The Relatively Recent History Of Chocolate Lava Cake

Chocolate lava cake with ice cream
Chocolate lava cake with ice cream - Jukov studio/Shutterstock

Close your eyes and imagine the decadence of this scene: You have a soft, warm, and inviting chocolate dessert in front of you. The cake looks perfectly gooey as it's encased in its cup. You dive in with your spoon to break off a big chunk of the solid chocolatey goodness, but instead you are greeted with an even richer experience. Out pours a rivulet of chocolate lava. This liquid consistency perfectly offsets the warmth and solidity of the dessert's exterior. Sounds delectable, doesn't it?

Call it what you like — chocolate lava cake, molten chocolate cake, or whatever else catches your fancy. The fact is that this dessert has been one of the most-loved chocolate-based sweet treats ever since it was invented. But did you know that its history is relatively recent? It was only back in the 1980s and '90s that a few brilliant chefs — albeit from different parts of the world — created and popularized this now-famed dish. Curious to know more about its journey from kitchen to tables across the world? Here's the lowdown.

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

How Chocolate Lava Cake Was Invented

Chocolate lava cake with raspberries
Chocolate lava cake with raspberries - Funwithfood/Getty Images

The culinary world is divided on which chef deserves the true honor of being called the original creator of chocolate lava cake. The two major contenders, however, are French chef Michel Bras, who served it to Parisians, and the popular American chef (of French origin) Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who is credited with making it famous in this part of the world.

Going back in time, it seems Bras put in much thought and effort into deliberately creating this dessert. It reportedly took him two years to perfect the composition of its solid exterior balanced with its runny and chocolatey interior. Finally, he served at his eponymous restaurant in Paris in 1981.

Vongerichten's story is starkly different — though there are different versions of this, too. It is believed that he discovered the dessert quite by accident when he pulled out a chocolate sponge cake from the oven before it was fully cooked. Others say the accident took place when he was catering for a party. He placed 500 moist chocolate cupcakes made from his mother's recipe in the oven without accounting for the fact that so many pieces cooked together would require an adjustment of temperature. The result was chocolate lava cake, which became an instant success and an intrinsic part of his restaurant menus going forward. Interestingly, both these master chefs used different methods to create their individual masterpieces.

The Status Of Chocolate Lava Cake Today

Chocolate lava cake
Chocolate lava cake - New Africa/Shutterstock

Back in the 1990s, chocolate lava cake was everywhere. However, 30 years on, this dessert's status has undergone a sea change in its relatively short history. It became so popular that it went from being a fine-dining staple to a dessert you could get easily at chain restaurants. In fact, many people would now associate it with Chili's — the popular fast-dining chain. That's not to say that its commercialization has led to the loss of its appeal in any way. It still remains a popular and well-loved dessert across the board, which is now more accessible than it was when it first went viral.

In fact, this delicious dessert is also easy to make at home. Here's how you can make the perfect lava cake from scratch in case you are keen to try it out for yourself. And don't be afraid to experiment with it. Lava cake filling doesn't always have to be chocolate!

Read the original article on Daily Meal.