Ooh La La French Molten Cake

Excerpted from Mollie Katzen’s Chocolate Eclipse

Don’t be put off by the fancy name of this cake - it’s the easiest thing I’ve ever made and took literally 15 mins to assemble. I served it for my mother-in-law’s birthday dinner and wish I had a fancier 9x13 baking dish. I used a glass lasagne pan so even if it didn’t look great - it was beyond outstanding.  Basically it’s a moist and fudgy chocolate cake.

I served it with a choice of coconut sorbet or vanilla gelato.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate together
  3. In a separate saucepan, heat buttermilk or kefir gently until just a little warmer than body temperature (don't boil or cook it). Remove from heat, and combine with chocolate mixture and vanilla.
  4. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, 1 cup of the brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well (use your hands, if necessary) to break up any little lumps of brown sugar, making as uniform a mixture as possible. Stir in chocolate chips
  5. Pour in the wet ingredients, and stir until well combined. Spread into the prepared pan.
  6. Combine the remaining 1 1/4 cups brown sugar with the unsweetened cocoa in a small bowl. Sprinkle this mixture as evenly as possible over the top of the batter.
  7. Pour the boiling water on top of everything in the pan. It will look terrible, and you will not believe you are actually doing this, but try to persevere.
  8. Place immediately in the preheated oven. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the center is firm to the touch.
  9. Cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Invert each serving on a plate so that the fudge sauce on the bottom becomes a topping. Serve hot or at room temperature (best after about 2 hours)


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate (Ghirardelli or Guittard)
  • 2 cups buttermilk or kefir (I used nonfat plain kefir)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups brown sugar (If you use Dominos this is a 16-ounce box - just be sure to follow the directions below because you’re not using all of the brown sugar at once)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli or Guittard)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (Ghirardelli or Guittard or Droste)
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water
Carolee WalkerComment