David Lebovitz's Individual Chocolate Cakes

May  1, 2014

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.

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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.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Susana Oliveira
    Susana Oliveira
  • Katelinlee
  • Ren
  • Melissa
  • Megan


Susana O. November 7, 2014
too too sweet, won't do them again
Katelinlee May 7, 2014
I might be too late for the contest, but my favorite discovery lately is David's "Chocolate Idiot Cake."
Ren May 3, 2014
chocolate gelato
Melissa May 2, 2014
dark chocolate bars. I recently had a coconut toffee one - amazing.
Megan May 2, 2014
I love my chocolate salted cookies!
Jen May 2, 2014
dark chocolate and roasted unsalted almonds
SallyM May 2, 2014
choclate ice cream!
Merrill S. May 2, 2014
These sound divine.
Melissa May 2, 2014
anything chocolate! chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, a bar of dark chocolate!
Jen May 2, 2014
Fave indulgence is always the piece or two that somehow goes missing whenever I'm making a chocolate dessert...
Cristina S. May 2, 2014
I am pretty into Madecasse's Citrus & Pink Pepper dark chocolate at the moment.
Anders G. May 2, 2014
Insanely gooey chocolate chip cookies. All day.
minibakersupreme May 2, 2014
I love chocolate mousse, preferably Julia Child's recipe, with a little salt and vanilla added in for extra flavor!
mariana May 2, 2014
Anything made of chocolate, really.
Deb May 2, 2014
My husband's homemade chocolate chip cookies!
Valerie May 2, 2014
Double chocolate brownies.
deb O. May 2, 2014
DARK CHOCOLATE of the best quality. I really love the bars that come with some sea salt mixed in. DIVINE
Emma May 2, 2014
Chocolate chip cookies! Nothing exciting, but they always hit the spot!
DT May 2, 2014
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.
masapas May 2, 2014