Heavenly gluten-free Valentine’s Day recipe:Michel Bras molten chocolate cake

P1020379A Bras signature dessert, the molten chocolate cake or “coulant au chocolat” is a heavenly dish and a gluten-free delight! It holds a core of molten chocolate, which will come out as a surprise when the cake crust is broken. Michel was inspired by

an emotional experience:on a freezing day,coming home with the family after skiing, everyone sat in silence around the table.Then after a cup of hot chocolate, the atmosphere magically warmed up with smiles and laughter.Top it with ice cream to enjoy this hot and cold story.”For me, this warm cake is the most flavorful of all, and perfect for winter, a promise for happy faces around the table.”

The individual molten chocolate cake or lava cake actually became popular after Michel Bras created and patented  this chocolate coulant  in 1981.Bras restaurant has been serving various versions of it ever since. This original recipe provides the perfect contrast between hot and cold, and a delicious cookie crust with a melting ganache inside.The recipe is not as difficult as it seems, but requires preparation and attention to details. Preparing the molds accordingly, placing the ganache core right in the middle of the cake, and filling the molds evenly with enough thickness at the bottom to avoid any leaking, are keys to success. Following the 2 freezing steps makes it easier to get a perfect result. A magical dessert to melt with your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day!

Must be prepared at least a day before serving. Requires attention to details.



1 cup (200 g) whipping cream

4 tbsp (50 g) butter

4 oz. (115 g) couverture chocolate

1/4 cup (6 cl) water


6 tbsp (80g) butter

1/2 cup (50g) cocoa powder


2 eggs, separated

4 oz. (115 g) couverture chocolate

4 tbsp (50 g) butter

7 tbsp (90 g) sugar

6 tbsp (40 g) powdered almonds

6 tbsp (40 g) rice flour or corn starch (both are gluten-free!)

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Vanilla ice cream

EQUIPMENT : Double boiler, 6 metal ring molds 2 in.(45 mm), 6 metal ring molds 21/4 in.×13/4 in. (55 ×45 mm), electric mixer, parchment paper, pastry bag, pastry brush, baking sheet, spatula, whisk, plus a grater or a julienne for the final touch to decorate.



Chocolate core: to be prepared 1 day ahead

Melt the chocolate pieces, cream, butter and water over a double boiler. Allow the mixture to set about 15 min. Fill the six 2 in. (45mm) molds and set in the freezer. You can use any type of mold with the same dimension such as aluminum cups or an ice cube mold. You could also double the proportions and put the mixture in one large mold with high sides. The chocolate should then be cut into circles 11/2 in. (3,5 cm) thick and about 13/4 (4 cm) diameter.

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Preparing the molds :

Be precise in this step in order to secure an easier unmolding of the cakes. Cut the parchment paper into 12×3 inch strips. Brush them with melted butter and line the inside of the 6 cake rings with a double layer of parchment.

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Dust the insides of the molds with cocoa powder by dipping them in a large bowl of cocoa powder, making sure they are evenly coated. Tap to remove any excess. Put them on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Assembling the cake more than 6 hours before serving

Unmold the chocolate cores and put them back in the freezer.

Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Melt the chocolate pieces in a double boiler. Remove from the heat to let cool. Add softened butter, powdered almonds, rice flour, and egg yolks. Mix well. Beat the egg whites and add the sugar. Gently fold them into the mixture.

Set the lined molds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.In case molds’  bottom is uneven,place them in individual cup molds or wrap the bottom with baking sheet to avoid any leaking.

Using a pastry bag, put some cake batter at the bottom of each mold, about 3/4 in. deep.

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Place a frozen chocolate core in the middle. You can pick it with a knife to better adjust its position.

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Fill the molds with the batter evenly, from the sides to the top, and smooth the top. Freeze at least for 6 hours.

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Just before serving

Bake the frozen cakes on a parchment lined baking sheet for 20-24 min according to your oven, at 350F (180℃). Slide a skewer into the cake to check doneness. It should come out warm.

Unmold carefully, and gently remove the paper strips. You can use a palette knife to transfer the cake to the plate safely. Set the cake on a plate


You can decorate by grating orange peel (above with a Michel BRAS julienne),


and/or grating chocolate or nuts (with a Michel BRAS grater above http://www.braskai.net/en/products/tools/grater/).

Top it with a half scoop of ice cream. coulant

Don’t let it cool down too much or the melting core might harden…

You can enjoy various presentations by adding syrup, sauces or nuts, dusting powder milk, sugar or cocoa, or adding fruits on the side. Bon appétit!


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