Chocolate Fondant, this is a favourite at theSecretGarden-France-cooking school, and is a fantastic dessert for you and that special person in your life or show off to your friends and family at your next dinner party. Although it looks difficult this is a classic that you can whip up in a hurry and wow your guests. This recipe makes 8-9 fondants and the fantastic thing is that you can freeze those that you don’t bake and you can cook from frozen, just add another 5 mins.
Ingredients50g melted butter , for brushing cocoa powder , for dusting 200g good-quality dark chocolate , chopped into small pieces 200g butter , in small pieces 200g golden caster sugar 4 eggs and 4 yolks 200g plain flour
Makes 8 fondants
Can be frozen uncooked (just add an addition 5 mins)
Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
First get your moulds ready. Using upward strokes, heavily brush the melted butter all over the inside of the pudding mould. Place the mould in the fridge or freezer, for 10-15 mins, remove and brush more melted butter over the chilled butter, then add a good spoonful of cocoa powder into the mould. Tip the mould and roll around so the powder completely coats the butter. Tap any excess cocoa back into the jar, then repeat with the next mould.
Add some hot water to a pot and bring to the boil, lower to a simmer and place a heat proof bowl over the pot, make sure the bowl is not touching the water, add the butter and chocolate to the bowl and slowly melt together. Remove bowl from the heat and stir until smooth, make sure you dont get any water into the chocolate as it will seize and unusable. Leave to cool for about 10 mins.
In a separate bowl add the eggs, yolks and sugar, use an electric whisk and whisk together with until thick and pale and the whisk leaves a trail. Sift the flour into the egg mixture, then lightly beat together.
Pour the melted chocolate into the egg mixture in thirds, beating well between each addition, until all the chocolate is added and the mixture is completely combined to a loose cake batter.
Tip the fondant batter into a jug, then evenly divide between the moulds. Chill for at least 20 mins or up to the night before. (*)
Place the fondants on a baking tray, then cook for 10 mins until the tops have formed a crust and they are starting to come away from the sides of their moulds, if needed leave for an additional 2 mins.
Remove the fondants from the oven, then leave to sit for 1 min before turning out.
Loosen the fondants by moving the tops very gently so they come away from the sides, easing them out of the moulds. Tip each fondant slightly onto your hand so you know it has come away, then tip back into the mould ready to plate up.
To serve, starting from the middle of each plate, squeeze a spiral of caramel sauce – do all the plates you need before you go on to the next stage.
Sit a fondant in the middle of each plate. Using a large spoon dipped in hot water, scoop a ‘quenelle’ of ice cream.
Carefully place the ice cream on top of the fondant, then serve immediately. Repeat with the rest of the fondants.
It is possible to freeze the fondants before they are cooked, follow all steps above between 2 – 6, To bake from frozen, simply carry on as stated, from (*), adding 5 mins more to the cooking time.
Tins or ramekins?
The timings above are based on using aluminum muffin tins, but ramekins work just as well, then 12 mins in the oven will be fine.
Once you have mastered the fondants it’s very easy to adapt their flavour. For a boozy version add a generous splash of Baileys to the melted chocolate. You can also make a chocolate and orange version by adding the finely grated zest of 1 large orange and an optional splash of orange liqueur.