Chocolate lava cakes

Bake gooey chocolate lava cakes bursting with a yuzu curd in this recipe by Sue Quinn from her book, The Little Chocolate Cookbook!

"The love child of a chocolate soufflé and a sponge cake, this version of a lava cake is filled with curd, and the citrus lends a fresh, bright note to what really is a very rich dessert. I’ve used yuzu, a citrus fruit popular in Japan, because I am obsessed with its lemon-lime-tangerine zing, and it’s now widely available. But I’ve also made it with lime juice with lovely results." Sue Quinn. 

The recipe makes more curd than you need, so store leftovers in the fridge for slathering on toast or swirling into Greek yogurt.

The Little Chocolate Cookbook Cover

This recipe is from The Little Chocolate Cookbook by Sue Quinn, Hardie Grant Books. Whether just for you, or for a friend who's a mad chocolate fan, this is the perfect gift. It's full of inspiration for all types of occasion and includes the perfect recipe whether you're new to baking, or an old hand! If you enjoy this delicious bake you can get the book from our online shop WITH an automatic 10% off just for being you, PLUS free UK P+P! 

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For the yuzu curd

  • 45ml yuzu juice (lime juice also works nicely)
  • 100g caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 25g cold unsalted butter, finely diced

For the cakes

  • 150g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 60g cocoa powder, plus an extra
  • 2–3 tbsp for dusting
  • 90g plain (all-purpose) flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 120g caster (superfine) sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tbsp cold espresso coffee vanilla ice cream or cream, to serve


First, make the curd. Place all the curd ingredients, except the butter, in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir constantly for 15 minutes until thick enough to cling to a wooden spoon; be careful not to overheat the mixture or it will curdle. Using a balloon whisk, whisk in the butter, bit by bit. Carefully take the bowl off the pan and set aside to cool to room temperature, then transfer to the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6. Butter 4 dariole moulds or ramekins with a 160-ml capacity, then dust with the 2–3 tablespoons cocoa, tipping out any excess, and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
Using a fork or balloon whisk, whisk the flour, remaining cocoa and salt together in a bowl to combine. Set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer or in a mixing bowl with electric beaters until pale and fluffy – this will take a good 5 minutes. Gradually beat in the eggs and then the espresso. Stir in the flour mixture until well incorporated. Fill each dariole mould one-third of the way up with batter. Make a well in the centre of each and fill with a heaped tablespoon of the curd. Cover completely with the remaining batter and smooth the tops.
Bake for 17–18 minutes until risen and springy to touch. Run a knife around the edges of the moulds, then invert onto plates and serve immediately with vanilla ice cream or cream.
Last updated 28 days ago

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