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Smokin' Hot Molten Chocolate Lava Cake: A Chile and A Spoon Recipe Competition

The following Smokin' Hot Molten Chocolate Lava Cake is a recipe I have created for the Marx Foods "A Chile and A Spoon" contest. Marx Foods sent me a generous supply of chiles and I have been having so much fun experimenting with them. 

For the Smokin' Hot Molten Chocolate Lava Cake recipe, I chose the cascabel chiles, which rattle when shaken. These unique looking chiles piqued my curiosity the moment I saw them. The heat index is mild, but when the cascabel chiles are roasted their flavor intensifies.

After much experimentation, I've finally perfected the chile lava cake recipe and am excited to share it with you today. It's best to roast the chiles first, make the chocolate ganache icing, than prepare the cakes. Let's get started.

Marx-foods-chiles Thanks to for these amazing dried chiles!

Fresh Roasted Cascabel Chile Powder

The cascabel chiles need to be roasted in order to grind them into chile powder. Simply heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the stem from 2 cascabel chiles and place in the skillet. Heat the chiles until they become aromatic; about 7 to 8 minutes. When the chiles begin to sweat, remove from heat and transfer to a coffee grinder or food processor. Pulsate grinder until peppers are a medium-coarse grind. Store leftover chile powder in an airtight container and place in the pantry.

Visit for a detailed guide to roasting chile peppers and making your own chile powder.

Tip: To clean peppers from grinder, add 1 tablespoon white rice and pulsate until a fine grind. Dump rice powder and wipe grinder clean with a paper towel. I learned this trick from MarxFoods and it works really well!

Chocolate Ganache Icing

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Yield: 1/2 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Chop chocolate and place in a medium bowl.
2. In a small pan, heat heavy cream over medium-heat. Bring just to a boil. Keep a watchful eye to avoid scorching the cream.
3. Pour cream over chocolate and whisk until smooth. Set aside until cakes are ready to frost.

Smokin' Hot Molten Chocolate Lava Cake
Yield: 4 (6-ounce) Souffle Cakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 7 to 8 minutes

1 teaspoon butter (to grease souffle cups)
1 teaspoon cocoa powder (for dusting souffle dishes)
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoon cake flour
2 to 3 teaspoons cascabel chile powder (2 teaspoons is mild-medium heat, 3 teaspoons is smokin'-hot)
1 teaspoon cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Lightly butter bottom of each soufflé cup. Dust the bottom of each cup with cocoa powder. Tilt to coat and tap out excess cocoa.

3. Using a double-boiler, melt butter stick and chocolate.

4. While butter and chocolate are melting, add eggs, egg yolks, and sugar to a medium sized bowl. Using a handheld mixer, beat until light and thick.

5. Slowly add butter and chocolate mixture. Do not add all at once or the egg mixture will curdle. 

6. Add flour, chile powder, and cinnamon and mix well. 

7. Divide mixture between 4 (6-ounce) soufflé dishes. Each dish should be about half full.

8. Place dishes on baking dish and place in oven.

9. Bake until sides are set and center is soft; about 7 to 8 minutes. DO NOT over bake or the cakes will not have a molten liquid center.

10. Allow cakes to cool for 15 minutes.
11. Add 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons chocolate ganache icing per cake.
12. Grab a spoon and dig in!