This ambrosial minicake is absolute chocolate in two forms: a warm, molten center surrounded by a tender, protective shell. Despite its intensity, however, it has nothing of the heaviness of Mississippi Mud Pie or the ubiquitous flourless chocolate cake. Perhaps that’s why it’s one of the most copied desserts in American restaurants.–Jean-Georges Vongerichten
LC Trivia Note
These cakes were reputedly created when Vongerichten was creating a new dessert recipe and pulled them out of the oven too soon. When he cut into one, instead of the dense crumb he expected, a center of molten chocolate oozed out. He knew a good thing when he saw, and tasted, it. And so a classic was born.
Molten Chocolate Cake Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 40 M
- Makes 4 cakes
- 1/2 cup unsalted buttter, plus more to butter the molds
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, preferably Valrhona
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons flour, plus more for dusting
- 1. In the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, heat the butter and chocolate together until the chocolate is almost completely melted. While that’s heating, beat together the eggs, yolks, and sugar with a whisk or electric beater until light and thick.
- 2. Beat together the melted chocolate and butter; it should be quite warm. Pour in the egg mixture, then quickly beat in the flour, just until combined.
- 3. Butter and lightly flour four 4-ounce molds, custard cups, or ramekins. Tap out the excess flour, then butter and flour them again. Divide the batter among the molds. (At this point you can refrigerate the desserts until you are ready to eat, for up to several hours; bring them back to room temperature before baking.)
- 4. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Bake the molds on a tray for 6 to 7 minutes; the center will still be quite soft, but the sides will be set.
- 5. Invert each mold onto a plate and let sit for about 10 seconds. Unmold by lifting up one corner of the mold; the cake will fall out onto the plate. Serve immediately.
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Molten Chocolate Cake Recipe © 1998 Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Photo © 1998 Quentin Bacon. All rights reserved.