Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

Have you ever seen a volcano explode? The way the magma oozes and flows down the slopes of that mountain are almost mesmerizing. There are certain places were the magma flows thick, and slow. In other places, it just runs down the slopes in a frenzy.

Watching an exploding volcano in action from a safe distance or on TV is a visual delight. You get to see nature in all her glory flexing her muscles. Now, imagine that volcano was made out of chocolate and the magma oozing out was hot fudge.

I think it’s safe to say that that volcano would be a sensory delight. One that we’re sure people would flock towards, as opposed to run away from.

An explosive dessert

Chocolate molten lava cakes are very popular desserts. They are a fusion between the classic flourless chocolate cake and soufflés. This dessert is always made in a ramekin, and has the following four basic ingredients:

  • Chocolate
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Butter

The lack of flour makes the cake much lighter. Chocolate molten lava cakes are typically always served warm so that when a spoon is used to break into the cake, the runny center flows out like oozing lava.

A dessert with a contested history

There are two different chefs who claim to have invented the molten chocolate cake.

There are some that claim that the molten chocolate cake was invented by the American Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, while others, along with the French Chef, Jacques Torres, claim that the dessert was actually invented in France.

According to Chef Vongerichten’s claims, in 1987, a chocolate sponge cake was pulled out from the oven by him before it was completely baked. When the cake was cut in to, the center of the cake was still warm and runny. He notes that the cake was still delicious and had a nice texture even with an underdone center. He called the cake a Chocolate Valrhona Cake, and served it with vanilla ice cream.

The rise to fame for molten chocolate cakes was explosive. In 1997 a recipe for “Individual Molten Chocolate Cakes” appeared in The Joy of Cooking, one of the most published cookbooks in the United States. The cookbook declared that the cakes were “worthy of an elegant dinner party.” Soon after, a recipe for molten chocolate cake appeared in Food & Wine magazine, in a feature called “Simply elegant: quick recipes for stylish entertaining.”

In his book Death by Chocolate Cakes: An Astonishing Array of Chocolate Enchantments widely acclaimed Chef Marcel Desaulniers included a recipe for something called “Chocolate Heart of Darkness”. He described this dessert as a “warm, molten chocolate cake… so sensual it could be the eighth deadly sin.”

With a description like that, we’d gladly skip dinner and go straight for dessert!


There have been many alterations to the Lava cake recipe, which mostly includes the variations in the fillings. Instead of the chocolate fillings various other flavors:

Chocolate molten lava cakes are simple and so divine. The cake has a delectable runny, warm center which oozes and flows out when you attempt to take the first bite. Eating this dessert is a sensory treat! Its irresistible aroma wafts into your nostrils and your mouth begins to water. Your eyes try to take in all of its beauty while your hands struggle to steady themselves and retain some form of dignity. When you finally break into the cake, all pretenses of control have been shed. This is a dessert you intend to gobble up and enjoy fully.