Molten chocolate cake
|Alternative name(s)||Lava cake, chocolate lava cake, chocolate fondant pudding, molten chocolate lava cake|
|Type||Flourless chocolate cake|
|Main ingredient(s)||Butter, eggs, sugar, chocolate|
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (November 2010)|
Molten chocolate cake or lava cake is a popular dessert that combines the elements of a flourless chocolate cake (sometimes called a chocolate decadence cake) and a soufflé. Some other names used are chocolate fondant pudding, chocolate moelleux and chocolate lava cake.
The US-based chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten claims to have invented molten chocolate cake in New York City in 1987, but the French chef and chocolatier Jacques Torres has disputed that claim, arguing that such a dish already existed in France. According to Vongerichten, he pulled a chocolate sponge cake from the oven before it was done and found that the center was still runny, but was warm and had both a good taste and a good texture. Regardless of who invented the dish, Vongerichten has been credited with popularizing it in the United States, and it is now almost a de rigueur inclusion on high-end restaurant dessert menus.
Molten lava cakes are always baked in ramekin dishes and have four main ingredients: butter, eggs, sugar, and chocolate. The butter and chocolate are melted together, while the eggs are either whisked with the sugar to form a thick paste, producing a denser finished product; or are separated so the egg whites can be whipped into an egg foam to provide more lift (and thus a lighter cake) when the mixture is baked.
Rather than presenting only the cake itself in a ramekin or on a plate, the baker may choose to make the cake more appealing. Fresh raspberries, a drizzling of raspberry and/or chocolate sauce, and dustings of powdered sugar may be added to enhance flavor, or a sprig of mint may look more appealing as well. For a more intense chocolate taste, the baker may also add a tablespoon of strong coffee.