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There is nothing quite like the dark. In the dark you can hide all manner of sins and indiscretions. The dark is where our deepest yearnings live, those much too black to bring out into the light of day. Those things so unspeakably pleasurable that we never dare let the words loose from our lips — even in a whisper. The secret life of the dark, can be exhilarating, damning, or take us down a path that’s inescapable.

This is true of cocoa too.

As black as midnight — cocoa

The Darker the Cocoa the More Thrilling the Taste

The Black Onyx Cocoa I received from Savory Spice Shop was as black as coal and as deeply rich as you might expect. Black cocoa is cocoa that has been through an alkalization process (the same way Dutch cocoa has) except that it’s been alkalized to the extreme, resulting in a super-rich, super-dark, cocoa powder that is the stuff of chocoholic fantasy. If you are a chocolate lover, you gotta hit the hard stuff — but I warn you, once you go black you never go back.


Because black cocoa has less fat than its natural counterpart, it can result in a drier product when baking. As a result many recipes that use black cocoa will only replace half of their cocoa powder with black — but NOT on this blog. This  is 100% black gold, my friends. Pure, unadulterated cocoa pleasure. To use your black cocoa un-cut, you need to either increase the fat in your recipe (in order to retain moisture) or as I did here, pick a super moist recipe to compliment the cocoa. Lava cakes are the ideal vehicle for this midnight burnished ingredient, as they are ooey and gooey by nature and thus well-suited.

Served warm and drippingly soft in their core, these dark beauties are perfect, nestled against the cool alabaster velvet of sensual, vanilla bean ice cream and the tarty freshness of homemade crimson-hued raspberry sauce, making for a stunning visual and even more decadent flavor.

Dark Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes with Black Onyx Cocoa

(*BONUS: These little beauties are flourless and therefore, gluten-free!*)

  • 4 Tbsp (or half a stick) butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar + more for dusting
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup of cocoa
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 400°F

Butter an extra-large cup muffin tin or a set of individual ramekins and dust with sugar (the way you would flour a cake pan.)

Mix cocoa, baking powder and salt.

Cream butter and sugar. Then beat in eggs, one at a time.

Once eggs are fully mixed in, turn mixer to low setting and add dry ingredients, a bit at a time until completely mixed.

Pour into ramekins or cupcake tin and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until tops of cakes just barely set but still look just slightly gooey. The key with these cakes is that you don’t want to over-bake them but you also don’t want to under-bake them. Remember, if you want a perfect lava cake you should still see a little glossiness on top but if the pan you wiggle, the cakes shouldn’t jiggle.

Remove from the oven and let cool for about 8 minutes before removing them from baking pans. Serving them upside down and for dazzling effect, split in half or just opened a peek to allow the lava to ooze.

Happy Eating!

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