Individual Chocolate Lava Cakes

Servings: 8 Cakes


  • 7/8 (3.5 oz) 60%Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bars
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 bars (8 oz) 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bars
  • 6 Tbsp Unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 3 Tbsp Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar (or 1 1/2 tsps white vinegar)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Powdered sugar for sprinkling (optional)


  • LAVA: Put the chocolate and salt in a small bowl.
  • Bring the milk to a simmer and pour it immediately over the chocolate. Shake the bowl to submerge the chocolate and cover it with plastic wrap for 3 minutes.
  • Uncover and whisk until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the butter and whisk until completely blended.
  • Refrigerate until the mixture is firm enough to scoop, 2 to 3 hours.
  • Use a spoon or small scoop to shape 8 balls; place them on a wax paper lined dish and put in the freezer until needed.
  • CAKES: Spray eight 6-ounce custard cups or ramekins with vegetable oil spray and coat them with sugar, tapping out the excess.
  • Put the chocolate, butter, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl (preferably stainless steel) and set it set directly in a wide skillet of almost simmering water. Stir frequently until the chocolate is almost entirely melted.
  • Remove the bowl from the skillet and stir to finish melting the chocolate.
  • Whisk the cocoa powder, flour, and 3 egg yolks into the warm chocolate. Set aside
  • In a large bowl, beat the 6 egg whites and cream of tartar (or vinegar) on medium speed until soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted.
  • Gradually beat in the sugar on high speed until the egg whites are stiff but not dry.
  • Fold one-quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Scrape the mixture over the remaining egg whites and fold just until incorporated.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the cups (being careful not to deflate it by extra mixing or handling).
  • Center a ball of lava on top of the batter in each cup. Push the lava into the batter until it is about ¼-inch below the surface of the surrounding batter (it should not touch the bottom of the cup). Spread the batter to cover the lava.
  • Cover cups with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the lower third.
  • Uncover and set cups on a baking sheet. Bake 13 to 15 minutes, until the cakes are puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center meets no resistance and emerges coated with a sauce that feels slightly warm when you touch it to your lip.
  • Let chocolate lava cakes rest for 3 minutes.
  • Run a thin knife around the inside of each cup, pressing against the sides to avoid tearing the cake. Cover each cup with a serving plate, invert and lift the cup off slowly. Dust molten lava cakes with a little bit of powdered sugar (if desired), and serve immediately

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