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Decadent Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Lava Cakes. This absolute temptress of a dessert will make your heart melt… (pun intended!). When dark chocolate meets flaky sea salt, in the shape of irresistible cakes with a heart of warm dark chocolate flowing through the middle… I say: yes, please! Made with only 6 ingredients, this recipe is very easy to make. Perfect for a romantic dinner or just for a cozy evening at home.

Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Lava Cake with a warm chocolate heart melting on a blue plate with a spoon


Why this recipe works

  • The combination of dark chocolate (70%) and flaky sea salt is a match made in heaven. Sea salt balances dark chocolate’s bitterness and the sweetness of brown sugar.
  • This recipe is easy to make and requires only 6 ingredients. Plus, takes less than 30 minutes to make!
  • The batter can be made in advance and baked at the last minute. Perfect for when you are having guests over.

Flour in a cup, brown sugar in a cup, four free range eggs, unsalted butter, dark chocolate and sea salt on a wooden board

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The 6 ingredients you’ll need

  • Good quality dark chocolate – I think 70% cacao chocolate is the sweet spot in terms of both intensity and bitterness. But feel free to go stronger if this is what your heart longs for!
  • Unsalted cultured butter – to create the magic that only butter can create. Living in France, I have access to high-quality cultured churned butter. This is pretty much all we have access to. This kind of butter is higher in fat than some American butters and also more complex flavor-wise. I always recommend using cultured butter for better results if you can get your hands on it.
  • Light brown sugar – brings a delicate caramel-y taste to the lava cakes. This recipe, however, can be made equally delicious with regular granulated sugar.
  • Free-range eggs
  • All-purpose flour
  • Flaky sea salt – I really recommend flaky sea salt (also called “fleur de sel” in French) as its “saltiness” and astringency are milder than regular table salt. It is also more delicate in flavor and commonly used in French modern pastry.
Roughly chopped dark chocolate with a kitchen knife on a wooden board

What type of pan should you use?

I like using a muffin pan for 6 muffins. Alternatively, you can use ramekins.

How to make Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Lava Cake?

This recipe consists of 3 steps: melt the chocolate, prepare the batter, and bake the cakes.

To melt the chocolate:

  1. In a saucepan, add the butter and roughly chopped dark chocolate. Melt over very low heat (I recommend the lowest you can go on your stoves). I am not using a double boiler for this recipe for convenience purposes. A very low temperature is therefore important to “mimic” the gentleness of the double boiler.
  2. Stir with a wooden spoon from time to time, until glossy. 


Meanwhile, prepare the lava cake batter:

  1. Meanwhile, vigorously whisk together the eggs and sugar. Continue whisking until the batter is whiter and foamy, and most of the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Gently sift the flour in the mixture and whisk vigorously until there are no lumps.
  3. Add the melted chocolate and whisk until well combined. The mixture will thicken significantly at this stage, this is normal.
  4. When everything is combined, add the flaky sea salt.

dark chocolate batter in a bowl with a whisk and a pinch of flaky sea salt

To bake the lava cakes:

  1. Generously coat the muffin pan with room-temperature butter. 
  2. Transfer the lava cake batter to the muffin pan. You can fill the cups entirely as the cakes will barely rise. 
  3. Bake the lava cakes for 7 minutes in a preheated oven at 430°F (220°C). Wait 2 minutes before removing from the pan (it will allow the outer layer to harden and avoid any spilling of warm gooey chocolate hearts).
  4. Remove from the pan and serve immediately. Sprinkle some optional flaky sea salt on top just before serving. 

Nim Keys – Useful Tips

  1. Make sure to melt the chocolate and butter at the lowest temperature available on your stoves. Yes, it will take more time but it will ensure that your chocolate is glossy, adequately tempered, and not overly heated (which often results in an accentuated bitterness).
  2. The baking temperature for this recipe is 430°F (220°C). It may seem a lot but it will allow for the lava cakes to be cooked on the outside and runny with warm dark chocolate on the outside. Feel free to adjust the cooking time according to your oven’s specificities. Of all the tests I made, 7 minutes was the perfect baking time for my oven.
  3. Wait 2 minutes before removing the lava cakes from the muffin pan. It will allow the outer layer of the cakes to harden and avoid a spilling of warm gooey chocolate hearts.
  4. Lava cakes are meant to be baked at the last minute (just before serving) for the warm chocolate heart to be at the perfect consistency. If baked in advance, the heart will harden which is not what we want in a lava cake.

close-up of dark chocolate lava cake with the warm chocolate heart melting on a plate

FAQ

Can I make these Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Lava Cakes ahead of time?

Sure, can! After making the batter, fill the muffin pan. Then cover with cling film and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Bake according to the recipe instructions when you are ready to enjoy them!

Can I freeze these lava cakes?

Yes! Bake the lava cakes for 5 minutes at 430°F (220°C) and let them cool down completely. Remove them from the muffin pan and place them in a heavy-duty ziplock bag. Freeze for up to 2 months. Reheat in a preheated oven at 430°F (220°C) for 10 minutes.

What to serve these Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Lava Cakes with?

When they are in season, I love serving these lava cakes with fresh raspberries. This is a must! Fresh blackcurrants are fantastic to pair with this recipe too, but more difficult to find. Fresh blueberries work well too!

Other Delicious French-Inspired Recipes


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Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Lava Cake on a plate with heart melting

Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Lava Cakes

Decadent Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Lava Cakes. This absolute temptress of a dessert will make your heart melt… (pun intended!). When dark chocolate meets flaky sea salt, in the shape of irresistible cakes with a heart of warm dark chocolate flowing through the middle... I say: yes, please! Made with only 6 ingredients, this recipe is very easy to make. Perfect for a romantic dinner or just for a cozy evening at home.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 18 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 6 lava cakes

EQUIPEMENT

  • Mixing Bowl
  • Whisk
  • Saucepan

INGREDIENTS
 

  • 7 ounces (200 g) 70% dark chocolate roughly chopped
  • cup (70 g) unsalted butter cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) cubes, plus more at room temperature for coating the muffin pan
  • cup (70 g) light brown sugar
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 6 ½ tablespoons (50 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon (3 g) flaky sea salt (also called fleur de sel in French), plus more to serve

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat the oven to 430°F (220°C).
  • In a saucepan, add the butter and dark chocolate. Melt over very low heat (I recommend the lowest you can go on your stoves).
  • Stir with a wooden spoon from time to time, until glossy.
  • Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, vigorously whisk together the eggs and sugar. Continue whisking until the batter is whiter and foamy, and most of the sugar has dissolved.
  • Gently sift the flour into the mixing bowl and whisk vigorously until there are no lumps.
  • Add the melted chocolate and whisk until well combined. The mixture will thicken significantly at this stage, this is normal.
  • When everything is combined, add the flaky sea salt.
  • Generously coat the muffin pan with room-temperature butter.
  • Transfer the lava cake batter to the muffin tins. You can fill the cups entirely as the cakes will barely rise.
  • Bake for 7 minutes then wait 2 minutes before removing from the pan.
  • Remove from the pan and serve immediately. Sprinkle some optional flaky sea salt on top just before serving.

NIM KEYS - USEFUL TIPS

  1. Make sure to melt the chocolate and butter at the lowest temperature available on your stoves. Yes, it will take more time but it will ensure that your chocolate is glossy, adequately tempered, and not overly heated (which often results in an accentuated bitterness).
  2. The baking temperature for this recipe is 430°F (220°C). It may seem a lot but it will actually allow for your lava cakes to be cooked on the outside and runny with warm dark chocolate on the outside. Feel free to adjust the cooking time according to your oven's specificities. Of all the tests I made, 7 minutes was the perfect baking time for my oven.
  3. Wait 2 minutes before removing the lava cakes from the muffin pan. It will allow the outer layer of the cakes to harden and avoid any spilling of warm gooey chocolate hearts.
  4. Lava Cakes are meant to be baked at the last minute (just before serving) for the warm chocolate heart to be at the perfect consistency. If baked in advance, the heart will harden which is not what we want in a lava cake.

NUTRITION

Calories: 406kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 7gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 137mgSodium: 247mgPotassium: 305mgFiber: 4gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 486IUCalcium: 55mgIron: 5mg
Keyword dark chocolate and sea salt lava cakes, dark chocolate lava cakes, molten cakes
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