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David Lebovitz's Individual Chocolate Cakes

By • May 1, 2014 • 129 Comments

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All week long David Lebovitz -- professional cook, baker, and blogger -- will be sharing recipes from his new book, My Paris Kitchen. Follow along to win one of six copies we're giving away -- and find out why Paris really is always a good idea.

Today: Dessert, just the way we like it -- personalized, with a molten surprise inside.

Because of the sticky dulce de leche in the bottom of these cakes, I use standard 4-ounce porcelain ramekins and serve them right in the ramekins. But you can use any kind of ovenproof custard cup for this recipe; the mixture will rise a bit in the oven, but not enough to overflow. 

Do be sure to let the cakes cool for at least 5 minutes before serving, and let guests know the little molds are still hot. To cool things down, serve these with a scoop of vanilla or coffee ice cream, or pass a pitcher of cold, heavy cream for guests to help themselves. 

You can find dulce de leche at well-stocked supermarkets or stores that specialize in Mexican and South American products, or try making your own.

Individual Chocolate Cakes with Dulce de Leche and Fleur de Sel 

Serves 6

8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for the ramekins
6 generous tablespoons dulce de leche (see note)
1 scant teaspoon flaky sea salt, preferably fleur de sel
8 ounces (225 grams) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons (90 grams) packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs 

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

We're giving away a little piece of Paris every day this week! To enter to win today's copy of My Paris Kitchen, tell us in the comments: What's your favorite chocolate indulgence? We'll pick six winners at random this Friday, May 2nd!

Photos excerpted from the book My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz. © 2014 by David Lebovitz. Reprinted by permission of Ten Speed Press. All rights reserved.

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Tags: david lebovitz, chocolate cake, molten, individual, dulce de leche, fleur de sel, desserts, my paris kitchen

Comments (129)


4 months ago Katelinlee

I might be too late for the contest, but my favorite discovery lately is David's "Chocolate Idiot Cake."


5 months ago Ren

chocolate gelato


5 months ago Melissa

dark chocolate bars. I recently had a coconut toffee one - amazing.


5 months ago Megan

I love my chocolate salted cookies!


5 months ago Jen

dark chocolate and roasted unsalted almonds


5 months ago SallyM

choclate ice cream!


5 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

These sound divine.


5 months ago Melissa

anything chocolate! chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, a bar of dark chocolate!


5 months ago Jen

Fave indulgence is always the piece or two that somehow goes missing whenever I'm making a chocolate dessert...


5 months ago cristinasciarra

I am pretty into Madecasse's Citrus & Pink Pepper dark chocolate at the moment.


5 months ago Anders G. Gustafson

Insanely gooey chocolate chip cookies. All day.


5 months ago clementinebakes

I love chocolate mousse, preferably Julia Child's recipe, with a little salt and vanilla added in for extra flavor!


5 months ago mariana

Anything made of chocolate, really.


5 months ago Deb

My husband's homemade chocolate chip cookies!


5 months ago Valerie

Double chocolate brownies.


5 months ago deb oswald

DARK CHOCOLATE of the best quality. I really love the bars that come with some sea salt mixed in. DIVINE


5 months ago Emma

Chocolate chip cookies! Nothing exciting, but they always hit the spot!


5 months ago DT

David, please enlighten us about the great divide between French versus American food photography. As a Top Chef France enthusiast and recent subscriber to your feed, I now find the literal mutilation of these fondants au chocolat a bit jarring. Ghislaine Arabian would not be pleased. I hear her saying, “ C’est pas elegant, ça donne pas envie.”… I recently showed my French office mate at food blog of a North American friend. She was not impressed by the whole rustic look. She said, “non, c’est pas assez fin pour moi.” I am convinced that the American –French divide in food photography aesthetics is massive. Is it about accessibility? I admit my Pierre Hermé tome has yet to be cooked from.


5 months ago masapas



5 months ago Eliza Lathrop

My new favorite chocolate indulgence is the recipe I got here for Chocolate Guinness cheesecake! Had it for my birthday this year; it was so good!