This is a wonderful make-ahead dessert. As long as everything is ready in advance, you can make the cake batter and fill the molds hours ahead of time—just bake them immediately before you intend to serve them. Most people agree that these were invented by the 3-star French chef Michel Bras. But Bras’s version calls for the cake batter to have a frozen chocolate truffle baked in the center, unlike these cakes, where the batter itself provides the flow of warm, semiliquid chocolate. These are easier to prepare and taste better, so maybe they’re the 4-star version, which, by the way, come from my friend and Hong Kong restaurateur Jennifer Morris.
Serve with the sauce.
These are like soufflés—you have only one chance to enjoy them. You may prepare the batter and put it in the molds several hours before you intend to serve the cakes—keep them at a cool room temperature until it’s time to bake them.
© 2008 Nick Malgieri. All rights reserved.