Once upon a time in 1987, a young whippersnapper chef named Jean-Georges Vongerichten took credit for inventing the molten chocolate lava cake. Now, whether he invented it, or Jacques Torres and his French forefathers did, is irrelevant to the fact that Vongerichten can claim parental rights to lava cake.
Much like a guy who went to a sperm bank for beer money in college, he’s ended up with a lot of chocolate lava cake progeny. Some chocolate lava cakes might be nearly as good as the original. Some chocolate lava cakes are made by Arby’s. But although the cake might be ubiquitous enough to be known as “the Big Mac of desserts” as Mark Bittman playfully calls it, it’s easy enough to make on your own, as the two of them demonstrate.
Also, Vongerichten makes a thousand of these cakes a day. He wins.
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