And so it began…

A year ago today, I met my boyfriend. So now seems as good a time as any to post a recipe that is very near and dear to my heart. CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKE!

And don’t worry! I’m not going to get all mushy gushy on you and brag about how he is the best boyfriend ever and how much I loooooove him (which he is and I do). I’m going to tell you about the story leading up to our first real date. How HE was the reason that I ended up in a neck brace, doped up on muscle relaxers for my 24th birthday. Where instead of going out to a bar surrounded by my closest friends getting ca-razy, I was nervously sitting next to his gorgeous face, trying to recover from spilling a glass of wine within the first ten minutes of dinner, and attempting to look sexy while eating jumbo crab legs (for the first time in my life).

A week prior to the glorious moment mentioned above, I was treated to a Napa Valley birthday vacation by my Momma! She had bid on a Napa vacation package at a silent auction and ended up winning at a fraction of what it normally would have cost. So we flew to the other side of the country to enjoy ourselves some fun, sun and of course, WINE!

We visited Old Faithful and the Tennessee Fainting Goats:

Took a ride on the Napa Valley Wine Train – featuring specialty Napa wines in their tasting car and a fabulous three course lunch. (I highly recommend doing this!!!!)

Left our hearts (and maybe our dignity) in San Francisco:

And finished up our week with a six hour wine tasting tour in a fancy schmancy sedan limo with plush leather seats:


It was during this wine tour that the “incident” occurred. We were headed to our 4th and final winery. My mom was enjoying the view of the passing vineyards and I was engrossed in a texting conversation with a guy I had been on a few dates with (my now boyfriend). I was in the middle of what was probably a very witty text when the next thing I know I’m being catapulted forward from my back seat. The driver “didn’t see” a stopped car in front of him and had to slam on the breaks. We went from 30 to 0 mph instantly and I became a projectile, slamming face first into the back of the driver’s seat! Did I mention I was sitting behind the passenger seat? My face hit first, turning my head sharply to the left, I slammed my knee directly into the center console and my arm twisted behind me. I don’t know if it was the shock and adrenaline or the fact that I was 5 hours deep in a wine tour but my initial reaction was to start laughing uncontrollably! My mom had seen what was happening and braced herself for impact and came out of it unscathed. After assessing my “wounds” it appeared I was fine as well – with a minor bruise on my left knee. Or so it seemed…

We flew home the next day and I went back to work that Monday. It wasn’t until 3 days later that things took a turn for the worse. I woke up and felt tingly all over my body; my neck was tight and hurt really badly. The whole morning I felt like I was drunk, like I was looking at my life from outside of my body. Needless to say, something was wrong. I went to the Doctor’s and it turns out that it took a few days for my neck to get swollen and it put pressure on a nerve so it was causing my body to be tingly. I left in a neck brace with a prescription for some serious muscle relaxers. I was under strict instructions NOT to drink. Welp, there goes my birthday celebration!

I messaged everyone to tell them that my crazy birthday party shenanigans were cancelled. I included this picture so everyone would know I wasn’t full of BS. AND maybe so they’d feel bad for me! At least a little bit!

SO – that Saturday night, on my birthday, I went over to the house of the guy I had been texting for our first “real” date. I was treated to a fantastic dinner of jumbo crab legs, salad, wine and chocolate lava cake! I was so impressed with this dessert. As it turns out it is incredibly easy to make and it tastes like chocolate heaven. Every time I make it I’m reminded of how we met, and where it all began.

But was it really my boyfriend’s fault that I was in that neck brace? Absolutely not. I just like to joke that it was. Had it not been for that accident, I wouldn’t have had to find alternate birthday plans and I may not be where I am today with my unbelievable boyfriend.  To sum it up, I think your takeaways from this story are:

  1. Always wear your seat belt
  2. You never know what fate has in store for you – sometimes great things come out of seemingly bad situations.
  3.  The recipe for CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKE


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Microwave 4 squares of semi-sweet chocolate and ½ cup butter until melted. Stir 1 cup of powdered sugar into the chocolate/butter mixture. In a separate bowl, beat 2 whole large eggs and 2 egg yolks together. Pour beaten eggs into chocolate/butter/sugar bowl and mix until combined. Lastly, stir in 6 TBSP flour.

Chocolate lava cakes are typically served in smaller, individual sizes. This recipe will make 4 lava cakes if you use a 1 cup sized ramekin, or 10 cakes if you use a muffin tin. Note: the individual bowls are best as they make taking the cake out of the bowl much easier! GREASE which ever sized oven safe bowl you choose and pour the batter into the bowl.

Bake for 13 to 14 minutes. You want the sides of the dessert to be firm, but the inside to be liquid (hence the word “lava”). Let cool 1 minute before inverting the bowl onto a dish to serve.

To get the dessert onto a plate, use a knife to cut around the edges of the cake then take a plate or bowl and place it on top of your dessert bowl. Like so:


On a count of three flip the bowl upside-down, making sure to keep the dessert bowl on the other bowl/plate at all times. (And you don’t really have to count to three)


If you did it correctly, when you lift the dessert bowl up, you’ll be left with a perfectly shaped lava cake!



I didn’t grease my bowl enough so a little part of the bottom got stuck inside of the bowl. BUT no one would ever notice it when you cover it up with a large scoop of vanilla bean ice cream!


This dessert is equally impressive as it is easy to make. Doesn’t it just look delicious??

One thought on “And so it began…

  1. Lisa, I so love your story on how your first date was with your boyfriend (sorry for your accident) and especially on how you’ve turned out to be a great baker!!!! Love your recipes and your page!! Please email me some of your best recipes!! Would love to try them!! Thanks!! Diane Gangi aka Di-Di (as Elizabeth used to call me)

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