[Michel Bras Recipe] Christmas special – MOLTEN CHOCOLATE CAKE (Le biscuit de chocolat coulant)

This chocolate cake holds a core of molten chocolate, which will come out as a surprise when the cookie crust is broken, running onto the plate. For me, this warm cake is the most flavorful of all, and perfect for winter, promising happy faces around the table.

chocolate coulant with ice cream

Did you know that the original idea for individual molten chocolate cakes came from Michel Bras? He patented it in 1981, and his restaurant has been serving various versions since then. This original recipe provides the perfect contrast between a delicious cookie crust and a melting ganache inside. Why not celebrate Christmas with this magical treat that will surprise and delight everyone around the table? The recipe is not as difficult as it seems, but requires attention to details. Preparing the molds accordingly, placing the ganache core right in the middle of the cake, and filling the molds evenly with enough thickness at the bottom to avoid any leaking, are keys to success. Following the 2 freezing steps makes it easier to get a perfect result. Enjoy a melting sweet Christmas with your loved ones!


Must be prepared at least a day before serving. Requires attention to details.



1 cup (200 g) whipping cream

4 tbsp (50 g) butter

4 oz. (115 g) couverture chocolate

1/4 cup (6 cl) water

coulant chocolate core ingredients


1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar

1 tsp (20 g) glucose

1/4 cup (50 g) water

2 tsp (13 g) coffee extract


6 tbsp (80g) butter

1/2 cup (50g) cocoa powder


2 eggs, separated

4 oz. (115 g) couverture chocolate

4 tbsp (50 g) butter

7 tbsp (90 g) sugar

6 tbsp (40 g) powdered almonds

6 tbsp (40 g) rice flour

coulant cake ingredients


Vanilla ice cream

EQUIPMENT : Double boiler, 6 metal ring molds 2 in.(45 mm), 6 metal ring molds 21/4 in.×13/4 in. (55 ×45 mm), electric mixer, parchment paper, pastry bag, pastry brush, baking sheet, spatula, whisk.


Chocolate core: to be prepared 1 day ahead

Melt the chocolate pieces, cream, butter and water over a double boiler. Allow the mixture to set about 15 min. Fill the six 2 in. (45mm) molds and set in the freezer. You can use any type of mold with the same dimension such as aluminum cups or an ice cube mold. You could also double the proportions and put the mixture in one large mold with high sides. The chocolate should then be cut into circles 11/2 in. (3,5 cm) thick and about 13/4 (4 cm) diameter.

coulant chocolate core liquid
coulant chocolate core preparation

Caramel sauce :

Caramelize the sugar with the glucose. Deglaze with water and coffee extract, making sure all the caramel is loosened from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil to obtain an even consistency. Set aside.

Preparing the molds :

Be precise in this step in order to secure an easier unmolding of the cakes. Cut the parchment paper into 12×3 inch strips. Brush them with melted butter and line the inside of the 6 cake rings with a double layer of parchment. Dust the insides of the molds with cocoa powder by dipping them in a large bowl of cocoa powder, making sure they are evenly coated. Tap to remove any excess. Put them on a parchment lined baking sheet.

unmolding chocolate coulant cake
unmolding chocolate coulant cake 2
prepared mold for chocolate coulant

Assembling the cake more than 6 hours before serving

Unmold the chocolate cores and put them back in the freezer.

Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Melt the chocolate pieces in a double boiler. Remove from the heat to let cool. Add softened butter, powdered almonds, rice flour, and egg yolks. Mix well. Beat the egg whites and add the sugar. Gently fold them into the mixture.

Set the lined molds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Using a pastry bag, put some cake batter at the bottom of each mold, about 3/4 in. deep. Place a frozen chocolate core in the middle. You can pick it with a knife to better adjust its position. Fill the molds with the batter evenly, from the sides to the top, and smooth the top. Freeze at least for 6 hours.

filling molds for chocolate coulant cake
chocolate coulant core in cake to bake
chocolate coulant ready to be baked

Just before serving

Bake the frozen cakes on a parchment lined baking sheet for 20-24 min according to your oven, at 350F (180℃). Slide a skewer into the cake to check doneness. It should come out warm.

baked chocolate coulant

Unmold carefully, and gently remove the paper strips. You can use a palette knife to transfer the cake to the plate safely. Set the cake on a plate and top it with a half scoop of ice cream. Decorate with a line of caramel sauce, and nuts or powder sugar if you wish.

ice cream on top of chocolate coulant
ice cream on top of chocolate coulant
chocolate coulant ready and molten

You can enjoy various presentations by adding sauces or nuts, dusting powder milk, sugar or cocoa, or adding fruits on the side.