Molten chocolate cake

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Molten chocolate cake
Chocolate Fondant.jpg
Alternative namesLava cake, chocolate lava cake, molten chocolate lava cake
Place of originFrance
United States
Main ingredientsButter, eggs, sugar, chocolate

Molten chocolate cake is a popular dessert that combines the elements of a chocolate cake and a soufflé.[citation needed] Its name derives from the dessert's liquid chocolate center,[1] and it is also known as chocolate moelleux (from French for "soft"), chocolate lava cake, or simply lava cake.[2] It should not be confused with chocolate fondant, a recipe that contains little flour, but much chocolate and butter, hence melting on the palate (but not on the plate).[3]


The United States-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 disputes this, 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 texture. Regardless of who invented the dish, Vongerichten has been credited with popularizing it in the United States, and it became almost a de rigueur inclusion on high-end restaurant dessert menus.[2][4]


Chocolate lava cake smothered in chocolate sauce

Molten chocolate cakes characteristically contain five ingredients: butter, eggs, sugar, chocolate, and flour.[2] The butter and chocolate are melted together, while the eggs are either whisked with the sugar to form a thick paste, producing a denser pastry, or separated, with the white whipped into a meringue to provide more lift and a lighter result. A tablespoon of strong coffee is sometimes added to enhance the chocolate flavor. Vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon are additionally recommended in some cases to add extra flavor.[5]

The cakes are typically baked in individual portions in ramekins, or brioche molds. However, there are a number of creative variations in chocolate lava cakes or molten chocolate cakes such as preparing the cakes in a coffee or tea mug. The cake can also be prepared in a microwave oven instead of an oven in certain cases.[6]

A scoop of ice cream, fresh fruit, a drizzling of fruit and/or chocolate sauce, and dustings of powdered sugar are typical enhancements. A sprig of mint is sometimes used as a garnish.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Chocolate fondant". Retrieved 6 May 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Machlin, Sherri (23 August 2011). American Food by the Decades. ABC-CLIO. p. 226. ISBN 978-0-313-37699-3.
  3. ^ "Chocolate fondant". Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  4. ^ Josh Chetwynd (1 May 2012). How the Hot Dog Found Its Bun: Accidental Discoveries and Unexpected Inspirations That Shape What We Eat and Drink. Lyons Press. pp. 41–43. ISBN 978-0-7627-8529-2.
  5. ^ "Chef John's Chocolate Lava Cake". Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Chocolate Cake in a Mug". Food Network. Retrieved 14 April 2018.