I realised recently that it has been quite some since I posted a chocolate recipe. Remember when I said I’d post one a month?! Yeah, that didn’t really work out. Anyway here’s one more to add to the collection, Chocolate Fondant. Also known as Molten Chocolate Cakes, Lava Cakes or Hot Chocolate Puddings.
This particular dessert has earned something of an unfair reputation. Afterall, we are constantly told on Masterchef how the road to glory is littered with disastrous Chocolate Fondant attempts. They really are not that difficult, it is all about timing and knowing your own oven. It is an ideal dessert for a group as it can be made in advance and then takes no time to bake when you want to serve it. I defy anyone to not like a dessert of warm chocolate cake, gooey chocolate centre and just a little whipped cream to cut through the richness.
Useful tips & links:
- Use good quality dark chocolate here, I use 74% but make sure it is at least 60%. If you like you can add extra flavours such as orange or Baileys, I have seen fondants with peanut butter in the middle. Personally, I think these are great as they are.
- You can use any ramekin or mould that you have available. I use stainless steel pudding bowls which I find best, and the size I use is 150ml. If using smaller or larger you will need to adjust the time accordingly.
- Make sure you take the time to prepare the moulds properly, it is essential to make it easy to turn out the fondant. If you don’t want to chance turning them out then bake in a nice ramekin and serve them in it.
- Donna Hay has a great cheat in her book Fast, Fresh, Simple in which she places a square of chocolate in the middle of the batter before baking to guarantee a molten centre. I don’t think it is as nice as having some liquid batter but it is a great tip if you are not confident in your baking skills.
- You can prepare the batter and pour it into the moulds, cover with cling and place in the fridge for 24 hours or freezer until ready to bake. You can bake from cold and give them more time in the oven but I prefer to defrost and bring up to room temperature before baking.
- For more fondant ideas, have a look at Nessa’s Chocolate Fondants with Caramel Sauce or Kevin Dundon’s flourless Indulgent Chocolate Fondants.
- There are 3 egg yolks in this recipe, don’t waste the whites, you can use them to make a great Pavlova.
- 125g of unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 125g of dark chocolate, at least 60%
- 3 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- ½ a teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 100g of caster sugar
- 50g of plain flour
- 25g of cocoa powder, plus extra for moulds
- A pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 200c/180c fan/gas mark 6 and set up a bain marie. Place the butter and chocolate, broken into pieces, into a heatproof bowl and put it over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Melt the butter and chocolate, mix together, remove from the heat and allow it to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile prepare the pudding moulds or ramekins. Grease the inside with butter and then sprinkle some cocoa powder into the mould. Turn the mould on its side and tap it so that the powder coats the bottom and sides of the mould. Pour the excess into the next mould and repeat until all of the moulds have a coating of butter and cocoa.
- In another bowl whisk the sugar, eggs, egg yolks and vanilla together until light and mousse-like. Fold in the cooled chocolate and butter mixture. Give it another quick whisk to make sure there is plenty of air in it.
- Sieve the flour, cocoa powder and salt into the chocolate and carefully fold it through until just combined.
- Divide the batter between the four moulds. Place the fondants onto a baking tray and place into the pre-heated oven for 8-12 minutes. How long they take to bake will depend on the temperature of the batter going in, the settings on your oven and the size of the ramekins used. Mine take 9 minutes in my oven.
- The fondants are done when they are firm to the touch around the edge but soft in the middle. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for a few minutes before turning them out on to a plate or you can leave them in ramekins if you prefer.
- Dust with icing sugar and serve with a little whipped cream to the side.