I love this magical time of year. It’s all about giving, celebrating and community. Oh, and did I mention eating?

We move from lavish Turkey dinners to baking gorgeous holiday cookies to Hanukkah feasts and Christmas hams. Nothing is off-limits for these brief few months as we attempt to get through the dark afternoons and blustery weather.

In the spirit of indulgence and celebration, I offer my recipe for my most favorite dessert of all: molten chocolate lava cake. Cake on the outside hides an irresistible, gooey, warm melted chocolate center.

They’re so easy to make and, depending upon how you top them, they can be as fancy or as simple as you like. Think ice cream, homemade whipped cream, raspberries, cocoa powder — the possibilities are endless!

Sadie Davis-Suskind’s molten chocolate lava cake hides a gooey center. (Rebecca Davis-Suskind)
Sadie Davis-Suskind’s molten chocolate lava cake hides a gooey center. (Rebecca Davis-Suskind)

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

Equipment:
Four 6-ounce ramekins
Two small mixing bowls
Double boiler

Ingredients:
6 ounces high-quality semisweet chocolate (not chocolate chips!)
½ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup powdered sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
Cocoa powder for dusting

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1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

2. Take your ramekins and spray them with nonstick cooking spray (canola or olive oil will work) or butter them lightly. Dust the containers with cocoa powder. Place them onto a baking sheet.

3. Chop your chocolate bar into coarse pieces. In a double boiler, over simmering water, melt the butter with the chocolate and stir until melted and combined. Or, if you prefer to use a microwave, place the chocolate and butter into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high in 5- to 10-second periods, stirring the mixture until it is smooth.

4. Mix your flour, sugar and salt together with a whisk. In another small bowl, whisk together your eggs and the yolks. Gently pour both bowls into your melted chocolate and gently combine together.

5. Carefully pour the mixture into your prepared ramekins.

6. Put your baking sheet with the ramekins into the oven and bake for about 12 to 14 minutes or until the sides of the cakes are firm but the centers are soft.

7. Let the cakes cool in the ramekins for one minute. Then, cover each ramekin with an inverted dessert plate. Carefully turn each one over, let stand for 10 seconds and then unmold. Add toppings of your choice and serve immediately!

Enjoy!