whipping cream
60g glucose syrup
sea salt
75g milk chocolate

For the cakes

Quantity Ingredient
90g dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
70g butter
2 eggs
70g caster sugar
30g plain flour, sieved

Method

  1. First make the ganache hearts. In a medium pan, caramelise the sugar over low heat. In the meantime, bring the cream, glucose syrup and salt to the boil, then set aside. When the caramel is golden-brown, take off the heat, and whisk in the hot cream, a little at a time. It will splash, so be very careful.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
  3. Pour the caramel cream over the melted chocolate, one-third at a time, stirring well with a rubber spatula after each addition.
  4. Pour the mixture into a plastic piping bag and snip off the tip. Pipe the ganache into small half-sphere moulds or into a silicone ice-cube tray. Freeze for 4 hours or overnight.
  5. Once frozen, unmould. If you are using half-sphere moulds, stick 2 halves together to form balls (roughly the size of a walnut). Keep in the freezer while you get on with the batter.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut 4 strips of baking paper measuring 7 x 20 cm. Butter four 6 cm metal rings and line each one with a strip of paper so that the paper forms a collar above the ring. Arrange them on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  7. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. You want the chocolate to feel warm but not too hot.
  8. Whisk the eggs and caster sugar together in a separate bowl until light and fluffy. Once the mixture has reached the ribbon stage (when the mixture flows from your whisk held over the bowl into what looks like a folded ribbon), drizzle in the melted chocolate, beating until thoroughly mixed. Add the flour and mix gently until just combined.
  9. Pipe or spoon the batter into the 4 prepared rings, filling each slightly more than halfway up. Gently push 1 frozen ganache sphere into the cake batter, taking care not to reach the base. Pipe a bit more cake batter on top, just to cover the ganache. Repeat with the remaining rings.
  10. Bake for 12 minutes, then remove from the oven and leave for a couple of minutes before unmoulding. Carefully lift each cake from the rings using the paper collars and transfer to 4 serving plates. Peel off the paper strip and serve immediately.

Making ganache

  • Ganache is a fancy name for a mixture of chocolate and some kind of liquid, which can either be cream, milk or even water.

    To make the most perfect ganache, here is one trick that never fails. First, always melt the chocolate. Then bring your liquid to the boil and pour it over the melted chocolate, one-third at a time, stirring well with a rubber spatula after each addition.

    Once the ganache is ready, allow it to set at room temperature before transferring to the fridge. And make sure you cover the surface with clingfilm to avoid a skin forming.
Tags:
Paris Pastry Club
Fanny
Zanotti
French
Paris
Parisian
baking
baker
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