Bras tells Thrillist that the idea came to him after a ski trip with his children. "I wanted to translate the emotion evoked by coming home to find a mug of hot chocolate after a day of skiing," he says. The dessert, which he refers to as a "technical feat" two years in the making, involves baking off individual ramekins filled with chocolate cake batter swaddling a frozen sphere of ganache in the center. As the cake cooks, the ganache melts, resulting almost magically in a fully baked cake with a liquified center.
Lamenting that "translating an emotion into a dessert isn't necessarily easy," Bras says that the toiling and tinkering eventually paid off. Once he introduced the molten cake to his menu, it was, unsurprisingly, an instant hit. The dessert rapidly spread throughout the high-end kitchens of Europe, solidifying itself as a staple of nouvelle cuisine. "It reached a point where we were practically obliged to make it," Alain Ducasse revealed to the New York Times in 1991. (Ducasse, now a celebrated French chef, was cooking in Monte Carlo at the time.)