It’s relatively simple to make, can be prepared well in advance of cooking and with the help of some cream, ice-cream and tart fruit, such as raspberries, is absolutely dreamboat gorgeous.
I have been itching to make this recipe since my last post about pizza. It was high time to do something special and sweet, so this dessert fit the bill. Finally I decided to just cook the pudding regardless of the fact it wasn’t going to be for a dessert or shared with friends or even be accompanied by raspberries and home-made ice-cream, which I think would be perfect with this fantastic recipe.
I prepared the batter the day before, then placed it in the fridge overnight. My husband and I then had if for a rather decadent accompaniment to morning coffee instead.
I couldn’t get over the simplicity of the recipe and how handy it is to be able to prepare it so far in advance of cooking. It then cooks in a flash – just 12 minutes in the oven for my 125 ml moulds. They turned out of the moulds perfectly thanks to the time taken in preparing them – see instructions below. Whatever you do, don’t skip this step!
Now I confess that I wasn’t sure if they’d turn out because I actually made rather a serious mistake in the preparation stage and folded the flour in after the chocolate instead of beating it through before the chocolate went in. Luckily it turned out fine and they were perfect – gooey centres and gorgeous crust. Next time, however, I’ll do it as per the recipe instructions and if they are better or don’t turn out, then it’ll be noted in this post at a later date.
There are heaps of fondant recipes on the internet, but this credit goes to BBC Good Food and makes 8x 125ml moulds. I halved the ingredients to make just four as a test.
You will need
200g quality 70% chocolate, chopped into small pieces
200g butter, in small pieces
200g caster sugar
4 eggs and 4 yolks
200g plain flour
To prepare your moulds
50g melted butter
two tablespoons dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
Brush each mould well with butter, starting from the bottom and using upward strokes. Place in the fridge to chill and set the butter, then paint another coat of butter on. Place in fridge again, then when the butter is set, dust with dutch-process cocoa powder, tapping the outside while twirling to ensure an even coating is applied.
Pop back in the fridge until the batter is ready.
Place the butter and chocolate in a ceramic bowl or double boiler and set over a pan of barely simmering water to melt. When melted, remove bowl from the heat and stir until smooth and shiny. Leave to cool for about 10 mins.
While the chocolate / butter is cooling, beat the eggs and yolks together with the sugar until thick and pale and the whisk leaves a trail. Sift the flour into the eggs, then beat together until smooth.
When cool enough, pour the melted chocolate into the egg mixture in three or four batches, beating well between each addition. The mixture will be the consistency of a loose cake batter.
Use a ladle or large serving spoon to pour the mixture evenly into 125 ml moulds to about 3/4 full. If you’re cooking within 24 hours, place in the fridge until ready to cook. Chill for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking, but a couple of hours is best. You can leave in the fridge overnight to cook the next day.
Alternatively, the fondants can be frozen for up to a month and cooked from frozen. To bake from frozen, simply remove from the freezer – 30 minutes or so in advance if possible – and carry on as stated, adding 5 mins more to the cooking time.
Heat oven to 180C fan forced / 200C non-fan. Place on a baking tray, then cook for 10-12 mins until the tops have formed a crust and they are starting to come away from the sides of their moulds. Remove 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.
Suggestions for serving
Using a squeezy sauce bottle, decorate each plate with dots of raspberry coulis – or whatever pattern you choose to make.
Sit a fondant in the middle of each plate and then top with a quenelle of vanilla bean ice-cream or vanilla infused whipped cream.
Or if you wish, just whip up some pouring cream with vanilla bean extract and plop on the side or top of the fondants.
Serve and eat immediately.