Jean-Georges Vongerichten Uses These Molds to Make His Famous Molten Chocolate Cakes
You can find similar versions at Sur La Table.
At some point in your life, you’ve probably ordered a molten chocolate cake (or lava cake, as they’re sometimes called)—a decadent dessert that houses a warm, gooey chocolate center that bursts open when you slice it. It’s practically an American classic at this point, with versions found everywhere from white tablecloth restaurants to Domino’s. However, none are quite as famous as Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s original recipe, which he kindly shared with us. In fact, it's one of the most popular recipes we've ever published. Using Valrhona chocolate and other standard ingredients like eggs, sugar, salt, flour, and unsalted butter, Vongerichten’s coveted cake comes together in under an hour—which seems magical, given the results. During a recent chat, the iconic chef also shared the original molds he used when he started making the recipe.
“The original was a Matfer [Bourgeat] brioche mold; I used the aluminum four-ounce brioche mold,” he says.
Vongerichten says he’s since used multiple brands and molds—for example, the recipe on our site calls for six-ounce ramekins. If you visit Matfer Bourgeat’s website, there is a pack of seven-ounce Exal Brioche Nonstick Molds listed, available in a 10-pack and made with aluminum for a non-stick surface. However, their products are typically available at restaurant supply stores and websites.
Determined to find a comparable product, we scoured the Internet and found a similar mold available from Sur La Table. It’s a French-made model by Gobel, with a flared, fluted design that creates elegant ridged edges—with prices starting at $4 per mold, you can pick sizes ranging from three inches to eight inches. (The Matfer Bourgeat dimensions are 3 1/8” by 1 1/4”.) While it’s made of steel, not aluminum, this model also has the nonstick finish that Vongerichten recommends, so that your cake comes out smooth and unblemished.
Should you want to mix up your molten cake recipes, we have a few versions on our site—this one swaps warm peanut butter for dark chocolate (think of it as a grown-up Reese’s Cup), while this spin opts for seedless raspberry preserves, honoring the classic combination of chocolate and raspberry. You can also find step-by-step instructions for making a slightly different molten chocolate lava cake on The Chef Show, a new Netflix series featuring Roy Choi and Jon Favreau. In episode three, the duo revisits recipes from the movie Chef, including said lava cake—their iteration uses frozen ganache to create the molten center and adds Grand Marnier, as well as berries for serving.
Gobel French Nonstick Brioche Mold, $4-$18 (depending on the size) at surlatable.com