Okay so since Valentine's day is just around the corner, I decided to go out on a limb and create something entirely different. No, there's no chocolate or strawberries but this might be even better: Thai tea molten lava cake! The original chocolate molten lava cake is a little too indulgent for my tastebuds so I decided to swap the flavors, using Thai influences. What I ended up with was a coconut cake oozing with Thai tea custard. Don't get me wrong, this dessert is still sweet. But since it has Thai tea custard, I'm willing to overlook it.
Thai Tea Molten Lava Cake
Thai tea custard
- 1 cup milk (250 ml)
- 1 tablespoon Thai tea leaves
- 2 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ cup butter, softened (113 grams)
- ¼ cup coconut oil, unrefined (56 grams)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (200 grams)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup coconut milk (125 ml)
- 2 ounces shredded sweetened coconut (57 grams)
- Toasted coconut for garnish optional
- Powdered sugar for serving optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 6 4-ounce ramekins with butter and dust with flour, shaking off the excess.
- Make the Thai tea custard filling. Simmer 1 cup milk over low heat until warm. Add the Thai tea leaves and continue to simmer on low for 5 minutes. The milk should barely be bubbling. Turn off the heat and let the milk sit for 10 minutes. Strain, discarding the tea leaves.
- Whisk the 2 egg yolks with sugar, a pinch of salt, and cornstarch until well combined. Slowly add the warm infused milk, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the pot and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Continue to simmer until the custard thickens, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and transfer to a clean bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on top of the custard and let cool completely in the fridge until firm.
- Make the coconut cake. Beat together the butter and coconut oil with sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure it's fully incorporated before adding the next egg. Add the vanilla, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and coconut milk, mixing just until combined. Fold in the shredded sweetened coconut.
- Fill the prepared ramekins about ¼ full with the coconut cake batter. Scoop 2 tablespoons of the Thai tea custard in the center and fill the ramekin about ¾ full with more coconut cake batter, making sure to completely cover the custard.
- Bake the Thai tea molten cakes for 15-17 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and the edges have fully set. The center will be slightly jiggly. Remove the cakes from the oven and carefully invert them onto plates. Top with toasted coconut and powdered sugar if desired. Serve warm.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Chocolate molten lava cakes are really easy to make. You just make the cake batter, put it in ramekins, and bake until the outside is done but the inside is still gooey. This Thai tea molten lava cake requires a couple of extra steps since we have two different flavors, coconut, and Thai tea.
First, make the Thai tea custard. Infuse the milk with Thai tea leaves by simmering the milk on low with the leaves for 5 minutes. You don't want the milk to be boiling, in fact, it should barely be bubbling. Let the mixture sit for another 10 minutes off the heat, then strain and discard the leaves.
Finish the custard by whisking the infused milk with sugar, egg yolks, a pinch of salt, and cornstarch. Bring the mixture back to a simmer over low heat, cooking until the custard begins to thicken. Keep whisking the custard while it's cooking so that the eggs don't curdle. Once the custard is done, let it cool completely. Continue to chill the custard in the fridge until it's firm. You can also make the custard the day before.
Now let's move on to the coconut cake. To impart as much coconut flavor into the cake, we're going to add coconut oil, coconut milk, and shredded sweetened coconut to the batter.
Cream the butter and coconut oil with the sugar until it's light and fluffy. If your coconut oil is hard, pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds or so until it begins to soften up. Add the eggs, then the vanilla, the dry ingredients, and coconut milk. Make sure not to overmix the cake batter or the cakes can end up tough. Fold in the shredded coconut and the batter is ready to go.
Now it's time to assemble. Fill the greased and floured ramekins about ¼ full with the cake batter. Then, put 2 tablespoon of the Thai tea custard right in the center. Cover the custard completely with more cake batter, filling the ramekin about ¾ full.
Bake the Thai molten lava cakes in the oven at 375 for 15-17 minutes or until the edges have set but the center is slightly jiggly. Usually, molten lava cakes bake at a high temperature for a short period of time so that the center stays gooey. However, since we filled the center with custard, we want most of the cake to be baked, hence the lower oven temperature.
Once the cakes are ready, immediately invert it onto a plate and pop out the lava cake. Sprinkle toasted coconut and powdered sugar on top and dig right in. The Thai tea custard should ooze right out of the warm cake. You might even get a little runny coconut cake which is completely fine!
I'm a big fan of Thai tea so you can guess that I thoroughly enjoyed this Thai tea molten lava cake. Something a little different, sure, but still so delicious!
For more cake inspiration check out this hojicha roll cake!